Confessions Of A Wreckless Schadenfreudist
Even though my beloved Texas Rangers compete against 14 other teams in the American League (four of whom are in their own division) for one of five prized playoff spots, the only other one of those teams I really pay any attention to these days are the aforementioned Angels.
Going into this 2013 season, the Angels were already the Rangers’ most bitter rival, but that bitterness reached an all new level when Josh Hamilton left Arlington for Anaheim. For years, the team most hated by just about every Ranger fan has been the New York Yankees, but the Angels are now viewed with just as much vitriol – if not more.
Even the highest-profile of Ranger fans have been vocal about reveling in the Angels’ early-season struggles, including Jamey Newberg himself, who ends such schadenfreudic Tweets with the hashtag #gauche (since adopted by many @NewbergReport followers, including yours truly).
But simply enjoying the Angels’ failures isn’t problematic in and of itself. It only becomes an issue when letting that enjoyment become an obsession. And I crossed that line Friday morning, when rolling out of bed and turning on my smartphone to see a brief alert from ESPN ScoreCenter notifying me that Zack Greinke’s collarbone had been broken during a bench-clearing brawl the night before.
Still groggy from having just woken up, my brain wasn’t focused enough to remember the fact that Greinke no longer plays for the Angels. Plus, I was in too big a hurry to throw another log on the schadenfreude bonfire with some (what I thought would be) hilarious Tweets. I immediately remembered an article Jonah Keri wrote on Grantland the day before, titled “Loss of Damaged Weaver Could Be an Angel Blessing”
That article seemed to me such a ridiculous premise, I couldn’t help but reference it upon learning of Greinke’s injury. Here is the extremely ill-advised (and ill-informed) Tweet I fired off without thinking:
- Awaiting today’s Grantland piece from @jonahkeri on how the Zack Greinke injury is actually a great thing for the Angels #sequel #weaver
In my mind, I thought, “Boom! Roasted!” – but it turns out I wasn’t just mentally quoting Michael Scott…I was ACTUALLY BEING him.
Jonah Keri quite magnanimously chose not to issue the Twitter evisceration I so deservedly had brought on myself. His response was simply this:
- @SDIBob difference is LAD pitching doesn’t suck
Needless to say, I learned my lesson, and decided the only way to make things right would be to publicly throw myself on the sword via the following Tweet:
Sometimes, the rush to force a joke comes back and bites you in the ass. My butt cheeks have quite a few more teeth marks than most. #mark
So, let my schadenfreudic recklessness be a cautionary tale for all you other Ranger fans who enjoy seeing things go poorly for the Angels. Focusing too much on the misfortunes of others can lead to misfortunes of your own.