It seems that in the last week or so, my favorite sport of them all has received an amazing boost in popularity! It’s so awesome to see things that I care so deeply about be shared with so many other people. I would expect that with this new boost in interest that there would be a lot more insight, in-game discussion and should set the beginning of next year up as an even better season of baseball…especially out of Texas. Right?
No, somehow one of the greatest sporting events in the world has become a civic pride parade for an entire segment of society that didn’t give a damn about it for the other 7 months the season has been going on. Tell you what, if you want to come out the sports closet & show your “pride” for where you’re from, go vote for Rick Perry. Really put Texas on the map again. But leave the World Series to folks that have a real interest in what it’s really about: BASEBALL.
It would be different if this was about the game, or the folks putting on for Texas were actually doing it for the game. But these same rooters only pop up when something has happened that says the Rangers are really going to win. You’re completely ready to win for your state, but not ready to lose with them, because “you don’t really care about baseball” or “I’m just here to put on for Texas”. If this was the Miss America pageant or a rodeo, cool; let’s go state. But that’s not what this is, it’s a baseball game and there are real and committed fans on the other end that aren’t about hearing that. This is our team, at the highest level of competition in something that we’ve struggled and thrived with on a roller coaster for a while now, so new folks jumping into the fray at the last second to toss around some of the worst moments of the season in our face like it’s a literal victory for something they give a damn about is mad disrespectful.
That brings it to what is the worst part of it all: it’s BASEBALL! I thought the agreed upon rhetoric is that NOBODY can possibly care about baseball. It’s so slow and boring and dreadful thing imaginable. Surely there are root canals better than watching baseball, so why show up and cheer for a victory in the dental surgery of sports? The Cowboys just beat the Rams to pull back to 3-3, cheer for that. However, as shocking as it may be, there are actually us who absolutely LOVE baseball’s root canal and willing go back for more six days a week, all summer. So get the hell out the way and let us enjoy our pain.
One of the great fallacies of sports is that there are fans of it. Do I expect everyone to know the entire history or even current roster of their favorite team? Nope. Do I expect you to recall every moment of every game all year? Of course not. Then I’d be expecting you to be me, and I’m better than that. But what I do expect is that if you’re going to throw your hat into the ring of cheering for a team, you know something about it that doesn’t require Google or Joe Buck to tell you about it. Otherwise, you’re about as equipped to come at us over our fanhood as George Bush was to run the country (thanks for that by the way).
The worst part about this is that I could substitute out the team & sport of this and reapply it to many different scenarios of immacutlate conceptions of “fanbases” when the stakes are the highest in the season. You’re terrorist bombers to the foundation of what makes sports great for fans: true allegiance to your team.
In the end, some of you don’t get it, and I shouldn’t expect you to. It’s not just limited to this series, but it’s an issue across board: non-fans don’t understand being one. Folks put their real emotions behind their teams. It’s bigger than putting on for where you’re from, because for as many people as big up Texas as the greatest country in the United States (and yes, I said that right), those same folks walk away from the mention of Tony Romo or the death penalty or the Astros. For real fans, it’s not like that. I take Albert Pujols and Nick Punto with the same grain of salt, because I have to because they both are Cardinals. Not Missouri, but Cardinals.
Fanhood isn’t something you just casually jump in and out of. We could give a damn less why you’re just showing up right now, but don’t have the audacity to say “we” like you have anything to do with the real Rangers fans that are a step away from legitimate joy of nearly a two year dream on the verge of coming true. And also, miss me with the “it’s just sports” claims. It’s never “just” anything when you really invest yourself in something and support it no matter what. If that’s how we’re playing it:
When your car gets broken into, it’s just a car. You’ll get another one.
Your boyfriend is knocking down your best friend? Ouch, go get a new one of each. Billions of people out here you know. Billions of people out here.
When you get fired, it’s just a job. There’s tons of them out here.
You flunked a class? Just take it again, they’ll keep teaching it.
Your dog got ran over by a tractor? Tough breaks, go buy another one that looks like it.
You see what that is? Those are things in your life you could care about that I just jumped in at the last second to let you know they don’t matter. And you know what? I’m happy it’s happening to. I hope somebody from Missouri is the reason it’s going down too, so I can “put on for Missouri”. I’ve got no problem losing, but I do have a problem with the tomb robbers celebrating like they earned their keep.
If I did that, it’d be bullshit and until you realize you’re doing the same thing…
You gotta STFU.
Follow me on Twitter for more on what the strive and struggle of a man who’s team is on Death Row at @CheapSeatFan.