When Your Casual Relationship With Another Team Threatens to Get Serious
I am a loyal Seattle sports fan. There is no team or city in the entire world of sports that I would ever root for over Seattle. Ever.
But, I have a confession to make… I… root for other teams.
Casually! But it happens.
Most of the time, this doesn’t pose a huge problem. That is, until two of them are playing each other in, oh, let’s say — the 2016 National League Division Championship.
I’ve felt guilty from time-to-time rooting for a team that’s not from the land of navy blue and shades of green, but my personal guideline has always been that if the team sits in a different division, they fly in the fan safety zone.
If, for any reason these teams play Seattle in inter-league play or playoffs, then all bets are off. Nothing trumps my loyalty to my hometown team.
For as long as I have been rooting for my Seattle teams, I have also been drawn to otherteams with long histories of curses and fans that stick by them no matter what. I remember feeling FOMO when the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, overcoming the Curse of the Bambino after an 86 year stretch of nada, excited for them and their fans, wanting to feel that about my #1 team winning. Another favorite “side team” for me, the Chicago Cubs, are going on 107 years without a World Series win and haven’t been back since 1945. Making it to the World Series this year would be crazy exciting. I think I watch these records and curses get broken wishing and hoping (still) that one day that will be the Mariners.
Following dogged teams and watching them beat their own curse is the closest thing I’ve felt to my team winning.
When I moved to San Francisco six years ago to start a job with the Giants broadcast, my first day on the job was also the day the Giants won the 2010 World Series Championship. I didn’t move to San Francisco a Giants fan. In fact, the day I arrived to work, I unpacked my bag full of Mariners bobble heads and Seahawks towels and cluttered my entire desk space. A statement and homage to the homeland I had left behind that stirred up a fair amount of office haterade. But, starting your first day on the job with a historic World Series win is pretty intoxicating. Since that time, the Giants have gone on to win the World Series in every year since (2010, 2012, 2014). It’s pretty much the good curse of the West.
Now here we are in 2016. The Cubs finally have a chance to put the literal worst curse in baseball to bed. The Giants are sitting on an opportunity to do a curse flip and continue the tradition of winning in back-to-back-to- back-to back even years. Something no team has ever done before.
If you’re a baseball fan, IT DOES NOT GET MUCH COOLER THAN THIS!
Unless—you’ve suddenly found your casual fandom leaving you conflicted about who to root for, which is precisely the ledge I find myself perched upon as the Giants trail the Cubs 1-2 going into tonight’s game.
Do I root for the team that has the longest World Series drought in the history of baseball? The team that has been DAMN good all year long and a team I’ve had mad respect for all these years? Or do I go the route of the team that represents the city I’ve called home for six years? The team that I once worked for and a team that gave me the biggest and most awesome welcome-to-your-new-home party a girl could ask for with the World Series Parade.
What would you do?