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  1. #1
    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Over the past five years, I have become an increasingly less happy person. I have always been a naive person, and that finally got me burnt enough times by people who took advantage of it that something terrible happened: I became cynical. I became paranoid. I stopped trusting people. I gave up hope in anything good coming my way. This goes well beyond the realm of sports, but sports did play a role. While sports may be a small piece of the puzzle in my life, it has always had a big place in my heart because I fell in love with the Indiana Pacers during Reggie's last 3 shots (excluding 2004) at an NBA title in 1998, 1999, and 2000. I was deeply infatuated with him and that team.

    Watching the Pacers since that time, and most definitely after November of 2004, my devotion to the Pacers has served as a negative mirror on my life in general. Nothing worked out, happiness was an illusion, and if you wanted to be "right" about something, you had to assume the worst. This, to say the least, was not good. Especially not for my mental health. When the biggest thing you use to escape the ****ty parts of reality turns dark too, things can get very ugly. And they did. Enough so that I can't and won't get into it here, but needless to say I've had brighter days.

    After this year, I can't take it anymore. I've become supersaturated in negativity, cynicism, hatred, and hostility. I can not deal with that. I'm left with two choices.

    The first option is to abandon it all. Leave the keys to Pacers Digest to one of the other administrators, stop watching the Pacers on TV, stop going to the games, stop buying the video games and DVDs, and just move on. The urge to do that has increased steadily the past several months. It's gotten so bad that I've come close to already doing this a number of times, but ultimately kept myself from giving in.

    The second option is to say: "**** this. I'm sick of this ****, and I'm not going to ****ing deal with it anymore!" My way of doing that? Trying my hardest at being a permanent sunshiner. And, in a Buddhist sort of way, teach myself to not want what I can't have. I need to re-teach myself to find the good in anything, to be satisfied by what I have instead of being unsatified by what I don't have. There used to be a column in the Indianapolis Star, I want to say be Bill Benner (if that's how you spell his name), where he would write a debate between an optimist and a pessimist. The pessimist seemed to be the counter-point to everything the optimist had to say. I think my goal is going to be being the counter-point to everything negative there is to be said or thought. I believe this will bring me a degree of peace and happiness that I have not had in years. I need this. Not just for my sake as a sports fan, but for my very hear and soul. Whether that soul be literal or figurative, it doesn't matter. I need peace, and I'm going to get it. I'm dedicating myself to this. It starts with sports, and it's going to extend to the rest of my life, because there is no other choice. I have to change my ways, and this is where it begins.

    I may need some help along the way. I'm being more personal here than I care to be, but this is so important to me that I've gone ahead and shared it anyway. I hope that my friends, and my fellow sunshiners, can help guide me on this path. I gained nothing and lost everything being cynical and negative, and it damn near killed me. Today is to be the start of a new era in my life, and with some support I think I can do it. Some of you may laugh at this, or you might roll your eyes. But that's okay. This isn't about you. It's about me. I need this. I'm doing this. "It's up to..." me.

    *takes a breath*

    Well. Where to start?

    How about this:

    The Indiana Pacers will be OK. I can't put a timetable on it (don't want the terrorists to wait us out ), but I have faith that we will rise again someday. Larry Bird was my childhood Bball idol, so I'll trust in him while he is here, and he will succeed or he will eventually leave and we will get to try again. So it's just a matter of patience, and enjoying the good along the way.

    For now, at the very least I will enjoy:

    Seeing if Dunleavy, Daniels, Diogu, Granger, Williams, and maybe even Harrison can continue to improve as basketball players. If that heppens, the good days will return faster than you might think. That's the fun side to a non-contention season: Seeing what you've got with the young guys. Watching for growth and improvement. If you're not careful, you might miss it looking at all that's wrong, instead of what's right.

    I have faith that the next coach will let them play to see what we have. If not, we'll probably be a playoff team anyway. The playoffs are certainly fun to watch, so either way there's something to be thankful for.

    Regardless of what happens on the floor, I'll have friends to share the experience with, whom I love talking with. Either at the games in person, or here on the Digest. Those people are much more consistent than the Pacers could ever be.

