Monday, June 23, 2008

Supporting your team.

Normally you don’t have to pick a team to support at a later stage in life because you will have been growing up supporting a team. Sometimes it will be your home team. It may even be the team your dad was a lively fan of or perhaps because your dad was such a lively supporter you picked their natural rivals to be your favourite.  

No such luck for me when I came across Major League Baseball (MLB). Of course I have known of its existence for years but other than the occasional World Series game nothing was ever shown on television over here. This all changed when a few months ago I switched from cable to digital TV and NASN (North American Sports Network) came to my world. NASN is a TV channel in Europe exclusively dedicated to broadcasting North American sports. Except for Basketball (NBA), which has licensed the games to various European outlets already  and thus can’t be shown without breaching those rights they show every sport.  So, not being a hockey fan I still came to enjoy the final games for the Stanley Cup and now I am catching my share of MLB games.

Back to my dilemma.  Sports are fun to watch but become even more interesting when you support a team. So I went on the search to find my team in the MLB. I don’t care about the DH. I didn’t know most teams. But I knew most names like Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs, Oakland A’s, Marlins, Mariners etc etc. So how do you decide which team you like? Do you look at the teams some of your friends support, like Deb’s Cubs, or do you , even though you like the Cubs, want to create some competiveness with your friends and pick another team like the Cardinals? Do you go for the proven front runners  so you’ll be certain to compete or do you say that’s too easy and go for the team not likely to figure in the immediate future, like perhaps the Padres ? Do you go for the team because of a particular player you like, like Manny Ramirez of the Red Sox? But what if he gets traded? You’ll perhaps be left with players you don’t particularly like (Mike Lowell for instance). Do you go for the team from the city you once visited and took a liking to (San Francisco over Toronto) or do you go for the city you still want to visit (Seattle) and already write down one thing to do when there?

There are many things that come into consideration when like me you haven’t grown into the sport and I’m still on the search. I’ve crossed out a few teams already. Some for nothing more than having a bad logo (Toronto, Tampa Bay, Marlins, Detroit, White Sox, Brewers, Angels, Rockies), some for nothing more than wearing hideous uniforms (Kansas City, San Diego, what were those camouflage ones? Even for one time and one particular reason I don’t think you can do that LOL, Oakland, Nationals) and some for the fact I just don’t like them (Giants, Texas, Mets, Astros). But I’m still looking for that one ball club that makes me look up the scores and  standings. That one club that will break the restrictions holding my enthusiasm currently. Any ideas?