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10 Depressing Things Every Sports Fan Realizes In Their 20s

There is no doubt - your 20s are an incredible decade. Many people finish up their education, officially join the workforce, get married, have children, and learn a great deal about themselves with each passing year. There is no denying - your life drastically changes from the day you turn 20 until the day you turn 30. Most of it is good. But there are times when you'll long for the past.

For us sports fanatics, there are a number of things we often don't realize until the decade has passed. Some are the result of age. Some are the result of new responsibilities. Regardless, here is a list of 10 depressing things that every sports fan realizes by the end of their 20s - if not earlier.

1. "Sunday Funday" Gets Harder To Recover From Every Football Season

What's "Sunday Funday" you ask? It's the concept that on NFL Sunday, you need to head out to the bars with your buddies and drink for hours while watching football. Maybe there is beer pong involved. Maybe there is flip cup involved. Maybe it's also an excuse to meet girls (or guys).

When you're 22, you probably watch the early games, the afternoon games and the Sunday night game before heading home. When you're 25, the triple-header becomes a bit too much. By the time you're near 30, you stop by for wings for an hour and call it a day. Why? Because getting up for work the day after binge drinking eventually loses its charm.

2. Going Back To A Game At Your Alma Mater Is Not The Same

I've written an entire article about this, but here's the gist: You have to actually buy tickets. You can't sit in the student section anymore. You have to pay for a place to sleep. The bar scene is completely different each year. And lastly, you feel old in comparison to the undergrads. You'll be hard-pressed to find someone who has returned to their alma mater and not experienced at least half of what I just listed.

That doesn't mean you can't have a great time - I still enjoy going to college games. But there is a point when you realize that things just aren't the same. You don't personally know any of the guys on the team anymore - you can't high-five them on campus after a win. You're a visitor in your "home" stadium.

3. Your "Athletic Career" Hopes Fade Away

Every single sports fan at some point has daydreamed about nailing a game-winning 3-pointer, hitting a walk-off home run, or catching a Hail Mary with no time on the clock. Sports fans are competitive people - as much as they love watching their favorite athletes do their thing, they secretly (or not so secretly) wish it was them instead. 

At some point in your 20s, you start to realize that your professional athletic career is just not going to happen. You aren't going to grow a foot taller, shave a second off of your 40-yard-dash time or learn how to hit a 95 mile-per-hour fastball overnight. In fact, the only sports career you even have a realistic shot at launching after the age of 24 is becoming a golfer, which might be the most difficult of them all. It's a sad but true reality for us all.

4. The Salaries That Athletes Make Are Actually Crazy

Before you actually join the workforce, get out there and try to make it on your own, you have a warped view of the real value of money. But after you start seeing your measly paycheck hit your bank account each week, it really hits home just how much some of these athletes make. It's tough to show up for work every day after learning that Peyton Manning, at one point in his career, made over $1 million per game.

That's not to say that some of the athletes don't deserve it. Many make a huge impact for their organizations and are actually worth the crazy high salaries they're paid. But the first time you realize how much more they're making than you to play a game that they love, it's a tad bit depressing.

5. Your Boss Does Not Care About Your Sports Obsession

In college, you made your own schedule. You could skip class if you wanted to. You could watch sports morning, day and night. You were free. After college, you have to show up to work on time, every single weekday. If you're home by 7 P.M., you're lucky. And you certainly aren't watching television while working.

No, sadly, your boss does not give a crap about the Masters, March Madness, the World Cup, the Cubs game, or whatever else is going on in the sports world. He wants his company to make money, and you watching sporting events does not fit into that plan. You can try to sneak it, but at some point you realize that losing your job because you can't watch Chicago lose its 90th game of the season is probably not worth it.

6. The Person You Marry Probably Doesn't Either

Ok, fine, for some of you who are lucky, this might not be true. But the majority of us will marry someone whose sports fandom is nowhere near the same level as ours. That's probably both a good thing and a bad thing. 

That doesn't mean that you can't live your own life, root for your teams and do your best to watch all of the games you can. But it does mean that you may be doing it alone - at least from a 'significant other' point of view. He or she is probably not going to find it acceptable if you're in a bad mood all night because your favorite team lost. Such is life.

7. Naming An Intramural Sports Team A Sexual Innuendo Is No Longer Funny

We've all played on intramural sports teams. And we've all taken a look at the league standings at some point and seen the name "Balls Deep" on there - usually sitting in last place. Ditto on "KC Upper Deckers", "Pitch Slap" and "Swingers". If you're just out of college, you can probably mentally handle being on a team with one of these names. But by the time you're near 30, it's gotten a bit ridiculous. 

I'm not saying that by the end of the decade you'll be playing on a team full of saints and offering the other team Capri Sun pouches after the game. But your goals will eventually change - you'll go from hoping that you have the best team name in the league to hoping you'll be able to play every Saturday.

8. Tailgating Becomes More About Your Cornhole Skills, Not Your Chugging Skills

Tailgating - especially for college football games - is awesome. On many campuses, students are able to walk to the parking lot and stadium right from wherever they live. The fact that they don't have to drive home allows them to drink all day without having to worry about getting home safely. That's both a positive and a negative, depending upon how you look at things.

After college, tailgating is not quite as one-dimensional. Sure, you still get to have a few beers with your buddies, but you often wind up focusing more on the grill and activities like cornhole. Don't get me wrong, cornhole is awesome, but the days of getting plastered with no regard for anything else in the world are over.

9. Watching 3-4 Hours Of SportsCenter Per Day Is No Longer Humanly Possible

Most of us grew up watching SportsCenter. I remember being asked by my parents how it was possible to watch the same show three times in a row. While I'm still not sure of the answer, I am sure that it's no longer possible for most of us to do it every day. At some point, between work, sleeping, eating and socializing, you just run out of time in a 24-hour day.

In your 20s, you'll slowly see the amount of time you spend watching SportsCenter - and sports, for that matter, diminish. And once you have a kid, forget about it. The next time you turn on ESPN will be because your kid wants to watch a game, not you.

10. The Majority Of The Athletes Are Now Younger Than You

This is easily the most depressing of all. When you begin your 20s, almost every professional athlete is older than you - the exceptions being the NBA freaks who were drafted at the age of 19. By the end of your 20s, the majority of professional athlete are younger than you - the exceptions being the stars who have had successful careers.

Heck, some of the players who you went to college with have already been drafted, had short careers, and have now retired. It's a harsh reality. Some people feel weird rooting for a team full of players born when they were in grade school - maybe not enough to stop caring, but enough to take some of the luster off. 

Agree? Disagree? Let us know.