Monday, October 24, 2005

Sports Integrity

Ok. I know this is a political blog, but I want to get some feedback. Today the wife and I were having an argument and it is one that I think spans many conversations amongst sports enthusiast. Now, it should come to no shock of the readers of this blog that I am a USC Trojans fan, have been all of my life. When growing up the argument within the family was do I wear the crimson and gold of USC or the blue and gold of UCLA. The family battled often over this issue and with each new child it continues. I of course sided with my dad and picked USC, much to the shagrin of my favortie Aunt who loved the Bruins. Well, I have been faithful to the Trojans for sometime. We are always on the top in Baseball, have our ups and downs in Football (though we have a wonderful history) and absolutely stink at basketball. Such is life I guess. Today the wife has decided that she is no longer an Oklahoma fan. No friends after seeing her team get beat time and time again she is going to have nothing to do with them (not to mention our son now yells 'OU sucks!'). So, she has decided she will now be a University of Texas fan. Thats right folks, she is switching from OU to UT simply because, "Texas is winning and I hate USC". I of course immediately called into question here "Sports Integrity" and informed here she had "no loyalty to her team and therefore sports honor". And on the bigger scale we see this today in the World Series. How many of those people wearing White Sox hats are Cubbies fans? I would venture quit a few. Much like in LA where many of my friends wear the LA Angels hat during the playoffs (I of course have an overwhelming desire to strangle them when I see it; their only saving grace is that Mike Scosia and most of the coaching staff are former Dodgers). This whole situation simply can not stand. Here are my rules:

1.) You may select one team that you like from each major sporting league. There is no need to justify who you like, you pick them and they are yours. 2.) Once you have selected a team they are yours for life. You may not drop them when they are down or suddenly become a fan when they are back on top. Your team, much like your life, will have ups and downs. An honorable person will be by their side constantly because they are a part of you. 3.) You may not cheer for another team at any point. You may "pull" for someone and support them in the championship for whatever reason (same city, under dog, same conference, etc), but at no point will you wear any paraphenalia from that team or call yourself a "fan" of that team. This is uncalled for and your friends should summarily beat you if they too have any sports integrity. 4.) You may not root for another team because your favorite player got traded. You may follow his actions and cheer for the individual, but again no wearing of the other teams gear or "fan" status. The team is ALWAYS more important than the player. 5.) Only one instance exist where an individual may change loyalties and that is when the team changes loyalties on you. This means if the team leaves your city or changes their name they have betrayed you and you may file for a legal sports divorce. Only under this circumstance is the divorce legal and binding. Once you have picked a new team you must adhere to all of these rules and can not break that relationship to rejoin your old team (ala Oakland- Los Angeles- Oakland Raiders). You may also join a new team when they enter a city that dod not previously have the sport present (Washington Nationals). It is not your fault that you did not previously have a team in your city, but you must break all previous ties.

6.) You may change college teams if you attend a different school in the same NCAA Division when you enter your undergrad work. But, you must remain true to your alma mater your entire life.

What do you all think? Are these rules absurd??? I think they are extremely reasonable and ones that any sports fan should appreciate.


At 10/24/2005 05:04:00 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Totally agree Mr. JMS

I take Redskins, Nationals, Capitals, Wizards.

I think we should all be allowed a secondary team in the other conference, so I take the Steelers, Orioles, Red Wings and Suns.

I will file papers with you if there ever becomes a need for divorce.

At 10/24/2005 05:34:00 PM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...


I will have much more to say on this subject when I have access to a better device. I'm on the way home from work right now and responding from my phone.

For those who don't know me (which is just about everyone), I am a sports junkie. Name the sport, I'll watch it. And my loyalties to my favorite teams are, for the most part, ironclad and unconditional. But, here's an example of a situation where I divorced a team I once once loved without question.

In baseball, I've always thought it appropriate to have two favorite teams, one from each league. Let's face it, they don't even play by the same rules. And, if the two happen to paly each other in the World Series, well, we should all be so lucky. I was born in Richmond and grew up in PWC, so it shpuld come as no surprise that I latched on to the Braves and Orioles. I guess I was about 10 or so when I really started following baseball and got to see each win a championship.
Enter Peter Angelos. This man is, I am comvinced, the Devil. He destroyed my Orioles. He traded away or refused to resign our core players and has done nothing to improve the team in the name of saving a buck. As long as he owns them, I hope for nothing but 0-162 seasons for the birds.

