Cheering With Values in Mind

Since getting married, I’ve often found myself often reflecting on values. If you like pizza, then being married is much more difficult than being single, so it’s important to keep those values in mind on a regular basis. For example, I really value loyalty because even when I’m being a complete idiot (it happens), I know that my wife will still be stuck with me in the morning.

Since moving to America, I’ve started to follow sports and one of the most important things a sports fan can have is a team to be true to. In fact, the first thing Americans ask me when we talk about sports is “who’s your team?”

To be honest, I don’t have a team.

I think people that “have” teams are raised on them. For example, my cousin was raised to be a Maple Leafs fan and now he’s raising his son to follow the same hopeless path. My father didn’t follow sports and our local team (the Jets) were sent to Pheonix so that the desert community could ignore them.

So who should I cheer for?

I’ve tried cheering for the Knicks and the Rangers — and it would be great to see either team win — but I don’t really feel a deep connection with them. When they lose, I think “oh well.”

To some extent, I have found myself cheering for teams that seem to represent values I admire (which is not the same as saying “values I possess”).

For example, it’s difficult to ignore the Chicago Bulls at the moment. They lead the East. They came out of nowhere. And they may have the MVP of the season. However, they also seem to represent hard work, humility, and teamwork. It’s easy to cheer for a team like that and it’s exciting to watch them play.

Jon “Bones” Jones, the light weight champion, is hard working, and grateful for what he has achieved. It’s easy to cheer for someone like that, and it makes his fights much more interesting to watch than some random dude’s fights. Anyone can throw a punch.

I can’t bring myself to cheer for the Toronto Maple Leafs. I’ve spent too much time making fun of their fans. However, I can understand why people follow such a perennially weak team with such dedication. The Leafs have as deep a tradition as any professional team that I know of.

In contrast, when I see a team that does not communicate any praiseworthy values, I find it difficult to cheer for them — or even watch. Even if they have razzle-dazzle players. (And I’ll note that appearing in advertisements connotes few values to me.)

Sadly, players and teams change over time. What the Bulls stand for today might not be what they stand for in five years.

I guess I won’t be buying any sports logo hats or jackets.

I guess that makes me disloyal.

But who cares?

It’s not like I’m married to a sports team.


5 Responses to “Cheering With Values in Mind”

  1. I have to leave this link as a follow up. Kevin Garnett discusses how his coach is like a birthday cake, his teammate is like fresh laundry, and how his wife is like the bacon on the salad.

  2. Well the teams to follow are the Cowboys, the Rangers, The Mavericks and the Stars. But then I’m in Dallas :)

  3. When folks ask you about your team, I double-dog dare you to make up a Canadian team and an imaginary sport: “I follow the Moose Jaw Quebecers. It’s a Canadian-rules rugby team. It’s like American-style football, but they use brooms to sweep the ball down the field, or ‘prairie,’ as we call it.” Do that, and let us know how it goes.

    • I usually try to resist that sort of thing, but your examples make it sound very tempting. I’ll keep my ears perked for an appropriate situation and write about it afterward.

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