We are switching gears today.  I have my first ever guest blogger…my hubby!  And no, it’s not about our baby, ironically.  Side note: Eric has been writing to our son here and there, like I have, but we are saving all of that for a private blog for him…that might be public some day..who knows!  But recently, Eric has made the grand decision to change some of his professional sports team allegiances.  He started writing about it today as he feels he owes the world (and someday our son) an explanation about it.  So I’m happy to give him an outlet to do so.  My husband is a VERY serious sports fan.  He’s made me a better, and more informed, sports fan also.  He’s also broadened the scope of my interest in sports to now include a serious NASCAR addiction, a newfound love of the NFL (I even look forward to the draft), a slight interest in hockey (mostly during the playoffs), a tolerance of NBA basketball (ONLY during the playoffs), and SOME knowledge of soccer and hockey.  And I can’t deny his man crush on Lebron has also rubbed off on me a twinge.



Shifting Allegiances (Finding My Fanatic)

After careful thought and consideration (seriously), I have an announcement to make regarding my various professional American team sports allegiances…

Let me start off by saying, I am a nerd for posting this…but I am also a passionate sports fan and I don’t take my allegiances lightly, so when they shift (even if rarely and not so dramatically) I feel the need to address it.  My fandom is a part of who I am and I don’t think such change can pass without explanation.

There are, at a minimum, some basics in life that I hope to convey to my son.  I will consider myself a failure if Ritter is not an open-minded, fair, considerate, appreciative, accepting man.  I will also deem myself a failure if he switches favorite sports teams every week.  Sure there’s some wiggle room in finding teams you like, reasons why you like them, and settling on them.  Once you settle on them though, you stick it out until the differences are irreconcilable.  Maybe as a true fan the differences can always be overcome.  Maybe you give up on the franchise, but you don’t let them go.  I dunno.

(Side note: The only time Ritter will be blindly welcome to just up and switch is if he picks Alabama and one day sees the error of his ways, returning to The Loveliest Village on the Plains like the Prodigal Son.)

When the differences are too much, and it’s you prompting the change, you sit on it for a while.  You outline why.  Then you sit on it some more.  This shouldn’t be easy even though you may be terribly frustrated or fed up.  You don’t just live, die, breathe, sweat, cuss, and spend hard-earned money on something or someone that you can just up and throw away one day on a whim.  You consider all alternatives and outcomes, make a sound choice, and go for it.  You have to have reasons why and you defend your choice, and in the end you stick to it.  It shouldn’t be easy.  But it should make sense.

One of the biggest struggles for a kid growing up in Alabama is making sense of which professional teams to root for.  Most kids I’m sure grow up as Braves/Falcons/Hawks fans, or Titans/Predators fans.  Maybe even Saints/Pelicans fans.  Often times you follow a favorite college player to his/her team and start there.  Bo Jackson is precisely why I am an Oakland Raiders fan.  From there I fell in love with the rest of the Silver & Black and all that it encompasses.  I am also a fan of the New York Rangers and Chicago Cubs for reasons not as discernible.  Being a loyal fan when there is no regional or local connection any longer, or at all, is tough.  It’s also tough when you root for teams in 3 different time zones, stretching from coast to coast.  Throw in Manchester United and it’s a dizzying, all day affair sometimes. (Before the internet and thousands of TV channels, it used to be infinitely harder to follow teams outside of the South. The world is a whole lot smaller than it used to be…)

There is also a fan’s bond to a player regardless of what team he/she plays on.  I am completely this way with Lebron James (and did the same with Allen Iverson).  I don’t really care much for Miami (though I do like Ray Allen and DWade), nor did I care much for Cleveland, but I’ll follow Lebron wherever he plays.  In this instance, I’ve never really picked a basketball team because my favorite player might not play for them.  In turn, I never liked my favorite player’s team because that just didn’t seem fair or right, particularly if he changed teams frequently, or maybe even only once…

Some people adhere to the rule that you pick a city, support that city’s teams, and call it a day.  You can have a rogue allegiance.  It’s bound to happen to kids in Alabama and Mississippi.  It probably shouldn’t happen to kids in New York or Chicago, but it probably does.  What I wouldn’t give to have a hometown full of sports teams to rise and fall with……..

I’ve settled in on the realization that things are changing for me.  It’s been brewing for a while now.  Maybe it’s the desire to have a city to call mine.  Maybe I deep down just want a winner (not likely the reason after you read what I’ve decided… Plus, United wins plenty for me ha #GloryGlory).  Maybe Katie is right and I just have an insatiable appetite for new hats and tshirts 🙂  Maybe it’s just time to bring it all together and feel more connected to the teams and sports I love.

After lots of consideration, and for many reasons, I narrowed things down to Oakland and New York due in part to the fact that my strongest allegiances in professional American team sports are with the Raiders and the Rangers.  In the end, despite a great respect for the history of baseball in New York (Yankees, plus the old Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants) and New York City’s dynamic basketball culture, I couldn’t see myself not being a Raiders fan.

So finally what’s changing is that controlling interest in my fandom has been handed over to Oakland (and the Bay Area), to include the Golden State Warriors (good history and an up & coming team now) and potentially the Oakland A’s…

I say potentially the A’s because I’ve decided that baseball and I need to go on a break.  Over the years my love of baseball has waned.  I have a ridiculous fondness for your old, classic teams & fields, rich history and deep record books, but I’m not sure I love the current version of you.. Maybe it’s the constant cloud of PED use.  Maybe I’m just more ADD than I used to be and sitting still for a whole game pains me… I dunno.  I mean, look it’s been fun. And it’s probably just me.  But if it’s meant to be, it’ll be.  For now, maybe it’s best if you see other fans and I’ll see other sports and we’ll just enjoy our occasional strolls in the park…

I’m still hanging on to the NY Rangers though.  I just couldn’t do the San Jose Sharks.  So there’s that… I guess it’s just a liberty this kid with no professional teams in his immediate backyard can get away with…

So…I’m excited to be focused more on Oakland and the Bay Area now and all of the sure heartbreak and disappointment it will bring.  (I say Bay Area because the Warriors move to San Francisco in a few years….. Keepin’ it simple and makin’ it easy, huh?)

So, you know…there’s all that.