Last Sunday was great for Tennis lovers. After many years, two legends, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, were facing each other for the title of Australian Open Men's singles.
All Most of us were glued to our television sets for more than three and a half hours and watched Federer win the title in an epic five setter match. No no, I am not going to write about the game, I am no expert of the game. I am not even going to write about the players, for there is nothing new I can add to the thousands of words written about these two great players.
When the match started I promised my husband that I would buy him dinner if Federer won. As the match progressed my shouts for Federer became louder and louder whenever he won a point. When he missed scoring a point my 'Ohhs and Aahs' were of the same volume. I was so involved cheering, keeping my fingers crossed all through the fourth set that a casual question by my husband didn't register at that time. Seeing me so engrossed in the match and (I think) observing my slightly vicious statements towards Nadal (hope he misses to pick this one, has a double fault etc etc), he casually asked me 'Why Federer? Why not Nadal?'. (I must add here that he was watching this without a care as to who wins, just enjoying the game).
I told him the first thing that came to my mind - Both are legends, both deserve to win, I do not know either of them personally but only through pictures and articles. But I like Federer better (and in my mind I had all the reasons - he has a more gracious body language, charming smile and I have never read a bad article about him, he deserves it more). Also because if you are rooting for a particular person for any reason (game, looks, may be what you have read about them, watched in play more often...), you are more involved in the game. Sometimes there is not even a valid reason for choosing one over the other, but just... I always have a favorite (mostly the underdog, but that is a story for another day). Unashamedly I admit I take sides. I prefer one over the other and the reasons vary from person to person.
This way I make it more interesting for myself. If I did not care who won then the fifty percent chance of being more happy when my chosen person won wouldn't be there. And I also know I risk the same for feeling sad if the reverse happened! But I want to take that risk. For me almost all people/things that I haven't invested in emotionally mean nothing to me. I do not like to be a fence sitter and deny myself to feel extreme emotions. This is true for me in many spheres of life not only in sports.
Do you prefer one over the other? Why?
And think equally hard if it doesn't matter to you who loses or wins? Why?
P.S. - Yes, I owe my husband a dinner. And I am glad for it, for I won, or that is how I feel :)