Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Rooting For the Home Team

There is a continual debate about people who root for multiple teams in the same sport. I am one of those people – especially in football and hockey – because I don’t believe in blind brand allegiance simply because a team is the favored or home one. Born and raised in St. Louis as I have previously outlined, it was all about Cardinals football (now the Arizona Cardinals) and Cardinals baseball; not too much later, Blues hockey came into the fold for me as well. Therefore, my loyalty always has been, and will be, with these three home teams. Nevertheless, from an early age, I became a Dallas Cowboys and New York Rangers fan as well. (When it comes to the baseball Cardinals, there is no favored alternative.) To be honest, we usually rooted for the Landry-coached, Staubach-quarterbacked “America’s Team” over the characteristically dismal home team when the Cowboys came to town; as for the Rangers, they simply became my default Eastern Conference team when the Blues either were not playing or not in the playoffs.

Then the football Cardinals moved from St. Louis to Tempe, Arizona, before the 1988 season. It was a stake to the heart.

In 1983, my dad and I, as we typically did, were watching Sunday football. There was a young quarterback out of Stanford playing for the Denver Broncos; his name was John Elway. My dad said to watch him, because he prophetically believed that one day he would be a great quarterback. Three years later, I was a full-blown fan of the Denver Broncos – ironic, given that the Dallas Cowboys, for whom I rooted, had beaten them 35-10 in Super Bowl XII. Therefore, as far as football, I have rooted for three teams since the mid-1980s, the situation dictating the extent of it – with the Broncos, especially, and Cowboys taking precedence. The true test will be if the two ever meet again in the championship game, but my loyalty assuredly would lean toward Denver.

When college called, I had in mind three main choices:  University of Missouri (“Mizzou”), University of Alabama and the United States Naval Academy. The Naval Academy, as a potential means to serve in the U.S. Navy as a naval aviator, was a stretch from the start given personal circumstances (not to mention my dogmatic attitude toward authority), and soon fell by the wayside. Once accepted to Missouri, as that was my favored choice for personal reasons, Alabama came off the table. (To read about this and other subjects, purchase a copy of my personal narrative, Echoes From An Unexamined Life.) Yet, despite being a proud and loyal Mizzou alumnus, I still root for both Alabama and Navy football, again with the situation dictating the extent of it. In this case, like the Blues and baseball Cardinals, there would be no contest for split loyalties – Blues, Cardinals and Mizzou 100%!

Similarly, I was born American, but my family roots are Irish, German and Spanish/Cuban. Thus, while my loyalty will always hold steadfastly and unwaveringly firm for the United States, I have an affinity for Ireland, Germany, Spain and Cuba. Is it wrong to like, and equally hate on, countries not of my birth except in lineage in comparable fashion as the good ol’ U.S.A.? Even in politics, my loyalties can cut across the spectrum. I consider myself conservatarian, which is a mix of conservative and libertarian ideas. To this end, it mildly irritates me when those of us similar in ideology are generalized as “Republican”; though I may typically caucus, as they say, with Republicans, as an independent I always avoid adherence to any particular party platform and vote as such.

So, it’s okay to cheer for the home team…even if, technically, they aren’t the only “home” team.

©2104 Steve Sagarra

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