One Way or Another

Now, for another episode of "What Really Grinds My Gears"...

My annoyance started when I was younger and growing up with my brother. Being the youngest, my brother so wanted to fit in with my sister and me. He would do anything to get us to think he is cool. That included always picking the right team to win in sporting events, which isn't a hard thing to do when you are cheering for both teams to win. In particular, before the Stanley Cup Playoffs would begin, my sister and I would pick which team we would want to win it all while my brother would sorta sit in the corner and mumble, "Well, I kinda win." When the final horn sounded, usually much to the dismay of my sister and me, my brother would always immediately jump up and declare, "See! I told you they would win!"

Me (or my sister): But you never actually picked a team to win.

Brother: Yes, I did. Besides, I have always been a big *insert winning team's name here* fan.

This scene would be repeated over and over again for various sports and across multiple seasons of sports. By now, my brother has at least ten favorite NHL teams. Not only is it not fair for those of us who do it the old fashioned way and pick only one favorite team, but it takes all the fun out of winning if you are cheering for everybody. It is kinda like the new mindset of youth athletics where everyone is a winner (bullshit, they never fooled me). Besides, when it comes to winning something, even if it is just bragging rights, its just down right cheating.

Which leads me to the real reason why I brought this all up today. My husband is admittedly a Michigan fan when it comes to college sports. As anyone who follows college football can tell, Michigan has had budget cuts over the past couple of years and has not been able to pay for as many wins as they used to. I imagine this is very frustrating for any fan, especially considering how frustrated I get when Ohio State loses once. As the seconds ticked off the clock to another heart wrenching Buckeye loss, my husband proudly declares, "Well, at least one of our teams still has a chance at winning the Big Ten and moving up in the BCS standings."

Me (clearly confused): What are you talking about? Michigan sucks! They lost again today. They have no chance and they aren't even going to be ranked.

Ben: No, no, no. Not Michigan. I was talking about Michigan State. They are undefeated.

Me: Since when was Michigan State your team?

Ben: Since forever. I have always cheered for both teams.

Me: You can't cheer for two teams in one conference. That's cheating. Its like if one team sucks, you can still cheer for the other team. That's not right.

Ben: Sure it is. I grew up a Michigan fan and I went to Michigan State (Rachelle's note: For a year, then he left...clearly, because they suck too), so I can cheer for both.

Me: No, you can't. I grew up a Wisconsin fan, but I don't cheer for them anymore. You have to pick one.

Ben: No, I don't. My whole family cheers for both.

Me: Your family likes Nascar. I wouldn't exactly emulate their stance on sports.

At least I can live with myself knowing that I have devoted myself to one team and one team only. Its what makes it so great to be a sports fan. You live through the highs and lows and the agony of defeat. Its what makes the thrill of victory that much more sweet. What taints the fun of being a fan are the people who jump ship when the team is doing poorly, or who come out of the wood work when the team is doing well. I hardly want to share my "thrill of victory" with wannabe Buckeye fans *cough*Michigan*cough, so why would anybody want to be that guy is beyond me.

And now, I leave you with one word and its definition. It is a word that sums up this entire post.

Bandwagoner: 1. In sports, someone who shamelessly cheers for a particular team not because he likes them or follows them faithfully, but only because that particular team is the "popular" choice or has been or is the top team in their specific sport recently. When that team which bandwagoners follow falls from grace, they gleefully jump on the next teams bandwagon and cheer for that team.
2A fan of a particular sports team who had no previous interest in the team until they began winning. They often will claim that they have been "a fan forever." You must discredit them on every statement they make.

(Definition courtesy of Urban Dictionary)


Ben said...

Dear Rachelle -

Don't forget to tell your readers that your rules only apply to you as you've explained them when it comes to college football. Tell them how you root for Ohio State, BU, and Wisconsin in hockey.

I am the literal opposite of a bandwagon fan. Even with going to college at MSU, I still remained loyal to my Wolverines. I just added another team to root for.

People who say you can only root for one team are just silly. I'm sorry, but while maybe people may only like 1 team in a given sport doesnt mean they cant like more than one team in another, as your hockey fandom would obviously suggest.

Rachelle said...

To clarify, I cheer for BU women and Wisconsin men in hockey. Yes, I like to see the other teams do well, but I am still upset when my teams aren't doing well.

P.S. You are the literal definition of a bandwagon fan.

Bonnie said...

Rachelle: The beauty of supporting both Michigan and Michigan State is that no matter what happens, they both are superior to the Columbus football school! And too bad you don't root for Wisconsin! You coulda' had a winning team this weekend! (HA!)

Regarding Ben's family's fan-dom: My dad was always a U of M fan. He now cheers for them from heaven. :-) My mom support Michigan, as do all the men in the family (Jeff, John, Brian), except for Ben's Uncle Bob. He is a big MSU fan. He has persuaded his wife (Robin) and daughter Renee to also be Sparty fans. And Marge went to MSU (as did Ben) so they all support MSU.

Bill and I, (like Ben) support both teams. And when they play each other, I root for MSU, because for so many years they have been the underdogs. (Not this year!) I am seeing some ROSES in their future this year!

Bottom line is, any Michigan school is better than that ole Buckeye school you support! Go Blue! Go Green and White! Go to h***, OSU!!!

Love ya'

ArmySlowRdr said...

Even though I live in Texas I have been a Cradinals fan since the 60s (baseball).

Very, very suddenly I have become a Texas Rangers fan (like almost overnight)!

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