June 18, 2008

When Competing Sports Loyalties Collide

SO I HAVE A FRIEND who has disturbing sports loyalties. Consider: I walk into the office Tuesday and my friend has taped on his door a picture of Kobe Bryant slam-dunking a basketball over some hapless Boston Celtic. As a quasi-fan of the lowly Los Angeles Clippers, and as such someone who passionately hates the Lakers, I was instantly annoyed at this. As such, I was forced to harangue and harass my colleague, as we can see in this dramatization:

ME: The Lakers?!
FRIEND: Yeah, I'm a fan of the Lakers.
ME: Are you wrong about everything?! Jesus. The Lakers, the Yankees -- I bet you like the Cowboys!
FRIEND: I do not like the Cowboys! I've always hated the Cowboys!
ME: Well, who do you like?
FRIEND: San Diego.
ME: San Diego?!
FRIEND: I was born there. Look, where I grew up, we had nothing. Nothing!
ME: God!

Yet my friend's wrongness does not stop there. In the Premiership, I accused him of liking Arsenal -- I hate Arsenal -- and he responded that he liked Chelsea instead. True, that's not as bad, and it could have been Manchester United, but still. Pick a team like Everton or Tottenham Hotspur or something. He is not an ice hockey fan, but if he was, I'm sure he would have picked an annoying team -- like the Philadelphia Flyers -- to support. Oh, and he roots for Germany in international soccer. Who the hell roots for Germany? (For the record, I root for Scotland, and barring that, any underdog, which means I was rooting for Austria in the two nations' recent matchup).

When Canadian football starts next week, I'll have to remind him to root for the Toronto Argonauts.

After the Lakers got humiliated at the Garden Tuesday night, the picture came down; but I didn't say anything. He is my friend, after all. Besides, even though we root for different teams, I can't antagonize him too much. That's because he is a rare commodity where I live -- someone who does not root for New England sports teams. This is important, because when the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots play on Nov. 30, I stand a good chance of finding the next workday rather difficult. If I arrive at work, and half my department serenades my arrival with shouts of "Guarantee! Guarantee!" -- well, I'll need to hide in his office.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at June 18, 2008 11:32 PM | TrackBack
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