I don’t care about sports. But I love mixing it up, starting sh*t, and talking smack. This is especially true where my little brothers are concerned. It’s fun to watch them duke it out over whose team sucks worse or who might actually have a shot this year. It’s all in good fun and no one has ever been seriously injured. Go sports!
I don’t know what formula or happenstance goes in to picking your favorite team. I have no idea how my brothers chose theirs, but somewhere along the line they agreed to disagree. Jon loves the Mets and Giants. Greg goes for the Yankees and Jets. If you’re from the New York/New Jersey area, you know this is kind of an odd way to divvy up the teams. Normally, it’s the old school, buttoned-up perennial contenders Yankees and Giants vs. the upstart, rag tag, we-play-by-our-own rules Mets and Jets.
But fandom doesn’t have to make sense. Consistency is not required. And you never know who’s going to win and who’s going to lose. That’s why you play the game.
Or, at least, that’s why they play the game. You watch in your lucky pair of underpants and do what you can to make sure they just win, baby. If you don’t do that particular thing you did when they won those other times, they won’t win this time! It’s on YOU. You’re the 12th man or maybe the 73rd man. (I don’t really know how many men there are or where you rank. Hopefully I’m in the…BALLPARK.)
Just because I couldn’t care less who wins and who loses doesn’t mean my children should be deprived of the opportunity to live and die vicariously through these modern day gladiators, taking pride in their accomplishments and laughing in the face of their oft-vanquished foes. Because sports! My brothers called dibs on what teams my kids get to root for. (I don’t think that’s how fandom works, but good luck boys.) Jon gets to inundate them with Mets mantras and Greg will do his best to have them looking up to the J. E. T. S. JETS JETS JETS.
That’s right, my kids got stuck with the lovable losers. On the one hand, it seems kind of mean not to let them experience the collective joy of their team winning it all. On the other hand, there’s always a chance! I’m not a big fan of sports but I LOVE SPORTS MOVIES! And if the Yankees were fictionalized in a movie, they would be the cocky dudes who get paid way too much, sleep with Victoria’s Secret models and have forgotten what it means to love the game (pretty far fetched, right?). The loosely-based-on-the-Mets team is just happy to be out there. They’re so cute! Look at them trying. Even if the fictionalized Mets don’t win in the final scene (of this movie I’m making up in my head that I’m pretty sure I’ve seen 1000 times), you know they left it all out there on the field. Also, they probably made some unlikely friendships along the way. So, go Mets and Jets! (I guess.)
It’ll be interesting to see if my brothers play by the rules or – MUCH MORE LIKELY – talk a ton of smack about the other one’s team and try to recruit my kids to their side, no matter what they agreed on. Sure, it’s “cheating” but in sports if you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying. Someone said that (maybe in a movie), so I’ll allow it. Hell, I’ll encourage it!
Like I said, I don’t care about sports but I love the game!
This post originally appeared on Amateur Idiot/Professional Dad. It has been reprinted with permission.
Dave Lesser is a former attorney who much prefers his job as a stay at home dad to two hilarious and adorable children. He is lucky to have an awesome wife who indulges and supports his obsessions, which currently include running Spartan Races and writing his blog Amateur Idiot/Professional Dad. Follow him on Twitter @AmateurIdiot and Facebook.