I was born and raised in the city of Los Angeles. My dad loves golf, but for some reason, I got into basketball very quickly, and then baseball a bit later. I grew up with Magic, Kareem, Byron, Vlade. Iwent through the Van Exel (my favorite player growing up), Peeler and even George Lynch. And of course, still cheering them on with Kobe and Pau and Bynum and Fisher. My cheering for the Lakers will never stop while I’m alive. The same of course goes for the Dodgers. I loved going to Dodger stadium, sitting either way up high or in the homerun section (now, the all-you-can-eat section). The Dodger dogs were deliciously unhealthy. I grew up watching Eric Karros, Mike Piazza, Hideo Nomo, and of course our favorite, Chan Ho Park (he should’ve never left LA…he had the backing of thousands of Koreans).
But I’ve been living in Northern California for eight years now (wow, time flies), and I’m starting to wonder if that’s affecting my loyalty to the L.A. teams. I would catch myself here and there cheering for Baron Davis and the Warriors during their riveting destruction of the number one seed, Dallas Mavericks. I even kind of like their jerseys. And last night, while watching the Giants beat the Phillies in a very exciting game 5, I found myself cheering and being excited for the Giants.
Here’s my excuse: I am just a fan of sports. I’m sure people will say that’s a cop-out and that if I’m an LA fan I am obligated to hate the Giants. But I don’t see it that way. Sports is bigger than one geographical location. Of course, if the Dodgers are playing the Giants, there’s no question who I’m rooting for. But I just enjoy watching the game. I enjoy seeing people get excited and passionate. I enjoy seeing people celebrate.
So is a true sports fan one who is vehemently loyal to his teams, or is it someone who simply loves sports? Perhaps it’s both.