A rap artist whom I feel is one of the more underrated of his time is Ja Rule, who often wrote songs about how love is pain, or as he put it, pain is love.

The statement is true on so many levels, even a shallow, yet complicated, level like being a sports fan (a fan of anything, really).

See, sports fans are dedicated. And I’m talking about the true sports fans. The ones who root for their team always, no matter how pathetic they are. They don’t jump on bandwagons and root for the trendy team (like today’s Miami Heat fans, for example. You all know it’s true).

But this is where things get dicey. You want people to know how dedicated you are. We all have that friend who yells too much at the TV or talks too much about their team throughout the days (most people who know me probably would put me in that category, and rightfully so).

This time of year is always a good time for even the die-hards to remember what really matters. It’s important not to let your team’s success affect you while spending time with family.

True, sometimes people don’t understand how much it means to you. But in the grand scheme of things, there isn’t a whole lot fans can do about it.

Pain is love, but that’s a good thing. If you have pain about losing something, it means you truly care, and that’s all anyone can really ask. When athetes lose a ball game, then act like it never happened, something is off. The truly great athletes don’t want to lose. To them, that is pain. While it’s important not to go overboard (there is a balance to everything), it also can be indicative of how much you care. Sometimes that balance can drive you crazy, especially when you come across fans who are fake or pretend to care, but don’t at all.

See how difficult it is to be a true sports fan?

I’m just saying.