Mike Trout's favorite offseason pastime also creates a certain kind of personal hell.
Trout, the Los Angeles Angels All-Star and three-time American League Most Valuable Player, is among the most notable celebrity fans of the Philadelphia Eagles, long his favorite team since growing up across the Delaware River in Millville, New Jersey.
He was on hand for the team's 31-7 throttling of the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday's NFC Championship game, sending the Eagles to their second Super Bowl in six seasons. Yet the juxtaposition with his own team's postseason failures is often too much to ignore.
"It crushes me," Trout, whose Angels have only appeared once in the playoffs, a three-game sweep at the hands of the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 AL Division Series, said on an ESPN podcast. "I want to experience the playoff atmosphere. I got to experience a little taste of it in '14.
"But it's been a while. I can't imagine what the players are going through and I think that everybody that competes in sports wants that feeling."
More than a few social media snarkers have noted that Trout has attended more Eagles playoff games than he has participated in with the Angels. He sees you, he hears you, he scrolls with you.
"I see all the GIFs, all the memes," he says. "I get a kick out of it."
He can try to change it soon; Trout will report to spring training in about two weeks, represent Team USA in the World Baseball Classic and then try to push the playoff boulder up the hill in Anaheim.
With eight seasons remaining on his $427.5 million contract, there's precious little choice, even if his hometown Phillies reached the World Series.
"It gets brought up to me a lot," says Trout of somehow playing in Philly someday. "I hear it a lot from Eagles fans when I go to the games … there's a group of people that's aways trying to push me to go to the Phillies.
"It's always going to be linked to me."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Eagles' Super Bowl run makes Mike Trout think on Angels' struggles