In the beginning there were local sports, and they were occasionally good. Home teams present and past; Bucs, Pats, Bruins, and Bosox held occasional sway with my attention. Home teams past were particularly prominent as there was but one home team present; as were the high scoring affairs: namely football, owing to my impatient nature.
Ah, but things change: home team became home teams, and youthful impatience gave way to a mature appreciation of the sweet science of sport. Rays and Lightning, despite their losing ways, supplanted Bruins and Bosox… just as the lower scoring affairs gained more equal footing with almighty Football.
Now I find myself tracking the progress of prospects, reading box scores, and sitting through whole games. Not every game mind you – they play almost every night for heaven’s sake! But watching some is more than none, and reading up on box scores and prospects is more than the occasional article in the paper.
Look at me: mature sports fan.
As the home teams have taken their rightful place among my allegiances, I have found other changes: tenuous ties of place becoming roots of home… my sense of self shifting from northern transplant to… something else. Florida may be a place without a “sense of there,” but it isn’t exactly the south either; too many people from elsewhere, bringing their “there” here for geography alone to define my home. The home team is here, not there, and it can’t be the home team unless this is home; so whether or not outsiders or fellow transplants find a sense of “there” here, in my own way I have found “here” here, and I can finally say *I* am home.