    I may be ready to see Jamaal Tinsley and Jermaine O'Neal move on, but if they don't at least I can see how they perform under a new coach.

    The sooner we move on from this off-season, the sooner we can get back to having new and exciting things to talk about. It may not be so great right now, but eventually it will be and the clock doesn't stop ticking.

    That's all I have right now, but I'm going to try hard to practice what I'm preaching right now. I can't solve all of my problems, but I can at least view everything I see in a brighter light than I would have yesterday. And that's a big step in the right direction.

    ---

    I really hesitated to post this. But it's my nature to do it.

  2. #2
    Fear my small avatar Gyron's Avatar
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    Good for you hicks. Ill try to do the same.

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    Go Colts! Shade's Avatar
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    CONFORMIST!!!!!

    I know what you mean, though. I think the important thing is to keep everything in perspective, and not make the Pacers the #1 most important thing in your life. I know I tend to invest too much in them at times, but I've mellowed a little since the Colts won the Super Bowl. I now no longer feel like the task of winning a championship is impossible, though I'm not really happy with the current state of the team.

  4. #4
    The Future Is Bright JB's Breakout Year's Avatar
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    Well, that was a ballsy post.

    I don't know you personally, Mal, but I can tell you how much I've enjoyed Pacers Digest and I am very appreciative of the work you and other moderators do to make this a fun place to talk Pacers. I think the community of posters here is knowledgeable and respectful of other each other, except maybe when our passion for our favorite players or ideas gets a little high. Even then, everyone seems to want to get back to showing respect. That is a testament to your work in establishing the climate. Pretty impressive accomplishment.

    I think it's wise of you to focus on the way you are thinking, especially if you find you aren't feeling the way you want to.

    You can be certain that you aren't the only person who has felt the way you described, and it's tempting to get wrapped up into a sports team. I know I've said to my wife more than a few times these past two seasons, "Man, it's a tough year to be a Pacers fan."

    Even though I think I know the perfect moves TPTB need to make to my team fun to watch, what I think ultimately has no real impact on what they do. Pisses me off. Good to take a break when that happens. If that is what you think you need to do, more power to you. Being a sports fan is supposed to be fun, not a source of torment.

    Thanks again for your work on the forum.

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    If a tea kettle does not have a chance to let loose its steam, it may explode from the building pressure inside. It seems to me that you have taken the first step to avert that happening to you.

    I hope this is not a case of allowing your angst with the Pacers work its way into the rest of your life. After all, the miseries of this team will pass, just as the glory of the Reggie years did.

    Life can be a lot like building a team. We may not all win "championships", but we can sure all learn a lot along the way. The thing about traveling down a bumpy, pot-hole filled road is that once you have traversed it, you know where those pot-holes are hiding. You know how to steer around them, or at least slow down enough to lessen their impact as you go over them again.

    You have a number of people around here who care about you. Don't do them the diservice of not allowing them to help. That is, after all, one of the most fulfilling things any of us can do.

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    Boom Baby'er ABADays's Avatar
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    See my PM.
    The best exercise of the human heart is reaching down and picking someone else up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sh4d3 View Post
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    CONFORMIST!!!!!

    I know what you mean, though. I think the important thing is to keep everything in perspective, and not make the Pacers the #1 most important thing in your life.
    This is best advice someone can give you, try just not to give a ****. Remember that you watch the Pacers/Sports to get away from your problems not add on to your problems. When I was younger, if the Pacers or Titans would lose I felt like the world ended and I was sad for weeks. Now I could just care less, I watch sports because its fun, if my team wins YAY, if they dont ohh well I move on with my life and I worry about **** thats really impacting what I'm doing right now. Dont get me wrong I LOVE when they win, its just that right now it doesnt kill me when they dont.

  8. #8

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    I am a cynic too, but it is because of reality... this world is in rough shape. I refuse to lie to myself about it.

    Most of the world is starving, has bad water to drink, no medicine and not much in the way of shelter or good clothing.

