American Heresy: Why I Don’t Give a Good Goddamn Who Wins the Super Bowl

Jaime O'Neill's picture

I have to confess that I’ve never taken a partisan rooting interest in any professional athletic team. Not in baseball, football, or basketball. It just never made any sense to me. I have taken an interest in a particular team’s victory, but mostly when I had a bet down. Otherwise, I don’t much care which team wins, though I do enjoy seeing the plays being executed, or being successfully blocked. There is an element of beauty in seeing almost anything being done well, and so a good pass or an unexpected tackle is a human activity I can appreciate when it is done with grace.

But I just have never taken to being a fan. I don’t buy the jerseys, the shirts, the caps, or the pennants. I don’t paint my face, or fire up a grill out in a stadium parking lot. I don’t lose my temper when any team loses a game, or is the victim of a bad bit of refereeing. As I said, it just never made sense to me, especially when it came to the kind of fan loyalty associated with the teams that bear the name of a city where few if any of the players grew up. How does it bring credit to a city when one group of millionaires in matching outfits defeats another group of millionaires in matching outfits, none of whom are playing on home turf, few of whom grew up there, were coached through high school there, drank the water there, or somehow gained more skill and character there?

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