If I had a dollar for every time someone told me my professional sports team alliances were “wrong” or “not okay,” I could buy the Yankees.
Ever since the first grade I’ve been in an uphill battle with those around me who don’t seem to understand, even with multiple explanations, the way that I view and root for sports teams. Somehow, I’m in the wrong each time, no matter what I say or do. Thus, I have been inspired to put into words my rationale, so the next time I receive such questions or comments, this link will talk for me.
Before we get started, I have one question to ask: if you were a fan of the Red Sox, and then moved to Chicago, would you become a Cubs fan? No? Hmm, interesting.
My father is from Bronx, New York. Growing up, the only sport he watched on TV with his father was baseball. If you can follow the math, my father therefore became a fan of the New York Yankees. When he moved to New Hampshire as a child, he began watching basketball, football, and hockey; he then also became a fan of the Celtics, Bruins and Patriots. He did not watch basketball, football and hockey while growing up in New York, so he did not grow accustomed to seeing the Knicks, Giants/Jets, or Rangers.
Growing up in New Hampshire, my mother watched the Bruins with her family but never really got into football or baseball. However, I would put all my money on the table when it comes to finding America’s foremost Larry Bird fanatic. Back in her younger days I’m sure she could tell you where Bird had dinner the week before, but she can still rattle of the town he grew up in, what he drove, his birthday and reiterate classic Bird stories. She even has a photo with him, autographed “to Karen,” that used to sit in a frame that said, “Family.” My mom loved basketball, and especially loved the Boston Celtics.
By putting two and two together, I grew up watching the Boston Celtics, the Boston Bruins, the New England Patriots and the New York Yankees. I wasn’t in charge of the remote at four years old. I watched the teams and games my parents wanted to watch. I never watched the Red Sox unless they were playing the Yankees, and I never watched the other New York teams.
I’m sorry for those of you who watched underachieving teams growing up, but that’s not my fault. It’s not too hard to understand why I root for the professional teams that I do; it’s blatant ignorance to claim otherwise. When I grew older, was I supposed to realize I live in New Hampshire and scold my father for raising me to cheer for the god damn Yankees? Was I supposed to say to myself, “Gee, I root for too many successful organizations, maybe I should pick up the Cleveland Browns or something?” Would that have “saved” me from the rainstorm of ridicule for being a fan of teams from both cities?
Take 15 years of nonsense, predominantly from boys and men who think the way they were born means they know more about sports than you do, and it’s easy to get irritated.
Sometimes people are genuinely curious, and that’s perfectly fine. But I know there are people who make comments knowing that it will send me off on an emotionally-charged rant. So, for now I can simply say, “click this link,” and save myself the trouble.