Sobfest At My House

The evening got off to a pleasant enough start, even though my husband Michael and I were watching TV in separate rooms.
I was in the bedroom, glued to the Australian Open final between Federer and Nadal. I was rooting for Federer, so I was sorry to see him lose in five sets. I was even sorrier when, during the presentation of the trophies, he broke down at the mic and couldn’t stop crying.
Talk about the agony of defeat.
“You should have seen Federer,” I said as I walked into the living room, where Michael was glued to the Super Bowl post-game show. “He -“
I was about to describe Roger’s crying jag when I noticed that one of the Steelers, Hines Ward, was crying about beating the Cardinals.
Talk about the thrill of victory.
Over dinner we discussed whether crying in sports was becoming more prevalent.
“I don’t think so,” he said.
“I do,” I said and launched into a list of prominent criers.
“And remember when Edwar Ramirez had that meltdown after he got shelled?” I pretended to sob. “The Yankees practically had to MedEvac him out of there.”
“I don’t see the big deal. These guys are human beings, not robots. Human beings cry. Men cry. It doesn’t make us weak.”
“Who said it makes you weak?” Yikes. He was being awfully crabby, so I did my imitation of Mike Schmidt choking up at his retirement speech, hoping to coax a smile out of him.

“You’re making fun of him,” said Michael.
“I am not. I love Mike Schmidt. I had a crush on him before I even met you.”
“You had a crush on everybody before you met me.”
“Oh, really?” So he was, what, jealous? “You had a crush on Michelle Pfeiffer before you met me and I’m not getting all wigged out about it.”
“I’m not wigged out.” He took a gigantic bite of his burger and then started talking with his mouth full.
“I can’t understand a word you’re saying.”
“Never mind.”
“Come on.”
“It was nothing.”
“I hate when men say ‘nothing.'”
“You hate when men cry too.”
“I do not! It makes me sad when anybody cries. In fact, the second I see somebody tearing up I get -“
At that moment I flashed back to Game 4 of the 2007 ALDS against Cleveland, when the Yankees lost the series and were ushered out of the post-season; I had a meltdown of my own in the Upper Tier.
I put down my fork, my appetite gone, and succumbed to this. Losing never gets easier.
Crying_Girl. sized.jpg


  1. Kaybee

    Players are definitely getting more emotional. I think the fans are too. I was pretty upset after the Padres’ season ended with a loss to the Pirates, but it makes sense since the season was over and a mentor of mine had just been in a motorcycle accident. But I think I’m going to cry with joy when the season starts again 🙂

  2. happyyoungster

    I’m a bit of an amateur, but baseball made me cry once.
    I was playing summer leagues and had a bad leg injury. I’m in the hospital ER and my Dad walks in. He’s a construction worker dirty from a long day’s work, what’s the first thing he says? How you feeling? Nope. You okay? Yeah right.
    He says, “well, I guess no more baseball, huh?” Wow…open the flood gates and get your rain slicker on-because it’s about to get a little wet.
    Moral of the story: no matter what level of the game you play-the love for the game is what ultimately fuels the fire.
    I say, “let ’em cry!” Those players have passion.

  3. Jane Heller

    Emily and Julia, I agree. Players are “allowed” to be more human now and that’s a good thing, IMHO.

    Kaybee, sorry about your friend’s accident on top of the Padres’ loss. Double whammy.

    Aw, that’s a great story, Happy. I’m feeling your pain!

  4. Erin Kathleen

    That Federer/Nadal match was way more interesting than the first three quarters of the Super Bowl. I was kind of cheering for Nadal, since he’s probably the best I’ve ever seen, but I felt really bad for Federer because he wanted it so bad and he was so upset that he lost. And I think showing emotion has become more acceptable in sports, because the fans like to see it. If a team loses, and the guys act like it’s no big deal, it makes it seem as though they don’t really care. That’s much worse than watching a grown man cry.

    And I guess losing is much more difficult when you’re accustomed to winning. Most of us in Minnesota don’t cry when our teams lose in big games. We’re used to it. We might get angry that they’ve failed to bring us a championship yet again, we might even be kind of disappointed. But most of us don’t really expect them to win, anyway, so it’s not much of a shock when they lose.

