Super Fan?Say your team didn't get into the World Series this year. After much bargaining with God, hand-wringing, and eventually acceptance, you are now ready to move on and enjoy the big event of the World Series. But how do you pick a team when yours was knocked out?
I asked some baseball fans who they were rooting for in this year's World Series: The San Francisco Giants or the Texas Rangers.
But more importantly, I asked them how they came to their loyalties, aside from simply "hating the Phillies." Whether logical, political, emotional, or completely revenge-driven, these are their stories:
Working with an equation of part logic/part thrill-seeking is Sean, Dodgers fan:
1. I will always root against the Red Sox and the Phillies;
2. I tend to root for the National League over the American League;
3. I tend to root for West Coast teams over East Coast teams;
4. I tend to root for sad-sack franchises to overcome their pathetic histories, and;
5. As the series develops, I reserve the right to change my rooting preference so as to hope for the success of the team down by two or more games, which would propel the series to an exciting, climactic finish in either game 6 or 7. Sweeps and five-game series suck unless the Dodgers win them or the Red Sox lose them.
Applying these principles to this series, I started out rooting for the Giants because they are a National League West team with a long history of mediocrity. Even though I am a Dodger fan and am supposed to (and often do) hate the Giants, when it comes to the playoffs I generally will hold my nose and support the western team, because the sports media establishment is so east-centric that the surprise victory of a western team -- and it is always a surprise to the east coast media -- provides some measure of vindication. Adding the fact that George W. Bush once owned the Rangers makes this pick a no-brainer. However, since the Giants now lead the series 3-1, I will now root for the Rangers to win tonight's game 5 while swarms of locusts engulf the Bush family box seats. If that happens I will go back to being a grudging, temporary Giants fan for games 6 and 7.
If it was Red Sox vs. Phillies, I'd be rooting for the locust swarms to be much bigger.
Jeanne, Yankees fan and The Stir writer:
Usually I go with American League teams in the World Series. BUT, as a Yankees fan, I can't root for the Rangers ... they kicked my Yanks out of the running. So let's go Giants!
The Giants get bonus points for beating the Phillies. Because I flat out HATE the Phillies.
Unsurprisingly, Ellen, MIL and Dodgers fan, took the opposite approach:
The Giants, for three big reasons:
1. The Dodgers are out of it!
2. You must ALWAYS root for the National League. It's truly a sin to root for the American League team (sort of like Democrats v. Republicans).
3. I grew up in the Bay Area in the heydays of Willie Mays, Manny Mota, Willie McCovey, etc., and my dad took me to games all the time.
Throwing in some trash talk is Kiran, Dodgers fan:
This year, it's tough, both teams are pretty despicable. I love the Dodgers, so out of spite I will pray for the Giants to crash and burn (even though the Rangers have that association with Dubya). I'll probably always root against the following teams, unless my son ends up going pro and playing for one of them: the Giants.
And Andrew a fan of mixed allegiances, and writer at The Stir with the final word:
The quality of the cities playing. This has never been more clear-cut than this year. San Francisco and Dallas? Come on. While I'm told Dallas is beautiful from a DC-9 at night, it does not belong in the same country as Baghdad-by-the-Bay. I've got loads of friends up in SF, many of them sports-haters, who are relishing the idea of Bible-belt Texas losing to assless-chaps San Francisco.
I often just think of aesthetics, both in name and uniforms. I hate to be prejudiced against newer teams, but the St. Louis Cardinals in their classic red-and-whites are just more worthy than the Tampa Bay Rays in their yellow-gray-teal-and-whatever.
If all other factors are lacking, I try to pull for the team that has the fewest arrests for assault or spousal abuse or reckless driving.
Who are you rooting for tonight?
Image via chucknado/Flickr