Wednesday, October 24, 2007
The World Series is upon us and it is incumbent upon us non-sports fans to pay a minimal level of attention so that we aren’t completely cut out of water cooler talk. I’m pretty sure one of the teams is from Boston because Her Royal Highness Courtney, Queen of Everything is sure excited about something.
I don’t follow pro sports and have used all the time I have saved by not watching 20 hours a week of ESPN on even more ephemeral pursuits such as what you are reading now. I couldn’t name five current baseball players even if coerced under enhanced interrogation techniques personally conducted by Dick Cheney. I think the best paid baseball player is named A-Hole or something like that and plays for the Yankees. And my new favorite stolen line is that rooting for the Yankees is like hoping Brad Pitt gets lucky.
In developing sports loyalties, there are hierarchies. As a Baltimore resident, I have to support the Orioles until they are mathematically eliminated, which is usually about mid-May. With DC nearby, I’m allowed to have the Nationals as my National League team, but I keep reminding myself that they are really the Montreal Canuckis in disguise.
My high school hometown is Tampa, so I would have claim to the Devil Rays except that due to the machinations of waste removal capo Wayne Huizenga (remind me someday to spin my conspiracy theory about how Blockbuster was a money laundering scheme gone horribly profitable), the Tampa Bay area was deprived of a franchise until long after I moved away.
In my youth, the Cincinnati Reds in their heyday spring trained in Florida. Sometimes on a Sunday afternoon when there were no good monster movies on television I would actually watch the Reds. It's entirely possible I even saw The Big Red Machine play a game or two. I might have even once stuck a Johnny Bench trading card in the spokes of my banana seat bicycle, but don’t make me swear to it. I’m not sure the Reds are even in major league baseball anymore. They may have been traded to Europe for David Beckham.
My astoundingly undistinguished Little League® career is no help either. Unlike other people with fond memories from their youth, five seasons of wearing itchy poorly fitting stretch polyester knickers didn’t fill me with nostalgia. My year with Palma Ceia Tigers when we went winless was my only memorable season. I spent many an otherwise perfectly fine afternoon counting daisies in right field. If it weren’t for two inning must-play rules I would have never seen the inside of a batter’s box. Getting beaned by wild pitches was my most successful on-base strategy. According to Moneyball (reviewed here), I was well ahead of my time in that regard. If it weren’t for the free suicide soda after the game, I never would have lasted an entire season.
My maternal grandfather was a lifetime Massachusetts resident and I do have both an uncle and an aunt (pronounced awwnt) living in Beantown. By rights of two degrees of separation, I can officially declare the Boston Rouge Hosiery to be my favorites in the World Series over the Square State Mountain Ranges (Ha! I lead you to believe I didn’t know who the teams were). I just fear that if the Sox win two World Series in the same century, success will go to their head and people may even expect Ben Affleck’s career to recover.
The hosiery jab does remind me that baseball team nicknames are far wimpier than football teams. I don’t know of any football teams named after articles of apparel. Even in a Jeopardy category like Sporting Birds, you would have to admit that Eagles, Falcons, and Ravens are much tougher than Blue Jays, Cardinals, and Orioles. Of course, this is coming from a guy whose college mascot is a particularly ferocious insect.
Play ball! Wake me when it's over.
BlatantCommentWhoring™: How do you pick a favorite team? Cute uniforms? Hot guys? Fewest team felonies?