The Nature of Loyalty in Supporting the Home Team

Did the Redskins play yesterday? Judging from their web site I don’t think they did but other than that I would have no clue. You see, I am not a Redskins fan. Or a football fan or a baseball fan. I think sports are a nice diversion, even fun to play and watch but to me that’s all it is – a diversion, not anything important or even terribly interesting.

This attitude has gotten me some strange looks down here when I say, “No, I didn’t watch the game,” or, “I thought the World Series happened weeks ago.” This all much better than the trouble I used to get into during my brief stay in Massachusetts when I admitted not caring any more about the Red Sox than the Yankees or not being interested in the Patriots and their latest draft choice. This is a fighting issue up there. Down here it’s just cause for disapproving looks.

Who cares? I always thought. More than that, I have to wonder what it means to support the home team. Is my geography the ultimate arbiter of which teams I should support? If so, doesn’t that remove the fundamental and necessary emotional component of what loyalty should really mean? To me it’s all just plain silly and meaningless.

When you get down to it, all sports are equal in their ability to help us drink beer together and talk about spirals, running games, scores and statistics. And beer while cheering for the Redskins is just as intoxicating as beer while cheering for the Cowboys.

2 Comments so far

  1. Don (unregistered) on October 30th, 2006 @ 5:04 pm

    Funny, that’s about in line with my appreciation for sports but it drives me to the opposite conclusion – lacking any driving alternate reason I’m gonna cheer for the home team. It doesn’t keep me from appreciating an amazing play by the opposing team, but it’s nice to see My People – as tenuous a connection as that might be – victorious. After that comes my home town, and beyond that – who cares? Pass the pretzels!

  2. Mike (unregistered) on October 30th, 2006 @ 5:07 pm

    The Redskins had a bye yesterday. Bye means they had the week off.

    People like soap operas. Sure they’re all strangers playing and for the most part their only connection to your hometown is that they were hired to come play here, but it’s just like General Hospital or Democrats vs. Republicans or whatever … things are more fun when you tell yourself that one side/team is wonderful and the other is evil.

    I get into spectator sports sometimes, if there’s a really compelling personal story of one of the players or true greatness is being displayed, like Michael Jordan at his peak. But I can’t imagine watching the gazillion hours a week Channel 4 devotes to all things Redskins.

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