I used to be worse.
I used to watch Dodger games with the tension reserved for sitting in a dentist's chair. Good plays? No reaction — they were to be expected.
Bad plays? Big reaction — cussing, yelling, hitting the occasional piece of furniture. My dog would run away cowering.
One day, Mrs. Orel put her foot down. She was beginning to dread gametime because, quite frankly, I was being an asshole.
The point was driven home during football season. A television at our health club was showing the Patriots game. A personal trainer — an employee of the club, mind you — was vociferously rooting for the Pats.
I didn't see this, but my wife says she approached him.
"Could you please just lower it a decibel? I can hear you through my headphones."
He turned on her, yelling.
"What's your problem? I'm watching the game!"
That person is no longer an employee of the club.
I don't want to be that guy. So, I've learned to relax. After all, watching a game should be as fun as playing it. Defeat is simply an uncontrollable outcome, not a personal shortcoming.
I still live and die with the Dodgers, but with a different perspective now. Losses may feel like the end of the world, but it isn't difficult to find something much more real to worry about. One click to CNN.com usually does the trick.
Some things haven't changed. It's still easier to get to sleep on nights the Dodgers win. Dodger losses still cause countless what-if scenarios.
But my dog is a lot happier.