Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

10 September 2010

Tell me a story. Why are you a fan of the teams you're a fan of?


The NFL kicked off last night and I spent the evening basking in it's footbally glow of goodness. I love sports. Al Michaels said last night that it's the best Reality TV there ever has been. I can't help but agree.

I find it interesting to hear the stories of WHY people like the teams they do... because most fans know the moment and the reason why they went from being an observer to a FAN. Some are deep. Some are irrational. All are interesting!

Here are mine... what are yours?

Baseball: Toronto Blue Jays - My parents have told me stories that I loved baseball even as a newborn. There were times that the only thing that stopped me from crying as an infant was watching the Big Red Machine Cincinnati Reds in the 1976 World Series. But I made baseball MINE in 1985... the year the Blue Jays won the pennant for the first time. I was 9 years old in Grade 3 and I remember George Bell (who became my favorite player) dropping to his knees in left field to clinch the victory as Tony Fernandez gave him a high five. I've watched 80% of the Blue Jays game from then until now.

NFL Football: Washington Redskins - I was in the 6th Grade in 1988. My friends started betting with each other on football. Small stuff mostly. Up until then, I had only watched the CFL as my Dad was a "it's a far better game" guy. But that season, Doug Williams became the first black quarterback to win a Superbowl. Already being fascinated by the Jackie Robinson story, I became captured by this team. When the Broncos (and the hated John Elway) were matched up against Doug Williams the "freedom fighter" ... I decided to bet one of my friends the most anyone had ever bet that year. 20 Bucks. When the Skins won big... he paid me in unrolled pennies and laughed good and hard.

Joke was on him. There was 22 dollars in pennies. And I'm still a Redskins fan today.


Hockey & CFL Football: Toronto Maple Leafs and Saskatchewan Roughriders: I group them together because it was for the same reason. A single player. For the Leafs, it was Wendel Clark. Nobody could command the ice, fire wrist shots, fight and rock a mustache like Wendel. He made me a Leaf fan. I'm still feeling this pain today.

As for the Green Riders... it was QB Kent Austin. The man was an end-of-game surgeon. Around the time that Joe Montana was doing it in the south, Kent Austin was doing it on the prairies. You could just see when the "I'm going to win this now" mechanism clicked in. I used to love wearing my Saskatchewan gear to Ivor Wynne Stadium when they'd play the Ticats just to provoke and anger drunken steel workers. It was great. We'd smoke cheap Century Sam cigars and go nuts for Austin. Once I was chased out of the park by one after YET ANOTHER Kent Austin last minute drive for the win. Good times.

Basketball: Toronto Raptors: This one is pretty much by default. I wanted to be a Bulls fan because of Jordan years ago... but I don't think I was cool enough. I went to inaugural season games when they played at the SkyDome and watched big Oliver Miller trudge around from the 500 level. I got caught up in the Vincanity at first (of course he is now the most deservedly reviled athlete in Toronto) and it stuck.


So tell me a story.
Why are you a fan of the teams you're a fan of?

1 comment:

Kris Anticknap said...

I posted this on Facebook, and I will post it here for the possible interest of that last person on Earth who doesn't use Facebook:

For a brief instant, I was a fan of the Leaf. Not the Leafs. Just the goalie that filled in the absence of Mr. Babyface Cujo. My hockey hero: Eddie Belfour.
Here he was: Ugly, old (37 at the time), unpopular (ranked 11th at the time, plus alcoholism). Hired because he was a spectacular hired gun. He did the job and never once bitched about taking a back seat.
He was nowhere close to the chick magnet that Joseph was, so already one half of the demographic was losing interest. And because screaming chicks suddenly started vanishing, guys got angry.

So you see old Eddie Belfour skating to the net, and people are practically booing him back to the bench. He just stares up at them like a Charlestown Chief. Somewhere in the back of his head, he might have thought "what a bunch of ingrates", but I suspect he couldn't care less.
What nobody knew was that he was able to do a SEVENTY-TWO goal save game. You can of course thank the rest of the team for having such a stinky defense (always have, always will). Then, he's Toronto's sweetheart, and only then.

I have no idea what went through Belfour's mind during his stint with the Leafs. Maybe he's just a cementhead who doesn't pay any mind to anything but the job at hand. So be it. All I know is that I watched hockey because of him, however short that time was. Fans' reaction to things makes up for most of the game for me. If they like something, I wind up going the other way. It worked for me when I watched wrestling back in the day, too.
I love a good story.

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