Sports likes and dislikes.
|G. The Lion and the Unicorn
2. "On the Same Team" – Do you have a favorite sports team? If ‘yes’, give us reasons why you are a die-hard, take us through the highs and the lows. Also let us know a team that you simply cannot stand. Create a blog entry (or static item) about this. (<1000 words)
On the Same Team
No, I don’t have a favourite sports team. Can I go now?
Okay, just joking. Although it’s true that I’m no die-hard when it comes to sport, I do have teams that I favour in some sports. I wanted to tell you about the F1 team, Minardi, but it no longer exists and F1 is a trifle obscure to most people. So I decided to write about the American football team that I support, the Green Bay Packers.
It all began way back, long before I came to the States. In the UK, a new television channel had been created in the early eighties and it was trying everything to attract more viewers. One of the strategies it chose was to show a game from the NFL every week. My son and I watched out of an idle curiosity, having heard some strange things about the game of American football.
It wasn’t long before we were hooked. The basic idea of the game was easy to understand and our knowledge expanded with every game we watched. In time we needed a team to support and the answer was fairly obvious. There was a team that seemed to give its opponents a substantial lead at first, only to come back in the later stages and win. That team was the Packers. Any Brit loves an underdog so we began to root for the Pack.
For me, it was never an obsession, as these things can become for serious fans. But I made my preference clear enough that someone sent me a Packers sweater. I wore it with pride. Later, I discovered things about the team that increased my support for them. It is unique in that the people of Green Bay have shares in the team, effectively owning it. Other teams are owned by very rich men or consortiums. The Packers belong to Green Bay and have never left the town.
I also found that the Packers have a long history of success and have won the Super Bowl many times. Underdogs are all very well but a little success now and then does no harm. My support for the team solidified.
Then came my move to America and I could take a closer interest in football. I followed the Packers, although not religiously, and often wore that sweater. One day I was standing in line at an Oklahoma McDonald’s, when the guy behind me struck up a conversation.
“You’re a Packers fan, huh?” he said.
I admitted to the fact. “And what team do you support?”
He grinned. “Whoever’s playing Dallas, he said.
I laughed, not just at what his answer revealed, but also at what he’d told me about myself. Suddenly I realised that there was one team that I absolutely detest, then and now. Not an America football team, this was in the Premier League of English soccer. It was Manchester United. Ask me which soccer team I support and I will give the same answer that my Oklahoman friend gave me. He said, in very few words, just how much he hated a particular team.
Manchester United is the largest and richest team in British soccer. It can afford to buy the best players, the best manager and the best of everything else. Success drives it and it gets plenty of it. All soccer fans either love the team or hate it as a result. There is something about the team’s arrogance and expectation to win that infuriates anyone who loves underdogs.
And that’s about it, I’m afraid. Not much passion involved in my sports watching but I have to be honest about it. There are more important things in life. Well, mine anyway.
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