Baseball On My Brain


“The Red Sox Grow On You…”
October 20, 2008, 2:21 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

…said Jeremy Flug in a 10/18/2008 New York Times article.

“…like a rash.” said Pat Lagreid on 10/18/2008 after reading the above mentioned article.

That aside, the article’s author Harvey Araton raises a question:

“…how many fans are or should be more like independent voters, more like Flug, making choices based not on unquestioned loyalty, but by what player or team is deemed deserving of their support.”

I’m not quite sure what to make of that. I don’t think unquestioned loyalty achieves nearly the same parallel in sports as it does in the political realm, where the term is more often used.

Now barring some major embarrassment brought upon the club, I think being a fan is one of the few times you can have unquestioned loyalty. You don’t have to think about who you’re rooting for – it’s either my team or no one, and if my team isn’t playing today, I’m rooting against my team’s rival or the team that’s ahead of them in the standings – simple as that.

I might be ashamed of my team’s performance, I might be disappointed by my team’s futility, or I might even be mad at the ownership of my team for tearing down an 85-year-old stadium and jacking ticket prices for their new palace across the street. But that really doesn’t have to mean I should stop liking my team.

But then again, this is America – where every one of us is free to be as wishy-washy and noncommittal as we darn well please. I can have a favorite team for my whole life, or I can have dozens. You’re free to be you.

For me – I was a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates when I was a kid, mainly because they had one of the best outfields around with Bonds, Van Slyke and Bonilla, and I thought their jerseys were kind of cool. But then, somewhere along the way, say the mid 1990s, I fell into line and got with my hometown Mariners full bore.

I readily admit that while I was living in San Francisco for college – I occasionally rooted for my surrogate teams, the Giants and Athletics, but never for the A’s at the expense of the Mariners. When Seattle came to the Bay Area, there was no mistaking who I was cheering for.

But what about Araton’s point? Is there merit to being a fan of whomever is hot at the moment? Isn’t that what’s called “jumping on the bandwagon” and last time I checked, pretty much looked down upon?

Sure, we may just be rooting for laundry, as Jerry Seinfeld once noted, but I’d rather cheer for the same laundry every day rather than be swayed and wooed by the latest home run hitter.

If anything, better in my mind to root for no one and simply enjoy the game in all its beauty and glory than to switch hats on a whim.

Agree?

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