As for the Braves, what can I say? I've wanted a home town team all my life. Plus, the P-Nats are only a mile from my house. Call me a homer, but getting the Nats is definitely worth changing loyalties for. I'm sure I'm not alone on that one.

More to come when I can actually type.

At 10/24/2005 06:17:00 PM, Blogger MR JMS said...

I see where you come from with the O's. As a Dodgers fan I hated Rupert Murdoch and how he had our best players traded off without prejuidice. He then went on to sign scrubs like Driefort and Sheffield(he sucked in LA).

As I said, new teams in your home is a good reason to switch. I can not however cheer the Nats as they are an NL squad.

At 10/24/2005 07:11:00 PM, Blogger I'm Not Emeril said...

I divorced baseball (yes, all of them) years ago, but am considering a reconcilliation. How would one go about that, and would it be acceptable under those cicumstances to pick a new team?

Another question, regarding college teams. Since Holiday Inn Express has no formal athletic department, could I pick somewhere like Georgia Tech?

At 10/24/2005 07:50:00 PM, Blogger Broken Gnome said...

I think your rules are fair and appropriate.

At 10/24/2005 10:04:00 PM, Blogger MR JMS said...

Well, why did you divorce all of baseball?

Unless it was a major reason I think you need to return to your previous team.

On the college question- as stated, if you have no team you are free to pick whomever you would like.

At 10/26/2005 01:47:00 AM, Blogger criticallythinking said...

I divorced baseball in 1981, when they went on strike the same time I took a month off after college to attend ball games before starting work.

Also, I no longer acknowledge hockey. Go away for a year? Well, so can I.

At 10/26/2005 08:39:00 AM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...


I can understand your feelings about hockey. Unless you're a diehard fan, it's tough to care about a sport that cancels an entire season over player salaries.

Hockey brings up another loyalty issue for me. Growing up in the DC area, I never really followed hockey. It just wasn't a popular sport. I mean, we all knew one kid that played and had to go to hockey practice at 4:00 am in East Podunk because that was the only ice time available, but we all just thought that kid was nuts anyway. I followed the Caps on TV and the papers and went to the occasional game, but I certainly wasn't what I would call a serious fan. Then, in the mid-90's, my two step brothers started really getting into hockey, specifically the Flyers. Their family, which is now my family as well, is from Philly, so this made perfect sense. I started following along a bit, watching them on TV and going to games, and before long I was hooked. Within a few years, I was not only a diehard fan, but I was coaching and playing myself.

So, I guess you could say that I wasn't loyal to the hometown Caps and jumped ship for another team, but I think the circumstances were valid. It isn't like I was married to them. We just went on a few dates in the '80s until I found my true love a bit later in life. And, for the record, once I became a real hockey fan, I've stuck with the Flyers, even when the Caps went to the Stanley Cup.

At 10/26/2005 11:21:00 AM, Blogger MR JMS said...

Hockey is a tough one for me too. I think I am just the casual fan that is more interested in the personalities than I am the players. I used to love the Kings with Gretzky (who didn't love him) and than followed the Flyers with Lindros (when he was good). Now I watch no one. I go to the occasional Caps game with my lobbyist friends, but never to into the team.

At 10/27/2005 05:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree with you more.

I currently am a fan of the Steelers, Pirates, Penguins (when I follow hockey), Penn State for college football, and I'll pull for Pitt and Maryland in hoops (really don't have a DI B-ball team). My alma mater is a DII school, IUP - I root for them no matter what. I have never waivered from Penn State fandom once I picked a DI team - I flirted with Pitt football as a kid, but mostly to spite my Dad - say the error of my ways.

I also root for the Baltimore Orioles, having moved to this area, and liking Cal Ripkin as a kid - Orioles were always a second interest. However, I still root for the Pirates, and enjoy playing "We Are Family" around O's fans. Also, I really can't be accused of bandwagon jumping, as I started rooting for them when I moved here - a year before the great start that imploded - and I've always liked that team anyway.

As for the Nats - pull for them, don't want them to beat Pirates, but they ARE well positioned to beat the Braves, who all Pirate fans hate. So I want them to do well, considering their division - I am tired of the Braves streak of division titles. Thus, I tend to root for any team that isn't the Braves in that division. Even if one of them is Philly.

Football is so much easier. ;) Like the Steelers, hate Ravens, Browns, Cowboys, Raiders, Eagles, and dislike Bengals. Respect Patriots, but hate fact that we can't beat them to get into the Super Bowl.


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