Feb 142011

“Suffering Succotash!”

On Magnificent Sufferers

By Rich Lindbloom

In his book, Perpetual Euphoria, Pascal Bruckner invites us to consider what he termed our “pitiless idol of happiness.” Mr. Bruckner noted “We can be un-afflicted without being euphoric. Amid great havoc we can have moments of unprecedented ecstasy.” (The 6-3 comeback win over the Predators for instance) Pausing to reflect on a season that perhaps is defined so far by the words  “great havoc,” on the surface I think I was a lot happier last year when we were 20 games above .500 at this juncture in the season.

I’m convinced people jump on the band wagons in various sports to get a fix of happiness – a jolt of ephemeral joy. After the fix wears off, we tend to search for the next “high” that we are convinced only winning can produce. Where do you go after you win the Stanley Cup? Winning can be a very elusive, false idol. As we are starting to experience, happiness junkies in sports tend to suffer severe withdrawal symptoms when things head south. They try their hardest to remain optimistic, but soon are reduced to a fault finding bag of complaints. (Wah! I want my Maypo.) On the other hand, Chicago Cub fans are an anomaly – and would no doubt fall into a category Mr. Bruckner calls “magnificent sufferers.” Hawk fans, that could very well be our fate this year. Continue reading »