30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Friday, October 7, 2011

I'm gonna make a change... for once in my life.

I don't like change. Never have... and probably never will. But today... I'm making an exception. And it involves an allegiance I've had to one of my sports teams for close to three decades.

Although it's been something I've been pondering for the past few years... a post on the blog... Mint Condition pushed me over the edge. This morning Jordan posted "It sucks to be a Yankee fan when everybody wants you to lose." I immediately understood how he felt... not because I'm a Yankee fan, but because I too support a team that is expected to win year in and year out. And simply speaking... it's not fun anymore... and it hasn't been for awhile.

In the early 80's "Showtime" arrived in Los Angeles and I was introduced to professional basketball. Since then... I've been a die-hard Lakers fan.

But sports is suppose to be entertainment. It's suppose to be fun. And everyone has their own interpretation on "fun". Some love teams to support a city. Other people love their team, because it's a family tradition. Sometimes it's because their favorite player plays on the team. The list could go on and on, but for me... I chose the Los Angeles Lakers, because they were fun to watch and I tried to model my game around Byron Scott and his baseline jumper. Plus... it didn't hurt that they were always winning championships.

And for the next twenty-something years... I proudly supported them. Byron, Magic, