Sports, to most, it's just a game. A brisk Sunday of watching football, a scorching day in July watching baseball, a snowy day in February watching hockey or basketball, it's just a game. At least it's supposed to be. The sad reality is that to sports fans; especially the ones loyal to one team, it's not just a game. Personally, sports create memories and molded many relationships. I remember in 2015, a junior in college packing up my bedding, uneaten boxes of macaroni and cheese, and sport jerseys hanging on my wall, when Kevin Hayes tied the win-or-go home game seven. From that point on I remember how quiet my dorm was. A room of college guys, just sitting in silence until the game winner happened. Recollecting this game is easier than recollecting what I ate for breakfast this morning (PB&J is the answer to this riddle). It's a memory that isn't just sports to me.
Being a sports fan, it's just building a connection with friends/other fans. You build a connection to the players as well. This makes the successful seasons that much better and the 'not good enough' seasons that much more hurtful. As the saying goes, 'all good things comes to an end'. Nobody understands this currently as much as New York Giants fans. After an abysmal Thursday night game against the Philadelphia Eagles, reality officially hit an entire fanbase.
Eli Manning decided he was throwing this and that was that... pic.twitter.com/JILzV42DQT— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) October 12, 2018
Eli Manning is not great, he's not good, he isn't even serviceable. Eli Manning is simply BAD. However this isn't a bash Eli post. Instead it's a sad awaking. This your Marimba chime going off at 6 am on Monday. There is another player a fan base gets to say goodbye to. Another player that at once was at the peak of his sport, and is now has deteriorated to unwatchable.
It happened with Derek Jeter. It happened with Eli's older brother Peyton. The only thing that fans can hope for, is that this level of play doesn't go on too long.
Eli Manning may have never been the best quarterback in the league. Eli Manning may not even have been the best quarterback in his draft class. Eli Manning was, however the best quarterback in New York Giants history.One day fans will look back and appreciate what number ten did, but that won't happen in 2018 that's for sure.
Bottom line: The O-line has been an issue for at least five years. The Giants didn't fix it. They had an immobile QB and they couldn't figure out how to protect him.— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) October 12, 2018
The Eli Manning Era may be effectively over now, but he didn't fail the Giants. They failed him. https://t.co/y3Ch817W7Q
The biggest takeaway is that fans don't just view their team as an escape. Many end up becoming engulfed by passion when it comes to their sports teams. While Eli Manning deserves every ounce of criticism this season, many fans will look back wishing for days past. Sports are not always an escape, in fact I could argue sports are a perfect representation of life. Seeing Eli age isn't just sad because of his legacy, but obviously that means fans aged with him. It's begs the question, when can I be passionate about my team again?