The President WWNBN ('who will not be named') attack on respectful, kneeling protest about police brutality on Blacks--NOT ON THE FLAG OR THE ANTHEM--caused me to consider for a moment my own sports' teams loyalties.
I'm a Yankee fan--not surprising in CT where we tend to divide down the Red Sox/Yankee line rather evenly. But the thing is, I've been a Yankee fan from birth! My father, waiting in New York City to ship out to Europe where he would spend four years building and blowing up bridges for Patten's tanks ("We built them over deep streams and rivers for the tanks," he told me, "and we blew them up because Patten wasn't coming back.") While there in NYC, some folks who couldn't do enough for the troops, gave Dad and his friends tickets to a Yankee/Dodger World Series Game. Dad had played baseball (even semi-pro) but had never 'had a team' and never seen a major league game, much less a World Series, so he decided which team won would be 'his team' from then on out. As usual in those days, the Yankees won. So I grew up in Southern West Virginia being a Yankees fan. Go figure.
In college sports I am only and always a West Virginia University fan (though I keep an eye out for how Harvard does against Yale since I went to Harvard too). Bern is partial to UConn as well, but not me--I am WVU through and through. (When they were both in the Big East and WVU regularly plummeted UConn in football I laid low on Sunday in church. Basketball--well, another story....not one I liked.
I love the Chicago Bears because as I was growing up, I loved their uniforms and Gayle Sayers, their Hall of Fame running back.. Black helmets and jerseys and white pants at home and black helmets and pants and white jerseys away. The best uniforms ever, ever. And Gayle--Lordy, a monster running back and a man of enormous commitment and decency. Who could blame me for loving black and white uniforms and a many like Gayle.....?
In the NBA I am a die-hard LA Lakers fan. Even though the name is based on when they were in Minnesota (the land of 10,000 lakes) there must be a lake or two in southern California. I'm their fan because that's where Jerry West of "the West, by God," Virginia Mountaineers played his Hall of Fame pro career. Jerry played high school basketball at a high school in East Bank, WV. After he led his team to a second state high school championship, they renamed the town "West" Bank for a day. He is still around in pro basketball and a true gentleman. The Lakers have been on hard times for a few years but things are looking really, really up.
Do you follow sports? If you do, it might be interesting to figure out why you root for who you root for. It was for me.
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