  5. Jane Heller

    Nadal is amazing, Erin. Did you see their match at Wimbledon last year? Now that was a nail biter. I agree that the fans like to see emotion from the players. The Yankees’ rookie pitcher, Ian Kennedy, was slammed in the media for saying he wasn’t that disappointed after a loss. He fell off the map after that statement (and because he couldn’t win a game). But you raise an interesting point about expectations. Yankee fans expect to win every single year. We’re spoiled. Fans in Minnesota don’t get as suicidal. You’re much saner. 🙂

  6. Jane Heller

    LOL, Jenn. I love Schmidty too, even though he did lose it that day.

    Was that a Freudian slip, Jeff? Real “mean?”

  7. pinstripepride3

    Jane, interesting that you should bring up Ian Kennedy because I cried every time he took the mound last year (in the first inning).

  8. Jane Heller

    Well, maybe he’ll have a remarkable turnaround this year, pinstripe. We can hope, can’t we? Or else trade him for somebody decent?

  9. bigjay21

    Wait a second….. the Federer/Nadal match was done at like 8am and the football game didn’t start until 6pm….. so how did you walk out from watching the match and see the POST-GAME SHOW?!?!?!
    Damn you, DVR!!!!!
    On a more serious note, there has always been crying in sports, right Tom Hanks? (Hell, even Madonna should get this movie reference……)
    -Big Jay

  10. AJRoxMyWhiteSox

    I don’t mind the crying so much because it reminds me that they’re human. But if it gets to heaving sobs like if someone dies, then it’s overkill. I cried yesterday over sports. After the Super Bowl was over, I switched back to MLB Network just in time to see the bottom of the ninth of Game 4 of the 2005 World Series. I cried when my Sox won like it was live or something. I do this every single time!

  11. Erin Kathleen

    Yes, I did see their Wimbledon match last year. It was probably the greatest of all-time. Federer/Nadal are this generation’s Borg/McEnroe, except without all of the controversy.

    And now that I think about it, I’m not sure it’s just that we’re conditioned to expect failure that keeps us Minnesotans from getting emotional during losses. It’s probably our Scandinavian heritage, too. We just don’t get all that excited about anything. Last summer my cousin got married in a beautiful ceremony at the St. Paul Cathedral. After it was over, all my aunt (her mother) had to say was: “Well, that was nice…”

  12. Elizabeth D

    After the Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS, when Jason Varitek was being interviewed, one asked him: ‘Are you going to be coming back to the Red Sox next year?’
    Varitek’s eyes welled up, and as he chocked back tears he said, “I really don’t know”. That didn’t help lessen my umm… emotional recuperation.
    I tend to lose my appetite when watching those painful highlights as well.
    I’m EXCITED for tomorrow!! People may be talking Torre, but I’ll be sporting your book. ‘Ooooh what’s that?’ they’ll ask since they know I have a good taste in literature.
    ‘Oh, it’s Jane Heller’s latest book, Confessions of a She-Fan, she’s a Yankee fan,’.
    If I’m reading a book about someone who loves the Yankees, well, that must mean it’s pretty good!



    Crying is OK. But never let them see you sweat. Or vomit. Or pee. That’s no good either. el duque

  14. Jane Heller

    Big Jay, you are so right with your timeline AND about the fact that I recorded the match. Can’t put anything past you! I loved “A League of Their Own.” Madonna was actually pretty good in it.

    Jen, I’m relating to your comment because I cry every single time I watch the Yankees win big games and lose big games – sort of the way I cry at sappy movies. Never fails.

    LOL, Erin, about your aunt and the wedding. I’m the opposite, I guess, I get excited about everything. Somewhere in the middle is a sane person!

    Thanks, King. Very excited!!!!!

    Uh-oh, Elizabeth. I hope your friends don’t give you grief about buying the book. Just tell them it’s a school project; you’re trying to delve deep into the mind of a Yankee fan.

    Never let ’em see you pee, duque. Well said.

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