    I would rather accept reality than live in some fairy tale world where everyone can make minimum wage or better, buy a crappy car and eat burgers every day.

    What's really messed up is most people think that is normal (here in the usa). It is not. And some might think their minimum wage job sucks and how crappy it is that they have to get food stamps or whatever. But people would sacrifice their lives so their familys could have it so good. Or save up for years to get on a boat with 200 people to leave their crappy island, just to have a chance at it.. (like the folks from haiti that all died the other day when a coast guard boat rammed them.. no it wasnt the usa coast guard)

    Anyway self contentment and fullfillment comes from helpin out the downtrodden. It's not from entertainment or meds or drugs.

    Working on oneself is great, to strip away the illusions of the silly **** we see everyday, but once your are there and acknowledge reality and are living consciously, what is the next step? Finding the folks who need the food clothes and shelter. Compassion

    Cause here is the thing.

    In the usa lunch costs 5$. 5$ can feed a family for weeks in say... Haiti or the philapines or sudan. So instead of being a complete waste to the planet, living a completely selfish existance and being a detriment to the environment, we americans have the oppurtunity to make a difference in the world just from the insane exchange rates of currency... IE what a loaf of bread costs in US dollars in haiti or elsewhere in the 3rd world.

    but, yeah the pacers suck /sigh

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    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. It's not that the Pacers dragged me down, but instead that the bad with the team just piled on the rest of my life and reminded me of it daily since I'm always here reading/thinking/talking about the Pacers.

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    Cheeseburger in Paradise Los Angeles's Avatar
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    Good for you, Mal.

    One word of advice: go on a hour long walk at least 3 times a week, rain, snow or shine. the excercise improves your outlook, the mind has an hour to rest without looking at a screen or dealing with people in any way. Find the time to do this, and you will reach your other goals that much quicker.
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

    “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” - Catherine Aird

  11. #11
    Fat, Drunk and Stupid Lord Helmet's Avatar
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    Good post.

    I'll try to model my outlook on the Pacers after yours.

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    Release Psycho T pwee31's Avatar
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    What tends to happen is that the Sports world is used as an escape from reality! We all get so tied up in the real world, whether it be family, work, school etc... and the stress just piles up, and for some of us sports are a type of meditation or stress relief.

    Of course there's other methods such as exercise, sex etc... but sports has a strange bond. It's sorta like another world or family. It can be a release! When you have a favorite sports team, it's nice to sit down and cheer for them, and just forget about the things going on around you. You can bond with strangers as if they were best friends for a few hours, b/c you have a certain team in common. You have your ups and downs with this team like you have ups and downs in life, but with a sports team there's comfort b/c you know that thousands of others are goin through the same emotions you are!!

    So if there's a problem with one of the things that help you release, then of course that just adds on to your everyday problems. The good thing about sports is that you don't have to wait long for problems to be solved. If a team loses one night, it may add to the stress, but a few days later they could win a game that makes you forget about everything!

    The thing about the Pacers is that they've been a good release for a long time, but now it appears that the Pacers family is having problems, and it's hard to take in, b/c we're use to leaning on the Pacers to help with our problems in way, and now the Pacers are just adding to our stress/problems.

    I think it's only right to think positive and remain supportive to the Pacers organization in there time of need, knowing how many times they brought joy to us fans while we were down.

    Faith and support go a long way in the real world, so why not use the same ingredients when times are bad in the sports world!

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    flexible and robust SoupIsGood's Avatar
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    Good luck man

    What Jerm said is probably the best advice. When your team loses, just distract yourself and don't think about it much. But when they win, ride out those good mental vibes

    Cynicism is the worst. I mean it might be more in tune w/ reality (or not), but it really wears you down psychologically.

    I also agree w/ what LA said. Excercise is uncanny in it's ability to make a person feel better - even if it makes your body feel worse.

    And for a bit of strange advice from me: If you watch a lot of TV, try going w/o for awhile. Nowadays I only usually tune in for the occasional sporting event. And while I do kinda miss Scrubs sometimes, overall I really haven't missed watching TV. TV feels addicting in a strange way - but stop watching for a while and you really don't miss it. It opens up a lot of time to do stuff, too.

