Thursday, October 27, 2011

When you love the team, hate the game kinda

I remember being from New Mexico back in the 1960s and being startled my freshman year in college to find the World Series in baseball is played in October. Naturally, I didn't know who was playing.

Being a journalist, I tried to keep up with the facts thereafter, but I never did like baseball. Maybe it was too many jammed finger joints playing softball in phys ed, but nope, I never liked it.

When my sons were little, I let them play T-ball but gently guided them toward soccer later. If my sons played baseball, I would have to go to their games. Horror!
I never liked it.

Working as a journalist, I talked to a lot of sportswriters who told me it was the best of sports, intelligent, cerebral and requiring the most all-around athleticism. I watched a few innings and my eyes crossed. I never liked it.

I've been aware through the years that I had friends who loved the Texas Rangers. I was glad for their enthusiasm, didn't participate. I never liked the game.

Over the last decade, however, I have come to like the team, the staff, the owners.
They really are a team. All of them. It has been good to see. Or rather, the results have, because I still can't watch the game. The reason has changed.

What do they say about blind tedium interspaced with stark terror? Following the Texas Rangers has been like that lately. I've liked the Rangers, specially with Nolan Ryan as an owner and Ron Washington as the coach and a team that really seems to be a TEAM. Yeah. Just--still don't make me watch much.

Game Six tonight. Any number of Texans with the wherewithall have said what the hell and are in St. Louis. Nolan Ryan said we would win in six. Rained out last night. Tonight is six.

I've found all kinds of friends who are longtime fans. Years and years. When temps were in the 100s this summer, I know a couple who went seven times. And watch every game. And she refused to cook during the playoffs until they won. I know a retired English teacher who gets together with her friends in their Ranger t-shirts and caps for EVERY game and they have for 20 years. And many more folks.The Rangers don't lack longterm fans.

I'm astonished my younger son is staying home --if he doesn't join a watch party with some friends--to see who wins tonight. I mean, this is not a general sports fan, and unlike me, he will actually watch.

So many have followed the Rangers so long. There's hype, and there's winning and commercialism.

Somehow, tonight is full of expectations and hopes. I'm part of the fringe and it's still fun to watch. I understand the games have been particularly good.
I never really liked the game. But I've read the spots on these.

And I want them to win. I want them to win. I want them to win...

When I write this I don't know. When you read, you will.

These words are foreign to my tongue but--Go Rangers!

(If the Tai Chi instructor could say it this morning, I can only add my approbation.)

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