Misaligend Allegiance

To follow your head or your heart?

I’m a Cubs fan. Usually that brief statement automatically elicits a series recycled jokes.

Q: “What do the World Series and a polar bear on birth control have in common?”

That’s just one of the many hilarious offerings often delivered by Cardinals fans, White Sox fans, or the dorky guy who gets satisfaction through relaying cliché jokes. These puns might be funny for those of you who are dealing them, but from the perspective of a Cubs fan, it’s about as fresh as Kriss Kross.

With that said, rooting for a team that hasn’t won its league’s championship in over a century is probably deserving of any and all criticism it receives. I can’t help the fact that I grew up in a Cubs family. Sports alliance and intelligent rational decisions are often inversely proportional. The point is, being a fan of the lovable losers does not qualify as a real “heady” decision.

Today, I am an employee of the San Diego Padres – a team I’ve always quietly been fond of. I’m not sure if it’s because Tony Gywnn was one of my favorite players as a kid, the fact that I’ve always been infatuated with San Diego, or maybe it’s the Padres’ old uniforms. Either way, whether the previous 23+ years of my life consisted of being a fan of the Padres or not, as soon as I my office relocated to Petco Park, my fandom became official.

Can one truly be a fan of two teams in the same sport? I know some who claim to be fans of both the White Sox and Cubs. Personally, I think they want to avoid being ridiculed from the other side. My theory goes that you have a finite fan capacity. Some people’s fan capacities may be bigger than others, but once you’ve hit maturity as a sports fan, that given amount remains constant. The two extremes go that either you’re a fan of one team and you hope that every other team loses every game, as statistically impossible as that may be, or that you have no specific allegiance to any team and you simply enjoy watching the sport. I assume the vast majority fall under the first category, myself included. My sports maturity plateaued long ago; my fan meter has been set.

I now look forward to seeing who will win the battle between my head and my heart. My head screams to root for the team that signs the paychecks, the team that has put me into the greatest city in history of mankind, my new team. My heart tells me to stick with the team that was on TV in the afternoons during the summer throughout my childhood, the team that plays in the most preeminent venue in baseball (I admit, I’ve never been to Fenway), the team that continually disappoints me in increasingly dramatic fashion.

Maybe I can learn to separate business and pleasure. More likely, this is fate’s way of nudging me to jump off a ship that sank around the time of the Titanic. If I bump into Celine Deon, I’ll take my cue.
San Diego Padres Pictures