From my most recent article at Worldmag.com:
This was published the morning of LeBron’s return to Cleveland.
If LeBron James leaves the Miami Heat, his teammate Dwyane Wade and Heat president Pat Riley will be devastated. But if he spurns the Cleveland Cavaliers he will, once more, rip the heart out of a beleaguered city. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert will likely write another angry diatribe in Comic Sans font about James’ selfishness and “cowardly betrayal” and post it to the team’s website.
If Kevin Love gets traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves, I hope they send him to a losing franchise like Milwaukee or Cleveland (with no LeBron). That would just serve him right for not wanting to be a Timberwolf (never mind that they are losers, too).
These are the kinds of reactions NBA free agency elicits: extreme and over the top.
. . .
Saint Augustine famously said, “Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.” This isn’t a commendation of abstinence; it’s a statement of the challenge we face in doing things, even good things, in moderation, including being a sports fan. It is fun, engaging, emotional, and passionate, but it can easily become a god in our lives, causing us to ourselves in it. The right response isn’t to give it up completely but to seek that “perfect moderation”—the right balance between passion and putting sports in their rightful place.