I have never played on an organized sporting team in my life. I have never played an individual sport in my life. I am what is politely referred to as co-ordination challenged. Or I am a klutz. You can choose. But that doesn't stop me from referring to the sports teams I follow as mine or using we when describing a win or loss. "We had a hard time on Sunday against Tricities because the refs seemed to have a dark shirt bias. Two of the goals scored against us were while they were on the power play for ticky tack calls though in the last minute of the game the obvious trip was ignored preventing us from scoring and allowing them to win the game." All of that happened while my skates were at home in the closet. "We came so close this year to the Super Bowl. Just one game away. But we did much better than we thought we would and so I am looking forward to seeing what we do next year!" Spoken while knowing full well if I caught a football thrown at me it would be only by the luckiest of coincidences. "We had a rough race last Monday. The engine was hot all day, I'm not sure what happened but it could be because we had to park the car overnight." Even though I can't drive stick shift.
I come by this naturally. My mother was such a huge Dallas Cowboys fan that she couldn't watch late games. She got so amped up she couldn't sleep afterwards. Which I always thought was a little silly...until the kitchen cupboard slamming incident of 1992 when Duke lost a basketball game to a team they had NO business losing to! After that little outburst I curtailed my sports viewing for awhile. I've never regained my passion for college basketball. I watch here and there but I know I can't be trusted to really follow it non-passionately.
College football was the same. I used to be a huge Notre Dame fan, then C got older, I got busy on other things and stopped watching. I drifted farther and farther from caring what happened in a game with them. My allegiance started to shift more and more towards the University of Michigan (what used to be a hated rival until I married in to the fold) and now I will actually say, nay shout, Go Blue! on a good play not as a mock for a bad one...
When we started watching the NHL in Colorado it was only natural to root for the Colorado Avalanche. They were the home team and got a lot of coverage. It also helped that they went on to win the Stanley Cup that year. Nothing like rooting for a team all the way to the championship game! After moving back up to Oregon it's been tough to keep up the allegiance to a team we get to see so little of. Technically Brent should be a Red Wings *spit* fan since he is from Michigan but having started out our hockey watching with the Avs it's impossible to like the Dead Wings. *spit* Finding we were missing watching hockey though we picked up the WHL local team the Winterhawks here. We had been half paying attention to them for a few years and finally stepped up to season tickets this year. So. Much. Fun. Now they are my team and we hope to win the Memorial Cup this year.
There are people that don't understand the "we" aspect of rooting for a team. I have one friend who will flat out mock people for it. "We? Do you play?" Oh so funny... At the motivational speakers bonanza I went to last summer one of the speakers got down right condescending towards people who watch and cheer for professional sports. Which I found to be really interesting...he was mocking someone for admiring a person for playing a sport better than they could while at the same time hocking a product based on the fact that we should admire him for making more money than we did. Hmmm...interesting.
Here's the thing, I understand if you aren't a fan or if you are only a slight fan where you can watch and not become invested in the outcome. Sadly I have watched most Super Bowls with this feeling But let me let you in on a little secret, it's not as fun that way. If you don't care who wins or who loses then it stops being a game and starts being an exhibition match. Preseason. Bleh. If it doesn't count, it doesn't matter. See?
I also got a little bit of a SEE! moment on Saturday after the game during a Season Ticket Holder's event held for the Winterhawks. As the office suits were speaking to the crowd they emphasized how important the dedicated fans were to the team. And it's true. We buy the tickets and the gear and watch the ads so the advertisers give money to keep the team going. I might not put on my skates, put on my pads or gas up my car but it's my team. And I hope we do well.