Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Soccer, Nancy Grace and the Dominican Republic baseball

In case you haven't noticed, and judging by the ratings you haven't, the United States Women's national team have managed to win a few games and are threatening to climb to the top of women's soccer. I mention this because on one of the growing number of social networking sites someone mentioned that an American was cheering for Brazil. For some reason, people seemed to care which nation's women's soccer team this person was hoping would win.

It's not like this person was cheering for al Queda or for Nancy Grace (that's not a false equivalency, they're both equally heinous and should be wiped from the face of the earth). No, apparently which athletes you chose to support from the comfort of your own home or sports bar ... Ok so no reputable sports bar had a quarterfinal Women's World Cup game on but the point remains, matters to people. Look, they're just athletes playing a game. Random chance of where you were born doesn't have to dictate who you're obligated to cheer for.

In fact, I've twice found myself cheering for national teams other than the U.S. over the years.both times were in the World Baseball Classic, the sport's version of the World Cup.

I've been a baseball fan for pretty much as long as I can remember. I begged my dad when I was seven to be able to stay up to watch a World Series game on a Saturday night. He relented, not knowing the game would end up being the classic Bill Buckner game. granted, I was seven and didn't understand all that was going on, but I knew it was baseball and I wanted to watch. Add in the countless hours playing fantasy baseball and the hundreds of games I've watched and I had a pretty good idea of the players I liked and the ones I didn't. So when the World Baseball Classic rolled around, I didn't feel that I HAD to cheer for the U.S. simply because we happened to share the same nationality. I don't think Minnesotans feel the need the support Michele "I'm Driving Ozzy Osbourne's Crazy Train" Bachman simply because they share a state any more than I feel the need to cheer for some contestant on The Bachelor because she's from my state.

So I did the thinkable. I cheered for the Dominican Republic in both 2006 and 2009. Granted, neither time did they win, but they had the players I lied to watch the most. And this may come as a shock to some, but if you're using the outcomes of international sporting events to determine the amount of pride you have in your country, it might be time to reevaluate your definition of what it means to be a citizen.

At the end of the day, it's just sports. Cheer for who you want. It's not like it' something really important, like
American Idol. If you don't support the contestant nearest to where you live, you're a traitor to all that is good and just and holy in this world.

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