    But that could just be a 'me thing.' I stopped watching most TV, and my life generally feels a lot more varied + fun, so I thought I'd offer that up.

    Good luck, yo!
    You, Never? Did the Kenosha Kid?

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    I've started several different posts in this thread, and I guess I don't know how to respond. So here are a couple of different responses


    The Pacers (and everything directly related to them) are a really big part of my life. When I think about the amount of time and money I have spent on the Pacers directly and indirectly - it is rather mind boggling. But you know what - I wouldn't trade one second of the time spent on the Pacers for something else, nor would I rather spend my money on anything else (oh, there is no doubt in my mind that I should)


    here is what I posted in the true and false section - I think it is worth repeating it here.

    I want them to win a championship and yet I love being a fan of the Pacers and it is something I wouldn't trade for anything. Being a fan has given me so much joy over the years, that I really cannot properly describe it. I love the process, I love the rumors of them finding a new coach, I love the draft lottery, I love the draft, I love the free agent signings, I love the trades, I love when the schedule is released in early August, I love the countdown to training camp, I love the first preseason game, I love the first regular season game. I love it all. Winning just makes it more fun.


    I want to end this post by saying something about life in general. When bad things happen in my life - I do two things (drink and argue with Jermaniac, no just kidding) . Really I do three things, turn to my faith in God, rely on my family and believe it or not when things are bad, I need the Pacers even more. What I mean by that is when I'm sad or depressed - nothing is better for me than to watch the Pacers - it doesn't solve my problems - but it sure helps me get through the problems.


    I don't know if any of this makes any sense or not

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    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    Good for you, Mal.

    One word of advice: go on a hour long walk at least 3 times a week, rain, snow or shine. the excercise improves your outlook, the mind has an hour to rest without looking at a screen or dealing with people in any way. Find the time to do this, and you will reach your other goals that much quicker.
    Good advice. I just took you up on your idea and walked through New Castle this past hour w/o my usual iPod accompaniment. It was nice. It's about 80 degrees out, sunny, a few clouds, warm but not hot. I enjoyed it.

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    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoupIsGood View Post
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    Good luck man

    What Jerm said is probably the best advice. When your team loses, just distract yourself and don't think about it much. But when they win, ride out those good mental vibes

    Cynicism is the worst. I mean it might be more in tune w/ reality (or not), but it really wears you down psychologically.

    I also agree w/ what LA said. Excercise is uncanny in it's ability to make a person feel better - even if it makes your body feel worse.

    And for a bit of strange advice from me: If you watch a lot of TV, try going w/o for awhile. Nowadays I only usually tune in for the occasional sporting event. And while I do kinda miss Scrubs sometimes, overall I really haven't missed watching TV. TV feels addicting in a strange way - but stop watching for a while and you really don't miss it. It opens up a lot of time to do stuff, too.

    But that could just be a 'me thing.' I stopped watching most TV, and my life generally feels a lot more varied + fun, so I thought I'd offer that up.

    Good luck, yo!
    Thanks for the advice. I actually just recently got to experience it first hand. Earlier this week I spent 3 hours just reading a book instead of channel surfing and sitting at the computer, and I truly enjoyed the difference. It was peaceful, relaxing, and the time seemed to go much slower (in a great way).

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    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I've started several different posts in this thread, and I guess I don't know how to respond. So here are a couple of different responses


    The Pacers (and everything directly related to them) are a really big part of my life. When I think about the amount of time and money I have spent on the Pacers directly and indirectly - it is rather mind boggling. But you know what - I wouldn't trade one second of the time spent on the Pacers for something else, nor would I rather spend my money on anything else (oh, there is no doubt in my mind that I should)


    here is what I posted in the true and false section - I think it is worth repeating it here.

    I want them to win a championship and yet I love being a fan of the Pacers and it is something I wouldn't trade for anything. Being a fan has given me so much joy over the years, that I really cannot properly describe it. I love the process, I love the rumors of them finding a new coach, I love the draft lottery, I love the draft, I love the free agent signings, I love the trades, I love when the schedule is released in early August, I love the countdown to training camp, I love the first preseason game, I love the first regular season game. I love it all. Winning just makes it more fun.


