Being a sports superfan, while not an identity I personally claim, certainly seems to have some emotional components that I can relate to. For example, when Seattle Seahawks superfan Alex Hughes received a surprise Christmas gift from his beloved team, my lack of sports obsession didn't prevent me from getting some pretty legit tears in my eyes along with him. Grown-ups have way fewer opportunities to have face-melting, "life is too awesome to handle right now", moments of genuine surprise and overwhelming joy than kids do. So when they come around, it's pretty wonderfully life-affirming. My disinterest in watching dudes run into each other on a field did nothing to keep me from empathizing my face off while watching this guy dissolve into a bowled-over puddle of shock. Feelings: Let's have some together!
Here's the story: Back in November, Hughes, who is from Tulsa, Oklahoma, traveled to Kansas City to see the Seahawks. While hitting the ultra hip and happening Kansas City bar scene the night before the game, the husband and father started talking to a girl (*side-eye* I SEE YOU, HUGHES.) who asked to take a picture with him wearing his Seahawks jersey (because naturally he was wearing it; superfans literally have their jerseys super glued to their bodies. That's where the "super" in "superfan" comes from, according to science*.) Turns out, the woman was the girlfriend of Seahawks running back Robert Turbin.
After snapping a picture together, Alex asked if he could maybe meet Turbin after the game the following day, which The Girlfriend (hmm, I'm having vague, feminist feelings about her not even getting a name in any account I've read of this story, but let's push past it) agreed to. But Hughes, being a dumbass (sorry but I mean, get it together, bro), let his phone die at the game and they never met up. He went home disappointed. That is, until a month later, when a big box printed with the Seahawks' logo showed up at his door. The rest plays out in pretty adorable fashion here:
Side note: As the intrepid keeper of my own 2-year-old, I felt mad solidarity the minute Hughes' kid said "no, I do it" when his dad tried to help him open the box. Those exact words haunt every toddler parent's nightmares. (My son says literally those same words in literally that same voice, usually before he proceeds to make my life tedious as hell for awhile.) For the uninitiated, let me explain what's on the other side of that seemingly innocuous utterance: Once the "no, I do it" has been laid down and the toddler beast is engaged in a task, trying to help them will definitely result in a catastrophic emotional meltdown. It's only ever calm on the surface with these tiny monsters. Notice how Alex, as excited as he is, immediately and unquestioningly sits back and lets his son take for-goddamn-ever to open the box. There is no excitement known to man that can overpower the desire to prevent a toddler meltdown. I might not care about football, but I was very much with this dude on every part of this box-opening journey.
*not science of any kind at all