My Summer Lair Chapter #177: What’s The Best Way For A Sports Fan To Show Love For His Team?
You know what’s a popular aspect of sports fandom I’ve never understood? The topless guys all lined up in a row each with a large hand-drawn letter on their bare chest: sometimes they spell the name of the team like Eagles sometimes it’s a different message. Many NFL games are cold why not just make a poster? And worse it’s never the ones you want getting naked.
To get a better sense of sports fandom I’ve invited director Kyle Thrash to My Summer Lair to discuss his NFL documentary Maybe Next Year.
The doc follows Eagles fans like Eagles Shirley, Bryant, Barry, and Jesse while exploring the powerful intersection between their Eagles fandom and personal lives during the course of the 2017-18 season. Which turned out to be a winning season. On Super Bowl Sunday, February 4, 2018, the Eagles faced the 5-time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. And won! The Eagles won Super Bowl LII, defeating the Patriots, 41-33.
Yet this was not an easy season nor was many of the lives and experiences of Eagles fans easy. Victory was in doubt.
Yes, this is a documentary about Philadelphia Eagles fandom but it’s a documentary about all of us. This is a football movie that isn’t about football. Winning championships makes cities better: winning makes life better.
In our pre-COVID life, the bus was late, the winter day was freezing, the boss was in a mood there was so much that was not in our control that affected us. Sports is like that: I can cheer, I can boo, I can chant defense and I can make comments about a player’s mother but I have no control. Except over my emotions, I can express my passions…connect with others, laugh during the good times, and find comfort in the dark moments.
And you can see all of this…all of these common experiences in Kyle’s documentary. Including hope: Because Maybe Next Year is ultimately about hope. Recognize and celebrate hope whenever you find it. Hope is the fuel of the underdog.