    I want to end this post by saying something about life in general. When bad things happen in my life - I do two things (drink and argue with Jermaniac, no just kidding) . Really I do three things, turn to my faith in God, rely on my family and believe it or not when things are bad, I need the Pacers even more. What I mean by that is when I'm sad or depressed - nothing is better for me than to watch the Pacers - it doesn't solve my problems - but it sure helps me get through the problems.


    I don't know if any of this makes any sense or not
    It does make sense. Now that I'm shifting my priorities, I can begin to do that again myself - taking joy in each moment of the year in regards to the Pacers, and not getting so worked up over the current bad; there's always something positive to take from it if you're looking for it. I completely get what you mean about looking forward to each new step: The schedule release, training camp, pre-season, etc. I used to be like that and now I look forward to feeling that way again now. It's a great thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jermaniac View Post
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    This is best advice someone can give you, try just not to give a ****. Remember that you watch the Pacers/Sports to get away from your problems not add on to your problems. When I was younger, if the Pacers or Titans would lose I felt like the world ended and I was sad for weeks. Now I could just care less, I watch sports because its fun, if my team wins YAY, if they dont ohh well I move on with my life and I worry about **** thats really impacting what I'm doing right now. Dont get me wrong I LOVE when they win, its just that right now it doesnt kill me when they dont.
    Co-signed. This was some of the best advice I was given. I was given this advice by many people after the Pacers fell to Detroit into the ECFs. I was devastated. It was the first year we had held season tickets and my heart broke when we lost that final game to Detroit and compounding it was their through butt kicking of the Lakers.
    Now I still care when they lose, but only in the sense that I enjoy dissecting why they lost and how they can improve. Some things are out of my control and I have tried to adjust to that.

    In conclusion, I wish you luck Hicks, I think you will find this relieves pressure in many areas of your life.

    “WE NEVER SURRENDER, WE NEVER GIVE UP, WE KEEP ATTACKING”- Frank Vogel
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    Boom Baby'er ABADays's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    Good for you, Mal.

    One word of advice: go on a hour long walk at least 3 times a week, rain, snow or shine. the excercise improves your outlook, the mind has an hour to rest without looking at a screen or dealing with people in any way. Find the time to do this, and you will reach your other goals that much quicker.
    Why don't you go on that walk with him LA. Where is the Professor Chaos laugh when you need it
    The best exercise of the human heart is reaching down and picking someone else up.

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    flexible and robust SoupIsGood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indy0731 View Post
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    Co-signed. This was some of the best advice I was given. I was given this advice by many people after the Pacers fell to Detroit into the ECFs. I was devastated. It was the first year we had held season tickets and my heart broke when we lost that final game to Detroit and compounding it was their through butt kicking of the Lakers.
    Now I still care when they lose, but only in the sense that I enjoy dissecting why they lost and how they can improve. Some things are out of my control and I have tried to adjust to that.
    Yeah, I sort of went through that after being at RCA to watch the Colts lose to the Steelers. It was just like WOW, that sucks - but then as I was walking out of RCA, I got to thinking, and realized that 1) I just had a crazy fun time and 2) there's always next year. From then on I've dealt w/ losing a lot better.
    You, Never? Did the Kenosha Kid?

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    Release Psycho T pwee31's Avatar
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    Another thing that could help is to follow other sports. Even if you don't necessarily like other sports or a certain team, try to find a team to pull for.

    Everyone will have a certain team/sport that will be above all the others, but it's nice to have a team to root for in all sports, b/c it sorta takes your mind off the disappointment of one team b/c you're right back rooting for another.

    Of course you still follow the offseason moves of your favorite, but if one team has a disappointing season, you'll be disappointed for awhile still, but you can look forward to the beginning of a new season with another team you root for.

