Shawn Lee, survivor of POL S 325, wrote to me while I was out of the country to complain about my “misguided” sense of sports loyalties.
Yankees: WTF! The fucking yankees. How Boring! That is all it took, take Talal to the ballgame, buy him some peanuts and a new ballcap, and he won't care if he ever comes back? The Yankees are the arrogant bratty prep school rich kid of baseball, they don't cultivate thier own talent, they just buy it from other teams, because they have far greater resouces than every one else. Any attempt at revenue sharing is routinely killed by the Yanks. Anyone interested in social justice, and aren't all you liberal academics interested in that?, should not support the Yanks. Enjoy rooting for Goliath. I am sure that is satisfying for the soul.
Your sports loyalities seem a bit troubling. There is no regional logic to them, and seems to have a heavy dose of (gulp) front-runnerism. By buddy from Detroit finds it odd that you are a Wings fan and a Packers fan, and now throw the Yanks in the mix. Whoa.
What’s truly magnificent about that speech is that I can hear it in Shawn’s voice in my head. Sports fandom brings out the passion in the male voice. It’s a beautiful thing.
Despite my admiration for the rhetoric, I have, however, felt for a few weeks now that this required some sort of rebuttal. Moreover, Neil has had his real life troubles over the past week, so I thought this might cheer him up. Here's hoping.> Yankees: WTF! The fucking yankees. How Boring!
And there I was thinking I was being controversial... For what its worth, you don’t sound bored, Shawn.
> That is all it took,
> take Talal to the ballgame, buy him some
> peanuts and a new ballcap, and he won't
> care if he ever comes back?
Well, Neil actually did spend hour after impassioned hour explaining the strike zone and the nuances of the catcher-pitcher-batter triad. Listening to him explain strategy while at a baseball game is actually quite mesmerizing. But yeah, sheer enthusiasm and giving a shit was basically the price of my loyalty. I thought I was easy. But out of all my friends over several years, Neil was the only one who cared. So I’m a Yankees fan.
> The Yankees are the arrogant bratty
> prep school rich kid of baseball, they
> don't cultivate their own talent, they
> just buy it from other teams, because
> they have far greater resources than
> every one else.
Hmm. My friend Kirk, a Red Sox fan once posted to this blog to say, “If you take a step back and look at the Yankees of late '90s objectively any true fan (even Red Sox fans) would have to admit the team truly did win through home-grown talent.”
Did I mention Kirk is a Red Sox fan?
> Any attempt at revenue sharing is
> routinely killed by the Yanks. Anyone
> interested in social justice, and aren't all
> you liberal academics interested in that?,
> should not support the Yanks. Enjoy
> rooting for Goliath. I am sure that is
> satisfying for the soul.
Actually, this is what I’m enjoying. I’m always on the losing side. I’m an Arab, not an Israeli. I’m a Democrat and not a Republican (Republicans manage to rule with an iron fist with a mere 40 votes in the Senate—you've got to admire the skill). I’m gay, not straight. I’m always on the runty, losing side. This is new and different. Besides, if baseball is all about bucolic suburban serenity, wouldn’t it make sense that I’d be a fan of the team that’s the Hegemonic Urban Machine?
> Your sports loyalities seem a bit troubling.
Do they now?
> There is no regional logic to them,
I’m quite literally from Bedouin stock. You know, the people who “wander from place to place?” I have no regional logic because I’ve never really settled anywhere. Well, actually there is one exception to the non-regional rule—I was born in Bridgeport, CT. As it’s right outside New York City, that would make it logical that I wound up an Yankees fan. In fact, that’s the only team that has a slight regional logic to it. I have been to New York many times. I’ve only been to the airport in Detroit and I’ve never set foot in Wisconsin. Although my dear friends Simon and Nelly want me to go tailgating with them for the Favre game at Lambeau Field. When financial aid money comes in, we’ll have to see. The ticket to Chicago is pricey. Although we may see of going straight to Wisconsin is cheaper…
> and seems to have a heavy dose of (gulp) front-runnerism.
This of course has been my bad (?) luck. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I had no idea how football was played when I became a Packers fan, let alone that Packers had won the Super Bowl the year before. I really gravitated toward the Wings very strongly because my buddy Aram was a big fan. I understood a lot more about hockey than football, so watching them play was mesmerizing. Of course, as you say, the ’98 Wings were a legendary team.
For what it’s worth, you’ll see me still root green and gold, despite the fact that our offensive line still stinks and it’s quite likely that Brent is going to hand us our collective asses next Monday.
> My buddy from Detroit finds it odd that you
> are a Wings fan and a Packers fan,
Come on. They don’t play football in Detroit. I mean, yeah, there’s that whole “Lions” team they’ve got there, but no one takes them seriously. Well, except maybe the Redskins.
> and now throw the Yanks in the mix. Whoa.
Kirk, ever the scholar of sports patterns, actually hit the trend:
You seem to have adopted the teams with the best team histories in other sports. Green Bay and Chicago have far and away the best team histories in the NFL, particularly pre-merger. After 1970 or so several other teams have been more interesting but the Packers still will always have one of the very best team histories in the sport. The same goes with the Red Wings, who were one of the original 6, each of whom have great team histories. I would say that is probably the one characteristic that most closely binds the Packers and Red Wings and going with the Yankees for baseball would fit very well.
I definitely have tended toward teams that have rich histories and, above all, a fanatically loyal fan base. I’m usually rooting for the visitor whenever I get to see any of my teams. It’s good to know that your fellow fans will always be a presence in the enemy stadium. I have to admit, that fanatical loyalty that reaches beyond geography is deeply appealing to me.
I don’t know if that will convince you, Shawn. But I feel secure in my sporting fan choices…