Saturday, January 17, 2009

When Do you Root for the Home Team?

So the Cardinals are in the NFC Championship game for the first time since Germany stopped coaxing the world into wars.

Everyone here in Phoenix has their panties in a wad about it. The paper ran a gigantic middle section dedicated solely to Cardinals and the sports radio shows have been referring to the past 5 days as "Cardinals Championship Week".

I say good. It's about damn time locals got to experience the excitement of an NFL championship run. I don't blame people for not really investing in the team because it's been nothing but a miserable failure ever since it arrived in Phoenix in the late 1980's. There's only so many times you can subject yourself to disappointment as a fan before you just get surly.

But there is one thing I don't get: people who live in Phoenix that root AGAINST the Cardinals.

Yes, half of Phoenix is from somewhere else so there are very few people actually born here. Yes, I understand that if you grew up somewhere else, you proba
bly have that team ingrained in your fan psyche.

Isn't there a time, however, when you have to shrug your shoulders and realize that you are part of your new city? How long do you live somewhere before you become from there? I can't imagine someone who has lived in Phoenix for over a decade traveling abroad and introducing themselves as "Bill who was born in Boston but who currently lives in Phoenix." Dude, you're just Bill from Phoenix. If you don't like it move back to New England and stock up on snow boots.

So with that being said, I'd like to introduce a few guidelines for being a fan somewhere besides your home town:

You ca
n root for two teams: I know this makes some people cringe. Suck it up. You live in a new city now. You can like two teams. The only time this might pose a problem is if the two teams are in the same division. Then I give you a exception pass. I can't expect a Dallas fan to move to D.C. and suddenly start singing "Hail to the Redskins". So for all the fans that moved here to Phoenix from St. Louis, San Francisco, or're off the hook.

If you've been here for 10 years or more, you are no longer a member of your former city: "But Chicago is in my blood!" Get over it. You don't live in Chicago anymore. And you enjoy the mountains and sunshine here so it's time to give back. Unless you are forced to be here against your will by a job, spouse, or a kidnapping maniac, you need to accept the city and all of it's blemishes. Plus, see point #1.

The Cardinals suck: Yes they do. So why root against them? Are you a bully? Do you need to beat up on a team the will inevitably fail every single year? Go root against the Steelers or some other team that might actually win something every year. And if you're a Steelers fan here, please move the hell back to Pittsburgh and stop waving those dumbass towels in my face. Seriously, I'll give you a Roethlesberger with extra cheese if you leave.

Most people moved to Phoenix on their own accord for the weather and low housing costs. It's a growing city and should supply plenty of jobs once the idiots in charge here figure out that you can't base a city economy solely on tourism and snowbirds. If you bought a house her
e, you are growing roots in this city. You are now a Phoenician. Act like it.

Time to jump on the bandwagon for more than just one NFC Championship game. And you can go prove your loyalty to your new city by going out on Sunday and destroying one of the many fans who have jerseys that say Westbrook and license plates that say Grand Canyon State.

Thank you.

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