    I'm a hometown guy so in the NBA/NFL it's the Pacers and Colts.
    I'm an IU grad so when it come to college bball/football/others I pull for the Hoosiers
    MLB I'm a Cubs fan, and pretty much every year is a disappointment, but it's fun to cheer and hope.

    I'm not really into hockey or Nascar, but I use to always be the Rangers on a sega genesis video game when I was younger, so I find myself pulling for the Rangers.. I don't really watch hockey, but it was fun to check the scores and see how they were doing during the season and playoffs!

    As for Nascar, I don't know much about racing, but I knew Jeff Gordon was an Indiana guy, so I pulled for him to win when i was younger... the Rainbow Warrior's meaning changes some when you get older, but I'll watch the end of races if he's in the running, and pull for him to win.

    It's just fun to have different avenues to root for.

    I know other sports might be boring to watch and all, but try to find a player or two that you like, and root for them. Even if you don't like the sport, just try to follow a particular team or person that intrigues you and try to cheer for them!

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    flexible and robust SoupIsGood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
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    Thanks for the advice. I actually just recently got to experience it first hand. Earlier this week I spent 3 hours just reading a book instead of channel surfing and sitting at the computer, and I truly enjoyed the difference. It was peaceful, relaxing, and the time seemed to go much slower (in a great way).
    Nice! Which book?

    I try to do the same kind of thing. Whenever I get stressed out, I usually take a 10-15 min break and grab some fiction or (and this might be revealing too much of the English major in me ) some poetry. It's really nice.
    You, Never? Did the Kenosha Kid?

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    Cheeseburger in Paradise Los Angeles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABADays View Post
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    Why don't you go on that walk with him LA. Where is the Professor Chaos laugh when you need it
    Bilbo Baggins has nothin' on me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
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    Thanks for the advice. I actually just recently got to experience it first hand. Earlier this week I spent 3 hours just reading a book instead of channel surfing and sitting at the computer, and I truly enjoyed the difference. It was peaceful, relaxing, and the time seemed to go much slower (in a great way).
    I'm not sure if you're religious at all, but there's a book entitled 'The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren. It's a really good read, and the book is made out to where you only read a chapter a day, and the end of each chapters leaves you with things to ponder each day! Even if you're not religious, I would recommend the book. It really gives you another outlook on life!

  25. #25
    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwee31 View Post
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    Another thing that could help is to follow other sports. Even if you don't necessarily like other sports or a certain team, try to find a team to pull for.

    Everyone will have a certain team/sport that will be above all the others, but it's nice to have a team to root for in all sports, b/c it sorta takes your mind off the disappointment of one team b/c you're right back rooting for another.

    Of course you still follow the offseason moves of your favorite, but if one team has a disappointing season, you'll be disappointed for awhile still, but you can look forward to the beginning of a new season with another team you root for.

    I'm a hometown guy so in the NBA/NFL it's the Pacers and Colts.
    I'm an IU grad so when it come to college bball/football/others I pull for the Hoosiers
    MLB I'm a Cubs fan, and pretty much every year is a disappointment, but it's fun to cheer and hope.

    I'm not really into hockey or Nascar, but I use to always be the Rangers on a sega genesis video game when I was younger, so I find myself pulling for the Rangers.. I don't really watch hockey, but it was fun to check the scores and see how they were doing during the season and playoffs!

    As for Nascar, I don't know much about racing, but I knew Jeff Gordon was an Indiana guy, so I pulled for him to win when i was younger... the Rainbow Warrior's meaning changes some when you get older, but I'll watch the end of races if he's in the running, and pull for him to win.

    It's just fun to have different avenues to root for.

    I know other sports might be boring to watch and all, but try to find a player or two that you like, and root for them. Even if you don't like the sport, just try to follow a particular team or person that intrigues you and try to cheer for them!
    I consider myself a Colts fan. It doesn't stack up to my Pacer fandom, but nonetheless I was very happy to see them break through this year and win it all; I've watched them for a few years now.

    Baseball bores me, but I may give it another shot sometime. For a while as a kid I thought I was a Cubs fan, but I've never cared that much. So... who should I pick? You fans of various baseball teams want to try to recruit me? Might be fun.

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