First and foremost, I will always be a Cleveland fan. Indians, Browns, Cavaliers, even the Lake Erie Monsters and the Cleveland Crunch. I’ll never cheer against my hometown. Many people never leave Cleveland.
My senior year in high school, I debated whether I would “adopt” any additional Saint Louis teams in my sports hierarchy. My mom’s family is from Missouri, after all. I chose to adopt the Cardinals as my second favorite MLB team. The Blues, since Cleveland had no NHL team, had always been my favorite. The Rams, much to the initial consternation of my girlfriend’s family, were not number 2 in my heart for the NFL.
When Cleveland was lacking a NFL Franchise, I cheered for the Washington Redskins because they won the Superbowl during my birth year, had a good tradition, good colors, and a politically incorrect mascot. The Rams had to settle for #3. (Playing in a dome doesn’t help in my book.)
At this point, I’ve been a fan of Saint Louis sports since the mid-1990’s, and a Cardinals fan for over a decade. I was even lucky enough to have a few of the Cardinals as my neighbors for two years. Similarly, I’ve been a fan of Washington sports since the late 1990’s, and a Nationals fan since 2005.
Nearing graduation, I knew I wanted to work in Washington, D.C., and I figured since I would work there, I would adopt the Nationals as my #3 team. In short, I have a hierarchy.
When the Cardinals come to D.C., I cheer for the Cardinals. When the Indians come to D.C., I cheer for the Indians. When the Indians came to Saint Louis, I cheered for the Indians. It’s like a logic question, and when it comes to other games, it becomes mathematically nightmarish to consider who I’d want to win based on this hierarchy. Normally, I just ignore that and cheer for the team I like less to lose.
Though, I’ve always managed to avoid my favored teams playing each other in the playoffs until now. And let me tell you, it’s not the best thing in the world to watch two teams you really like playing each other. But, you have to uphold your hierarchy.
Rewind, for a moment, to the beginning of the season. Our SLU Alumni rep was talking about the availability of tickets for our annual Cards-Nationals game party. I remarked “The Nats will be very good this year, we should buy a lot of tickets just in case.” I was right.
The Nationals will be very good next year, too. I look forward to supporting them.
I remember, as a seventh grader, watching the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the World Series. They took an early lead, and slowly it slipped away. Surely, it was not on par of tonight’s game — which was amazing to watch, just along with this series — but it was harder to accept since it was the last game of the season. And my team lost.
Losing sucks. If the Nationals had won, I’d have supported them for the rest of the post season, even though I’d be sad my preferred team lost. Losing the way the Nats did hurts. As a Cleveland native, I know — I’ve been there before.
This was an amazing series to watch. Absolutely amazing. The Nationals should be proud of what they accomplished this year. So should the Cardinals. Here’s to a great off season for the Nats, and a Happy Flight for the Cards.
Yeah, whoops, David Axelrod.