Ok, so I find myself really psyched about the upcoming World Cup match today – the United States versus Germany. Still riding the emotional wave of the last USA match, I try to conjure up any quirky pre-game rituals that will ensure a win so that “we” can make it in to the final sixteen.
Then my thoughts come to a screeching halt. What is this? Where does this enthusiasm come from? I know next to nothing about soccer…haven’t followed it at all…not until now. Now MY team is playing! What does a winning sports team trigger inside so many of us “normal,” ordinary people? The same thing happened to me right up to the Super Bowl… succumbing to every superstitious “lucky” piece of clothing, wearing blue and orange every Friday and proclaiming the year of the horse to anyone who would listen. GO BRONCOS!
But soccer? I feared another take over in my life. And the news confirmed it…supposedly today when the game begins and everyone takes to the big screen, over 300,000 hours of productivity will be lost in the work force. It is an epidemic!
And it has been diagnosed and named – BIRGing – and it affects millions. It is a psychological phenomenon called Basking In Reflected Glory. And I must have been infected, for when the team I’m following is playing well, I feel fantastic! Life is good! The day after my team wins, I actually feel better about MYSELF! And I say things like, “WE won,” even though I was thousands of miles away from the playing field. Wow. I’m a BIRGer. I wonder if it will require a twelve step program…B. A. (BIRGers Anonymous.)
Yet, how bad can it really be? Feeling good about myself, even for a few days can’t be such a bad thing. At least I can hope that I won’t succumb to its evil twin syndrome – CORFing - and distance myself from any association of my team if they should lose. I’ll remain a true fan and not Cut Off Reflected Failure and disown them entirely.