I’m not a football fan. I enjoyed the sense of community that came from attending home games in high school and college…if I didn’t have something else going on. I’ll watch the Seahawks, Huskies or Cougars, or even the UCLA Bruins on a weekend afternoon…if there’s nothing better for me to do. I’m more likely to watch if “my” team is in a “big” game, but if someone called me a fair weather fan or accused me of having jumped on a bandwagon, I would say have to plead guilty as charged.
Even as a child, I was not a football fan. Growing up in L.A. during the Showtime years made a loyalty to the Lakers something close to automatic, but the fact that I could not sink a basket if my life depended on it kept me from a true love of the game. But baseball was my game (I’ll write about why in March or April), and the Dodgers were my team. Accordingly, the Giants and Yankees were evil personified (in terms of sports…let’s keep some perspective here) to me. All these things are as true today as they were in my childhood. But football? It just didn’t do anything for me. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that everyone always assumed I played as a lineman. Maybe it was that there is an undeniable level of violence that had to be embraced to be successful in the game that I have never had in me.
Still, as I said, I’ll watch the big game, and so this evening, I found myself tuning in to the Seahawks/Rams game. This game, on a national telecast, was going to decide the NFC West Championship between the 6-9 Seahawks and the 7-8 Rams, and it was being characterized as something like the biblical Race of the Invalids.
I listened on the radio while I was out running errands. When I finally got home, I turned on the game, and something odd happened. You see, once upon a time, the Rams were the one and only NFL team in Los Angeles, and when I did watch a game, it was the Rams who received my support. Even after they were displaced behind the Orange Curtain by the Raiders, I looked for that golden ram’s horn on the blue helmet and it commanded my loyalty.
I was supporting the Seahawks, but now, even after all these years, even after the Rams left L.A. for St. Louis, that symbol still tugs at my loyalty, not enough to change it, but enough to remind me how formative our youth really is.
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“Great” Thoughts of the Past
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