I confess that I root for sports teams. And when they have good seasons, I get that peculiar vicarious pleasure from their successes. The world would be a better place if people weren't able to get so involved with teams that they do not play on, don't own and don't manage, but it takes some real willpower to avoid seeking these surreal strange satisfactions.
Now when they do badly – and I'm talking about the New York Mets here – I don't suffer too much. Instead my heart goes out to the Mets announcers on the New York City station, WFAN. I know that the success of the Mets has a direct effect on how many people listen to the station for the entire year, and directly affects the raises, bonuses, and opportunities for outside income of all the sports radio people at the station. They get quite surly when the Mets fail to play up to their potential, fail to fire a bad manager or make poor trades. There's nothing vicarious about it when they root for the Mets!
But here's what I really want to mention today. I'm getting the same vicarious sports-fan pleasure by rooting for IBM against SCO. This is a long campaign, a lawsuit likely to stretch from 2003 to mid-2007. There have been ups and downs, some great pitched battles and a few big wins. And SCO has made a number of interesting trades! But I and my co-fans root hard, give the team lots of advice, and right now we feel like we've just gotten into the playoffs. You can keep your pitchers and quarterbacks. I'll take a few fine lawyers and judges and hit to right.