Sometimes it takes you a long time to come to a realization about yourself. It really didn’t take me all that long; I figured this one out some years ago, and I’m comfortable with it. I think you’re probably comfortable with it in your life as well; let’s see what you’ll own up to.

by Stephen D. Cannerelli
The Post-Standard

I’m not a true sports fan. I highlight this by saying that since the Syracuse basketball team lost Sunday evening, I haven’t looked at a score or cared about basketball at all. I don’t care who wins, even though I’m part of a basketball pool that, at this juncture I know I’m not anywhere close to winning. I don’t want to hear about the teams still playing, or any speculation on who’s the favorite now. I don’t want to hear about the UConn women’s team, though I know I’ll hear at some point that they won it all again. My mind is at ease; I don’t have to watch any more basketball for the season and can get to other things. Well, I am still following the Orange women to see how they finish the season.

I did the same thing for the football team, even though it was different because they played in a bowl game. I did the same for baseball once the Red Sox were out of the playoffs. I did the same for football except for the Super Bowl; yeah, I have to watch the Super Bowl, mainly for the commercials and half time shows. I had to watch last year’s NBA finals because my team, the Los Angeles Lakers, were in it and won for the 2nd year in a row.

I know I’m not alone in this. That’s the type of thing that happens in a city like Syracuse, which mainly only has college teams to support. We lose our feelings for many other sports because they’re not in town. We have our favorites, but we find that we really care more about our teams, and even more so if they win. For instance, I could care less about lacrosse. In my mind, I can’t figure out why anyone would want to be a goalie because, if I were playing, I’d throw every ball at the goalie’s chest until eventually he decided to flinch that one time so I’d score; you ever feel how hard that ball is? Yet, because Syracuse is ranked #1 in the nation, I’m compelled to at least follow them to see how they’re doing, and if they make the final game I’ll check in on it; that’s the only time I’ve ever seen a lacrosse game, since Syracuse has been in the finals often.

What about the Syracuse Chiefs? Aren’t they considered a local team? What about the Syracuse Crunch? Truthfully, I could care less unless they’re shooting for a championship. I go to maybe one Chiefs game a year because I do like baseball, even if I don’t watch all that often; I wanted to be a center fielder. But I don’t know a single player on the team, and the only two games I’ve ever been to in 35 years where the crowd was large was in 1978 when the San Diego Chicken was in town and last year when Stephen Strasberg pitched a game. I haven’t been to a hockey game since 1978 when the team was called the Blazers and one of my neighbors was on the team, and thus I always got free tickets. With teams loaded with players who are either so good that they’ll be going up to the majors or so bad that they’ll be falling into an even lower league at some point during the season, it’s hard to build up a true fan following for me, and the small crowds tell me it’s the same for a lot of other people as well.

At this juncture I’m waiting for my LA Lakers to reach the finals again, or checking into the progress of the Red Sox as time goes on, and waiting for opening day of college football where we see if the Orange will build on last season’s 8-5 record with a victory against Wake Forest or destroy our dreams and make us wish Syracuse didn’t play football, as we hoped during the Robinson years.

Fair weather fan? Nope; just a “my team” fan.

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