HAPPY DAYS

John Granato: Scientific proof that being a sports fan makes your life better

Want to be happier? Be a sports fan. Bob Levey/Getty Images

If you’re reading this you must be a sports fan. I’m a sports fan. Always have been. In the greater scheme of things we aren’t changing the world are we? The academic world looks down its collective nose at us and maybe deservedly so. We’re not exactly curing cancer. But you know what? We’re probably happier than someone who is.

When you break down your life you can do it in seven parts - the days of the week. Let’s assume we all live until the ripe old age of 70. Some of us will live longer, some not, but let’s use that nice round number.

If you live until you’re 70, 10 years of your life is Mondays. That’s 3,650 crappy days. That’s a sad thought. Mondays flat out suck. It’s a scientific fact. If you doubt this you should listen to some of the songs that are dedicated to Mondays: Blue Monday, Manic Monday, Rainy Days and Monday, I don’t like Mondays.  These are just a few. There are a lot more.

It’s not even arguable.

Mondays suck.

But not if you’re a sports fan.

For non-sports fans what do they have to look forward to on Mondays? Nothing. If you are a sports fan you’ve got plenty. There are 16 weeks a year that have Monday Night Football and this year there are 26 Rockets and Astros Mondays that don’t fall on MNF nights. There are also five Mondays that are holidays so let’s just say that there are on average around 45 of 52 Mondays a year that there is something to look forward to for sports fans.

Therefore over the course of 70 years there are really only about 490 really crappy days. Of course that’s the most optimistic of scenarios. Are we content when our team plays, win or lose? Are we really happy if our team gets beat? Probably not.

Over their history the Astros have won about 50% of their games. We’ll just have to assume they win at that pace on Mondays as well.

The Rockets are a little better but not much. They’ve played .524 ball over their history. Let’s assume then that the two teams would lose on average 12 of those 26 Monday games.  Now we’re down to 33 good and 19 crappy Mondays a year. That’s just over 1,300 crappy Mondays for sports fans who live until they’re 70.

Non-sports fans?  They do get those five holidays. They probably read a good book some of those Mondays too. I can’t imagine they go out and have any fun on Mondays. They are above all that. Their work is too important to risk a hangover. Let’s say they have 10 good Mondays a year. That’s 2.940 crappy Mondays in their lives.

That’s a pretty big number and we haven’t even gotten to Tuesday yet. Truth be told, Monday gets a bad rap. Tuesday? There aren’t songs written about Tuesday but it sucks even worse. Granted, you’re closer to the weekend on Tuesday but it’s by far the worst sports day of the week.

Unless you go to a MAC school there’s no football to look forward to and looking at their attendance MAC people aren’t really thrilled about their football either. The Astros and Rockets play about 30 Tuesdays a year. We can assume they’ll lose 14 of those so we’ve got 36 crappy Tuesdays a year or 2,500 total in our 70 years on earth.

Non-sports fan? I’m sure there’s an opera or play or something boring those people enjoy some Tuesdays. We’ll give them five good Tuesdays a year which means they have around 3,300 crappy Tuesdays over their 70 year lives. Another big number.

Same pretty much goes for Wednesday. Hump day. Whatever. Wednesdays suck too. So let’s throw another 2,500 crappy days on the fire for sports fans. Another 3,300 for the other side.  

Let’s check in on our scoreboard:

                                          Sports fans        Non-sports fans

Crappy Mondays:           1300                  2940

Crappy Tuesdays:           2500                 3300

Crappy Wednesdays:     2500                 3300

                                      ____ ____

Total Crappy Days:         6300                9540


We’re up by over 3,200. That’s an ass kicking.

So what about the rest of the days?

In my mind there are very few if any bad days from Thursday through Sunday. If you ever go out on Thursday you know it’s a hot night. It’s the unofficial start of the weekend. You can drink because you know you’ve got an easy day ahead. You can go in hung over or even still drunk.

Not much gets done on Fridays in the business world. Honestly, who puts any effort into Friday’s work day? If you do you’re far too driven. Even nerds who don’t like sports know that. The whole day is spent looking forward to getting out of whatever job you have and getting the weekend started.

The weekend? There’s no such thing as a bad weekend. If you don’t like sports you don’t have anything good to watch but at least you don’t have to go to your boring job where you’re boring everyone talking about work instead of sports. I’m sure you think you’re having fun but the rest of us pity you and your non-sports conversation.

In your non-sports life you didn’t celebrate the Rockets championships in the 90’s or the Astros last year, or the Texans… Did I mention the Astros last year?

You don’t know what a slider is or an off sides means. You think traveling is something you do in a car not what James does every time he drives the lane.

