April 9, 2008
The Perils of Dual Fandom
If I'm married to the Seattle Seahawks, I'd have to admit to having a torrid affair with my mistress: The Boston Red Sox.
The story of how I became a Seahawks fan is pretty simple: I was caught up in the enthusiasm of the incredible 1983 season, where at age 8 I went to my first game and was hooked for life.
The Red Sox thing? It came a bit later on. I grew up in the Tri-Cities, and I barely knew ANY actually Mariners fans (no big shock there.. back then the M's were atrocious).. My friends would argue constantly about individual players, though. The big one was Roger Clemens v. Dwight Gooden. In 1986, I loved The Rocket, and when the Red Sox also happened to have a great season, I was hooked. I'd love to tell you I was tortured about the '86 series, but frankly at age 11 I was pretty sure they'd just win it all the next season (I wasn't the brightest kid).
In the early 90s I started going to games at the Kingdome.. but instead of rooting for the hometowners, I was there in all my Red Sox gear. I realized something: It was kind of fun to be the bad guy... I started college at Western in 93, and catching a Sox game in Seattle became an annual tradition (one that got my dorm room TP'd while I was at a game once to boot).
In 1995 I was surrounded by Mariners fever, and I'll admit to pulling for them unless the M's success screwed up my Red Sox (usually, the M's winning tends to help out Boston). But it was strange to be the only guy pissed off because the idiots running MLB started regional playoff coverage on TV that season... While the M's and Yankees battled on TV, I couldn't watch the Red Sox get pounded into dust by Cleveland (hmm.. maybe that was a good thing).
In an indirect way, I find the Red Sox inspiring as a Seahawks fan... For DECADES they couldn't get over the hump, but now here they sit with two World Championships in four years... To borrow the catch phrase from the 2004 Red Sox and apply it to the Seahawks: Why Not Us?
My question to my readers is this: Do you just root for Seattle teams, or do you root for teams from all over? I think I might have turned out differently if I had grown up IN Seattle instead of 3 hours away in Eastern WA, but we'll never know.
I'll be in Seattle this July, and within a week I plan to catch the Red Sox series at Safeco AND spend a day at Seahawks training camp.. I'll have to pack my Hasselbeck and Big Papi jerseys for that trip. :-]
(For the record... even though I've been to Fenway Park twice, even though my Sox have won two world titles, my favorite sports memory is being at Qwest for the 2005 NFC Championship Game... The Hawks are my #1 sports obsession without question.)