Monday, September 24, 2007

Root, root, root

The Steelers are 3-0, the Pirates 15th season of misery is almost at and end (and yes, this is a good thing with the way they're playing right now), the baseball playoff picture is falling into place, and the Pens drop the puck for real October 5th. I'd say it's a good time to be a Pittsburgher and a sports fan.

Everyone keeps asking me if I'm still going to root for the Steelers in SoCal, and while the allure of LT might make me root for a Chargers-Steelers playoff match-up, I could never turn my back on the black and gold. I figure if I'm still a Pirate fan, I don't think my loyalty should really be questioned. But there's a difference in my mind between your team and teams you root for. And then there are some you just don't. Example: I'm stoked the Indians won the AL Central, but I could never don Cardinal Red in St. Louis no matter how long I lived there, or do the Tomahawk Chop in Atlanta or wear a Yankees cap anywhere, ever. But would I buy a Grady Sizemore t-shirt at the Jake? Sure. Would I love watching Chase Utley and Ryan Howard bash in Philly? You bet. So I'm figuring I'll pick up an LA cap or Russell Martin tee at Dodger Stadium sometime next spring, but that doesn't mean I won't be at every game the Buccos play there in my black and gold booing the home team--because I will. Do I wish I could see a Ducks-Pens game, sure, and is there any question which team I'd be pulling for? Of course not. It's all silliness to even question such things. No matter how much Big Ben gets on my nerves (or local news coverage of the Steelers), or whatever, he will never be Tom Brady and Pittsburgh will always be my home team.

In my head I'm pretty sure I have a pretty good idea of teams I would never in a million years root for (whether that's because of a specific defeat, player, image or whatever), and teams I could care about if given the chance (mainly because I currently hold no ill will, or I like their uniform colors or the way they're building their farm system or something). And here it is:

Never In A Million Years
St. Louis Cardinals
Atlanta Braves
New England Patriots
New York Yankees, Rangers
Dallas Cowboys, Stars
Cleveland Browns
Baltimore Ravens
Buffalo Sabres
Detroit Red Wings
Colorado Avalanche
Denver Broncos
Philadelphia [ed.] Flyers, Eagles
Washington Capitals
San Francisco Giants
Oakland Raiders
Ottawa Senators
Pretty much any NBA team

Eh, Why Not?
Cleveland Indians
Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins
Colorado Rockies
LA Dodgers
Anaheim Angels, Ducks
Vancouver Canucks
San Diego Padres, Chargers
New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies
Boston Red Sox... I think

Feel free to add your own nevers and why-nots, and include explanations if you so choose. Be sure to vote in the poll to the right (and if you answer "somebody else," say who below). And no matter where you live, go black and gold.


R Gar said...

I'd say the one team I could NEVER root for would be the New England Patriots. I just have a serious something against them. But I'm glad to hear you'll still be all for the Black and Gold. Go Steelers!

Brandon Zangus said...

just to note: i see the Phillies listed in the never category as well as in the why not one.

Also you left off the Bengals..where do they fall for you? I'm at a cross roads on that one.

Jonathan said...

Good catch, Zeke. the Philadelphia Flyers were who I meant to include in the never category--I would definitely root for the Phillies if given the chance, which might outrage some old-school Bucco fans, but oh well.

As for the Bengals, I didn't include them on either list on purpose, because I don't know either. I find myself pulling for Carson Palmer to put up a big game every week he doesn't play against Pittsburgh and because the Bengals were so bad for so long, I think they're an OK team to root for, but I can understand thinking the other way too. I know I'd rather see the Bengals beat the Broncos, Patriots, Cowboys, etc. and I guess I think of the them like I think of the Colts. No particular ill will but I bet once I got in a city full of Bengals/Colts fans, I would be more pro-Steelers than ever.

Jonathan said...

I realized looking over my list again and thinking about the Bengals, that what all this means is that I am a baseball fan (which is why I can still love the Pirates) but I'm not really a football fan. My allegiance there is to the Steelers, not to the game. My allegiance is to the Buccos first but also to the game. It's why I care so much about October baseball but didn't watch much the NHL playoffs after the Pens were eliminated. I think I could become a hockey fan, though, and maybe living in Duckland will help me with that--not that I'll become a Ducks fan, but I'll have to watch non-Pens games, which hopefully means I can get to know the league better, which teams I like and don't like, players I'm a fan of, and be a better Pens fan because of it.