Over-Identifying with Your Team
The AP has reported for years on a Minnesota farmer who has vowed he won't shave until the Vikings win the Super Bowl.
Seventy-nine year old Emmet Pearson's beard remains in place and 36-years long. He made the vow in 1974, the last time the Vikings made it to the big game.
While Mr. Pearson's stick-to-it-iveness is laudable--people these days don't keep vows like they used to--and funny, it points up the sort of identification with groups like sports teams that Eckhart Tolle in his seminal book on spirituality A New Earth says is one from the ego's playbook.
"One of the ways in which the ego attempts to escape the unsatisfactoriness of personal self-hood is to enlarge and strengthen its sense of self by identifying with a group--a nation, political party, corporation, institution, sect, club, gang, football team," Tolle writes.
Bingo! Isn't that Farmer Pearson in a nutshell? This list takes in a lot of us.
What sports teams accomplish or fail to accomplish really has nothing whatsoever to do with us. However, we behave as if it does.
Here are 10 signs you may be over-identifying with your team this Super Bowl:
Number 10: You have a very long beard.
Number 9: You take Ambien just before the game because your son is QB of one team and you live in the city of the other. (Archie Manning is the father of Peyton Manning, QB of the Colts. He played and now resides in New Orleans.)
Number 8: You hire a marching band to play "When the Saints Go Marching In" for every touchdown.
Number 7: A Colts win will not be enough for you because they could have had run the table and chose not to.
Number 6: You bought sombreros and serapes for everyone in the front row of both end zones, and they are presently cluttering your garage in Cincinnati (Ocho-stinco!)
Number 5: You have a cheesehead hat that you were going to wear while pulling for the Colts, but won't bother now that Brett Farve won't be there.
Number 4: Back in August you booked a supersaver ticket from Dallas to Florida--again!
Number 3: You can't get out of bed the day after due to a hotwing related injury after a bad call.
Number 2: Your number 7 Steeler jersey no longer fits thanks to too much comfort food in the last month.
And the Number 1 sign you may be over-identifying with your team this Super Bowl: You're a Bears fan.