This entry started with a comment made on NPR. Frank Deford appears on NPR once a week to provide a piece of commentary on sports. This week he made an appearance in the studio for a brief interview in which he discussed the sporting events he’s following this summer. Near the end of the interview he was asked if he was following baseball, and he replied that he was following Baltimore, because he’s from Baltimore. He then made the statement which started all of this. I don’t recall the exact words that he used, but the gist was that he didn’t understand folks that moved to a different city and switched allegiances to the new, local team. He said something else that included the word “loyalty”, but my mind had switched channels at that point.
What’s wrong with rooting for the local team?
Folks (mostly older folks) like to talk about what is wrong with America today. Maybe it’s that everyone has a skewed sense of “home.” Maybe this “loyalty” to where we used to live is preventing us from making any emotional commitment to where we live now. I’ll bet it makes it a lot easier to ignore the problems around us if we have no more connection to our residence than a place to pick up the mail.
We don’t have to forget where we come from to embrace our surroundings. We don’t have to give up rooting for our old favorites. Even if they won’t catch the Yankees this year, I’m still rooting for the Red Sox. (Yes, even if the Nomar deal was the worst thing to happen since The Curse.)
Maybe, just maybe, if we can find a little room in our hearts for the local team we’ll all feel a little more at home.