And then there’s that curing cancer thing. Yeah. It’s an important job. But how many days are you trying to find that cure and failing. Days? It’s more like years. Failing time and again. Over and over, year after year.

Even if you do succeed and have a huge breakthrough that’s just one successful day. One day versus all those crappy failed days. Not exactly a great batting average is it?

Yeah you cured cancer but at what price? Your happiness.

Give me a beer, some peanuts and a ballgame over that miserable existence any day.

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Many of the games have been hard to watch. Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

They say that breaking up is hard to do, then comes the rebuilding, and that's where the real pain happens. Last week, the 4-9 Rockets lost a tough game, 103-91, to the very average San Antonio Spurs at Toyota Center. That night, Ben McLemore scored 21 points, while P.J. Tucker contributed four points.

Every other point for the Rockets was scored by a player who wasn't on the team last year. That's no way to build a fan base of young people, or older people, or anybody. Because of COVID restrictions, the Rockets can sell only 3,000 tickets to games, and they're still having to offer special deals like four tickets and four drinks (soda, water, wine or beer) for $79.

The night the Rockets fell to the Spurs, DeMarcus Cousins was out with an ankle injury (surprise), John Wall was out with a sore knee (shock), and Eric Gordon sat with a lower leg injury (stunning). They were not sidelined by COVID protocol, it was age creakiness. All three are on the other side of 30. All have a history of missing games because of injuries. Danuel House also missed the game because of a bad back and COVID protocol.

The Rockets took to the floor with able-bodied Mason Jones, David Nwaba, Rodions Kurucs, Kenyon Martin Jr., Jae'Sean Tate and Christian Wood. They're nice players, for sure, they're on an NBA roster. But the NBA is a megastar-driven operation. How many of them would you recognize if they were standing behind you at Costco? The way the Rockets sign, trade and cut players, many or most of the current roster won't be around next year. Becoming a fan of a current Rocket is like falling in love with the Rug Doctor you rented for the weekend at a supermarket. It's going back Monday.

Last year, the head coach was Mike D'Antoni, the general manager was Daryl Morey. Both are established and respected figures in the league. Would you recognize the Rockets new coach Stephen Silas? Can you even name the Rockets new general manager?

And that's how you sink to 14th place in the Western Conference standings, inevitably a lottery team, the end to the Rockets' eight-year run of making the playoffs … the longest current streak in the NBA. The 2021 Rockets aren't just a lousy product, it's worse, they're a boring team. Gordon and Tucker, maybe the two most popular Rockets veterans, are rumored to be traded soon. Fans will have abandonment issues.

Maybe the Rockets should offer something stiffer than beer on "Guys Night Out" next Thursday when the Portland Trail Blazers visit Toyota Center. Good seats available.

That's not what you want to see

Did you see where the New York Mets fired their general manager Jared Porter because he sent explicit, uninvited, unanswered text messages to a female reporter?. Porter absolutely deserved to lose his job. What he did was awful and cruel. More than just losing his job, he should be committed to a home for the terminally stupid. Who does something that moronic? So unconscionable and abusive, on top of being job-killing.

But not all junk shots are meant to be hurtful – here's one that's actually funny, and totally inadvertent and innocent. Several years ago, a local sportscaster not only took a photo of his naked, anatomically correct body, he posted it on Facebook for all of his friends, indeed the world, to see. I won't name the local sportscaster because he was the victim of his own innocent lack of focus. It could have happened to anybody. Not me, thankfully, but anybody else.

Here's how it happened. The sportscaster was taking a shower, and when he emerged, he noticed his kitten curled up in the bathroom sink. Aw, isn't that cute? The sportscaster grabbed his phone and took a photo.

And posted it on Facebook. He didn't notice that, in the background of the photo, in the mirror, was his naked body. You can't say he was butt naked because it was full frontal nudity. You can't say it was a wardrobe malfunction because there was no wardrobe involved. Fortunately his wife noticed the mishap and told the sportscaster to delete the photo.

Here's the real problem, and his solid alibi. Whoever thought it was a good idea to put huge, wide mirrors in the bathroom, especially opposite the bath tub? There's a good look, you're naked, dripping wet, with patches of soap you missed rinsing off. This should be a fleeting disturbing image, not one to be preserved on film or online. Solution: don't bring your phone, or any photographic equipment, into the bathroom. We've all taken accidental photos. Nobody needs to see a photo of your disgusting body. You are not Michelangelo's statue of David. I don't let my dog watch me take a shower or any other business conducted in the bathroom. There is a reason that bathroom doors have locks. Use them.

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