I'm currently writing this from the Seattle airport, having missed my first flight home to Los Angeles, and unsure whether I have a seat on the next flight in a couple of hours. My four traveling buddies took the last four available seats on the next flight, and I'm left in terminal limbo.
I just randomly passed fellow writer Chris Tomke for the second time this weekend. We somewhat miraculously happened upon each other in a random bar no more than 12 hours ago. Today, we wear the same battered and defeated looks as last night, just perhaps more sleep-deprived.
TV writer Dan Harmon often likes to bring up one childhood memory during his Harmontown podcast. As a kid, he was incessantly teased by bullies. He coped with the teasing so easily that he no longer reacted to it. However, the moment a nice kid came up and consoled him with a "don't worry about him" or "are you okay?" that's when he would burst into tears.
I can deal with the hecklers. I can deal with the drunk idiots who are screaming 0-4, or the jerks that bring signs like this to a game. But what really kills me is being treated like a victim. I know being a Lions fan is hard, the constant reminders from people who have no idea what the struggle is really like doesn't help. I know these are good people that genuinely feel bad for me, but I can't deal with the extra burden of sadness. Not only am I feeling sad and depressed, but now I've affected this random person who felt so bad for me they took the time out of their life to console a stranger.
This is how I imagine most Lions players feel right now. The defense played their best game of the season, they played their hearts out as more and more players were sent to the sidelines with injury. They pushed this team to the brink of a huge upset in an unwinnable environment. I have to imagine the worst thing you could say to Ezekiel Ansah right now is "you almost had them."
Calvin Johnson walked the sidelines after the play and nearly every teammate he walked by gave him a pat on the shoulder. He didn't budge. He just walked onward with that thousand mile stare. He's been through this enough to be sick of the sympathy, the victimization. We don't want the sympathy anymore, we want change.
They're calling me to the gate now. I'm not sure if I'm on my way home or if I'm doomed to stay in the Seattle airport forever, but either way, don't feel bad for me.