Let’s begin with a string of clichés since this post is about sports.
I sort of admire those die-hard fans who, rain or shine, stay true to their teams. I know many Clemson fans who would remain in the stands till the bitter end in the good ol’ days when Clemson would occasionally take a drubbing. Back when Carolina won five straight from the Tigers, I marveled as Clemson devotees posted in unequivocal terms on Facebook that their love was steadfast, that there was no Himalayan peak high enough, no Mariana Trench deep enough, etc.
Not I-and-I. During the Gamecocks 21 game-losing streak, you wouldn’t find me anywhere near the am radiobroadcast of the game. In 1990, when the Atlanta Braves ended up in last place, I wouldn’t even bother to glance at the box scores in the paper. No, I’m a fair weather fan, one whose tribal affiliations are weak.
This disinclination to link with hometown teams began in Summerville where high school football seemed to be the center of most people’s lives. Back in the pre-hippie days, if you weren’t on the team or a cheerleader, you could not be an A-list celebrity. Going to the games on Friday nights was de rigueur. In fact, my father, who didn’t give a souabout sports, pulled against the Mighty Green Wave for spite’s sake. Needless, to say, he never accompanied me to a game, nor, in fact, sat in to watch me strike out in my Little League games.  He had better things to do, and I mean that sincerely.
So, once I deep-sixed preppydom and donned the bandana hairband of the counterculture, I, too, quit going to the games, spending my Friday nights at my pal Adam’s apartment listening to him and his bandmates jam, drinking PBRs, and smoking stems and seeds. After the games, we’d cruise Tastee Freeze’s parking lot, circling amid the blare of rock-n-roll blasting from the speakers of various cars. What fun!
So when I matriculated at USC, I wasn’t at all into football and didn’t particularly like the players I had in my classes, those hulking short-haired muscle men with “Nixon’s the One” campaign buttons pinned to their pecs. As a matter of fact, in college I didn’t attend one single game.
However, under the influence of postgraduate peers, I began following the Gamecocks, and I have always been a Braves fan, even in the most bohemian of my days. Nevertheless, these affiliations are weak, and I no longer let a broadcast impede on anything more promising, like a party or concert.
All that said, I’m really enjoying the 2019 Atlanta Braves, who, right now are killing it.
It’s fun getting to know the players, and the game itself is so inherently interesting with the many complexities underlying each individual pitch.
So let’s go Bravos, I’m with you some of the way.
These pre-dated the ubiquitous television broadcasts that fans now enjoy.
Let’s keep this French merde going for a while.
To show you what a better father I was than Daddy, I attended my sons’ games, though bringing a New Yorker magazine with me, which I read during the contests.
Not at this very second; they’re down 4-1 in the top of the fifth. But they’ve won 9 out of their last 10 and something like 16 out of their last 18.
One thought on “Confessions of a Fair Weather Fan”
“A-list celebrity.” That’s funny stuff. They really did rule the school. Make no mistake about it. The home coming king and queen were the closest thing we have to royalty in America, without the eloquence of grace.