King Kaufman's always-excellent column has an interview with Will Leitch of Deadspin. Normally, I'd just click the ol' X button, but I read it, and found this part particularly interesting. So just passin' it along...
If I meet Jim Edmonds on the street -- I love Jim Edmonds, he was one of my favorite Cardinals. But if I met him, he wouldn't like me and I wouldn't like him. And I think that's OK. I'm not sure that that means I have any less of a connection to Jim Edmonds, frankly.
I think it's the opposite of that. My connection to Jim Edmonds is much more pure. He's not a human being to me. The only way I can revere him the way I do is for him not to be a human being.
That's why personally I'm always confused by the obsession with getting autographs and memorabilia and that stuff. To me it's more of an ethereal thing, the connection between a fan and a team.
I mean, if you really think about what it means to be a sports fan, it's completely illogical. It makes no sense. It does not make sense for me to be so devoted to the St. Louis Cardinals. They've never done anything to me. I think I met Whitey Herzog once at a book signing when I was 9. I'm sure I was just one of the people who annoyed him at the table by asking too many questions while he was trying to chew tobacco.
It's illogical. They don't care. But if you start letting that stuff get you, you just won't be able to enjoy sports at all. I think there's a certain, I wouldn't say delusion, I'd say it's more of an understanding of what the context of sports actually is.