The perils of being a sports fan

If you bought season tickets to see a team and thought that the team would make your dreams come true because of your investment or that the players would be there forever, sorry.

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Kahleah Copper is the only starter remaining from the Sky’s 2021 WNBA title team.

Kahleah Copper is the only starter remaining from the Sky’s 2021 WNBA title team.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Something happened in my brain Sunday. An axiom about professional sports was reinforced by the doings in three sports.

They were, in no particular order, baseball, women’s basketball and hockey.

What was the axiom reinforced?

There were several, actually, but the main one was this: Buyer beware.

If you’re a Latin enthusiast or fan of the English Sale of Goods Act from 1893, the operative term is caveat emptor. You know, like you buy a used car and find out 50 miles later that the crankcase is filled with sawdust. Oops, sucks for you.

First off, the White Sox won a game. That was startling.

Having lost 10 in a row before their 12-9 victory against the Rays and being 13 games below .500 after only 29 games, the Sox already might be out of contention for postseason play. And postseason play doesn’t start for a half-year.

The victory was a sarcastic cheer for ineptitude, a reminder that even a quality team such as the Rays screws up occasionally. It was also a wispy reminder that the Sox were supposed to be good this season.

Why are they bad? Injuries, blown leads, blown saves, underachieving, lack of leadership, stupidity, false hope, bad luck.

We could go on, but why bother?

Then there is the Sky. Just 19 months ago, they were WNBA champions and had a roster that got us thinking seriously about women’s hoops, dynasties and all kinds of crazy stuff.

Candace Parker, Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley, Azura Stevens, Stefanie Dolson, Diamond DeShields — we could dig it. Started buying their jerseys for little kids. Learned about new stuff, such as two starting guards married to each other. Expanded horizons.

Then — poof! — all gone. Every one of them. Every starter except Kahleah Copper.

Why? Lots of reasons. Call it money and that basic rebuild thing. Nothing new. But it’s still disturbing.

It reminds us that, as somebody once said of pro sports, you’re rooting for laundry.

Then we have the Bruins.

Now I’m not one ever to cheer for anything that has to do with Boston sports — something about all those professors writing Red Sox poetry and Tom Brady with the Patriots — but I feel pity for Boston hockey fans today.

The Bruins had the most victories (65) and most points (135) by any team in NHL history during the regular season. And they lost in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs to the Panthers — at home, in Game 7, in overtime, after leading the series 3-1.

‘‘Right now it’s hard to process anything,’’ captain Patrice Bergeron said afterward.

All those Boston fans expecting a cruise to the championship were left stunned by what is statistically the biggest upset in Stanley Cup playoff history. It’s enough to make Ben Affleck and sidekick Matt Damon start babbling in proper English.

I said the axiom reinforced in my brain was ‘‘buyer beware.’’ And it is. If you had expectations of a pro team fulfilling your dreams, these are the nightmares that could replace it.

The betrayals are the reminder we need that pro teams are businesses and not fantasies. They have the name of your city or area attached to their name, but they are not owned by that city or area and don’t care about you except as a consumer.

Consumers are important, of course. Critical. But they should be informed. If you bought season tickets to see any of the aforementioned teams and thought that the teams would make your dreams come true because of your investment or that the players would be there forever, sorry.

Another axiom is that upsets occur in sports. And trades. And people getting hurt. These are facts fans must process.

It doesn’t matter what people representing the teams say. Sox slugger Eloy Jimenez came in this season having lost 25 pounds and was declared fit and trim.

‘‘He is in extremely good shape,’’ manager Pedro Grifol said.

Then Jimenez went on the 10-day injured list with a strained hamstring.

Imagine you were once a fan of the Oakland Raiders. Then your team moved to Los Angeles. Then it moved back to Oakland. Then, in 2020, it moved to Las Vegas.

Do you feel bad about your ‘‘hometown’’ Oakland Raiders tattoos? Your L.A. man cave decked out like a dungeon? Your statues of Fred Biletnikoff and Ray Guy?

We learn as we live. I relearned a bunch Sunday.

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