10.05.2007

The Definition of Sports Fan Blasphemy



Lebron, Lebron, Lebron where to start to begin to explain to you what is wrong with this picture in so many ways. But first I have to speak to the people for you, excuse me.
Fans of all sports (especially sports fans in the state of Ohio) you have to be gracious and forgive Lebron because he knoweth not what he do. Let me break it down for you.
Lebron's development as a sports fan is still kind of in it's adolescent stage. It's never really been tried and tempered in the crucible of the 'us against them' mentality. See this is one of the things he really missed out on by not going to college. For I submit that it is during these young adult years that your identity as a sports fan is really solidified.
I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin which means the major Wisconsin sports teams (Packers, Brewers, Bucks) were my primary allegience. But I grew up in the early '80's. The Pack was wack. The Brewer had competitive teams but only one really good year in '82. The Bucks had one of the best Eastern Conference teams of the '80's but could never get past Boston or Philly. So I had my teams that I rooted for on the side like Art Monk's Washington Redskins, University of Michigan football when Demetrius Brown was the quarterback, the Houston Rockets when they had Sampson and Olajuwon.
But a funny thing happens in college. You get a bunch of guys from all different parts of the country who don't know each other together in a group and what's a common interest that they can all use to relate to one another? Sports.
I began my matriculation thru my alma mater in the early '90's. Which meant the Packers were still sucking but would turn the corner soon with Favre, the Bucks after at least always making the playoffs were starting to really suck, and the Brewers and UW athletics were irrelevant. So when the sports trash talk begins of course I get bagged on for being from Wisconsin but I stick up for my state. "Yeah the Packers may be sorry now but at least we have more Super Bowls than the Bears and Tennessee doesn't even have a pro sports team!" (Most of my boys were from Detroit, Chicago, East Coast or Dirty South). Those experiences is what really drove my now hyper-loyalty to my home state sports teams. Wherever I live I'll always be a Packers, Brewers, Bucks, Badgers fan cuz that's where I'm from.
See Lebron has (probably) never had those types of experiences to develop loyalty to his home state sports teams like that, which is part of the reason why he thinks it's ok wear a Yankees hat to an Indians home playoff game when he is an Ohio native. And that is the very definition of what sports fan blasphemy is. You can have your little side allegiences but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, when it's time for real talk, when the rubber hits the asphalt, when it's playoff and championship time you cannot go against your home state sports team. That's where you're from, they are representing you whether you like it or not and if you turn your back on them for another team you are a traitor, plain and simple. No animosity just being real. There are plenty of native Wisconsinites who are (shudder) Chicago Bear fans. We Packer fans look upon them kindly enough, kind of like the slow kid who doesn't know any better, but they are traitors.
So Lebron take whatever criticism you receive from your fellow Ohio sports fans constructively, they are just trying to lead you into the light. Realize how tough this must be for them to see one of their sports heroes, a native of their state like them a guy they expect to see in the trenches with them rooting for the same teams, openly flaunting his admiration for the opposition. Oooh the irony!
And damn maybe you could at least lose the hat.

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