THE WAY I APPROACH BEING FAN OF THE SOCAL SPORTS TEAMS I’M A FAN OF
My life as a conscious sports fan began at age ten, when the Dodgers appeared in the 1977 World Series and lost to the New York Yankees and Reggie Jackson’s three home runs in the Bronx in said Series.
It was cemented eight months later, when I saw my first game at Dodger Stadium on the day I turned eleven.
Except for a few years in my teens when it wasn’t considered “cool” among my peers to like the Dodgers and I rooted for whoever was winning, teams like the Angels in 1979 (the year they won their first division title), the Pittsburgh Pirates that same year (because they won the World Series) and the Montreal Expos because of their colorful uniforms,
I have been a solid Dodger fan from then on.
The same – even more so – goes for the college where I got my degree from, UCLA, and their blue and gold-clad Bruin teams.
After in the spirit of rooting for whoever was winning, I had my USC football fan phase for a couple of years, even owning a couple of Trojan shirts (PLEASE forgive me Bruin Nation, for I had sinned!), my allegiance to Westwood was solidified when I entered high school and the UCLA football team began their glory days that lasted throughout the 1980s, complete with wins over their Trojan rivals and Rose Bowl triumphs.
But enough about that history!
From what I just wrote, it doesn’t take much to conclude what the teams that I am a real fan of are.
Technically, they are the:
- UCLA Bruin Football, and a team that is my favorite in all of sports, the…
- UCLA Women’s Gymnastics Team
A Vital Part of Bruin Nation: UCLA students cheering their football team on. Photo courtesy of bruinsnation.com
The way I approach my support of these teams is different from the average fan.
I’ll just go ahead and state it…
I am the complete opposite of the garden variety, sun-will-come-out-tomorrow fan that thinks that their team is the greatest thing since sliced bread even if they are worse than the Bad News Bears and Charlie Brown’s baseball team combined.
My approach to supporting my teams is that of,
- Realism, and…
- Plain Brutal Honesty
Which I know a lot of my fellow fans frown upon, but here’s how I see it…
While I don’t ever see myself permanently renouncing my teams due to any ineptitude they may show,
I will also never, ever act all sun shiny and say a bunch of positive things when a team of mine is doing badly, like the UCLA football team is currently as they are on track to have their worst season in their nearly 100-year history.
Because to act all positive and shiny happy when a team shows ineptitude is akin to lying in my opinion, as while I can’t speak for anyone else and won’t pretend to, I can’t smile and act like teams are doing great when they’re doing horribly.
I’m going to show some brutal honesty.
Or in layman’s terms, “Tough Love”.
While some fans see it as a lack of loyalty, I see it as a way to motivate my teams to do better.
This is why I was never on a cheerleading squad; it’s simply impossible for me to act like everything is wonderful with the teams I’m supposed to be cheering for when they don’t give me anything for me to cheer about.
My favorite team in sports, right after they won their 7th national championship this past spring. Photo courtesy of uclabruins.com
If my fellow Bruin or Dodger fans don’t like that approach, there’s one way that those teams can stop that:
As a perfect example…
With the awful season that UCLA is having on the gridiron – though they did show improvement in their most recent contest against Washington – I’ve stared to call them, on this blog’s Twitter and Facebook pages – the “Bad News Bruins”.
I’ll let you guess where that term came from.
I tweeted and posted on those social media sites that in order for me to stop referring to them as the Bad News Bruins, they need to win two games this year; it was three, but I decided to show a little mercy.
Even though for some reason that I’m not 100% sure of, I tend to make an exception for the Bruin gymnasts in the form of not seeing myself showing any real tough love for those young ladies if and when they do badly – which given the fact that bad performances are fairly rare with them with their long history of success and their recent national championship is easy for me to say, but still…
If the Dodgers or Bruin football (or other Bruin teams, actually; I’ve been brutal with UCLA Basketball on this blog when that was warranted, too) screws up badly, they’ll hear about it from me – at least in this blog; you’ve seen how objective and brutal I can be and have been with those squads.
If my fellow Dodger and UCLA fans have any problem with that and see me as a fair weather fan due to that approach, sorry.
This sports fan philosophy and approach to my support of the Dodgers and my alma mater is something that works for me and won’t change.
Because I’ll see myself as a dishonest liar and a complete hypocrite if I do.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.