The joys of watching sports without a rooting interest

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 09: Johnathan Loyd #10 of the Oregon Ducks holds the ball as he is guarded by Ty Abbott #3 of the Arizona State Sun Devils in the second half in the first round of the 2011 Pacific Life Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament at Staples Center on March 9, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)


Sometimes it is more fun to watch sports when your favorite team is not playing. Yes, it is fun to watch your favorite team play, but watching a favorite team in a crucial game is often filled with stress and anxiety.

While most, if not all, Arizona State fans would like to watch the Sun Devils play basketball in March, I have found it somewhat refreshing to watch the NCAA Tournament without any rooting interest whatsoever.

Watching March Madness while cheering for no particular team allows fans to get caught up in the beauty, or madness, that annually comes with the men’s basketball championship. The majority of these games have absurd, stressful and inexplicable endings for the players, coaches and fans of the teams playing.

However, for the casual fan the endings of the games are pure excitement, enjoyment and bliss.

In addition to not dealing with the stresses of watching your team play in the tournament, fans of teams on the outside also have the advantage of not having to deal with the heartbreak of defeat. Let’s face it 67 teams lose at some point in the tournament and the feeling is always the same and it is always miserable.

Watching basketball in March without cheering for a particular team may be enjoyable and refreshing, but I do have a feeling that it will get old.

At some point in time the Sun Devils do need to make a run for the tournament and be part of March Madness. The stress of the tournament and the misery of the defeat may be tough to deal with and may be emotions that no one wants to experience, but Sun Devil fans also deserve to experience the joy and satisfaction of seeing “Arizona State University” flash across the screen on Selection Sunday.

The Sun Devils have not been to the tournament since 2006, meaning ASU fans have had ample time to enjoy watching the tournament without a rooting interest.

It is still too early to tell how good next year’s team will be, but ASU fans are hoping to see Trent Lockett, Jahii Carson, and Herb Sendek at the big dance next season.

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