I was five years old when I decided that I wanted to be a Cincinnati Reds baseball fan.
It was a conscious decision. I remember becoming aware that baseball has teams and that I should probably pick one of them and follow them. I asked Dad what he thought. He told me that Nanny was a Reds fan and so he was a Reds fan. You can pretty much guess how I came to the conclusion that I was going to be a Reds fan.
So for over 30 years I have been a Reds fan.
I have seen some great teams in that time–1990 Wire to Wire–and some not so great teams–all the other years except 1990. We went to Riverfront every summer and had a great time. I still remember the drunk guy behind me that screamed at Orel Hershiser for nine straight innings. To this day I holler “eeeaaaarrrrrl” at games just to see if that guy is around. Good times.
I watched them play the Mets where a guy chanted behind me the whole game–What’s the matta with Dunn–He’s a bum. This too is something i repeat at every single sporting event I go to (t-ball all the way through NFL) just in cast that dude is there. I even yell it out the window whilst driving through Dunn, NC.
I love the Cincinnati Reds. I love their tradition. I love my history with the team. I grew up thinking Jose Rijo was part of our family. That at any moment Chris Sabo would want to go ride bikes with me. I knew that if I ever had a dog–which I will never have–I would name it Schottzie. They are part of my story. I will never alter this path. I cannot do it.
So naturally I have been attempting to teach Billy that he too will be a Cincinnati Reds fan. But the strangest thing has happened. Billy says that he is a Philadelphia Phillies fan. How-did -this-happen? I have failed.
I asked him why he was a Phillies fan and not a Reds fan. He tells me that the Phillies are the home team and we should support the home team (hand to God that was his airtight response).
Ok, well Billy, what do we do when the Red’s play the Phllies? He quickly answered-Phillies.
What if it is for the pennant? Phillies.
He is pretty sold out to this whole live here, fall in love with the culture mumbo jumbo I talk about all the time. I am being challenged to give up something dear to me and root for the Philadelphia Phillies.
I am at a loss, On the one hand I want to root along with my son for his favorite team. But on the other, I never imagined that team would be the Phillies. What gives?
I’ll say this. I can never root against the Reds in any scenario. But if it is not head to head then I will root for the Phillies with all my heart–or at least the part that isn’t rooting for my Reds. Maybe Billy will come around.
I guys this means I need to buy me a Phillies hat.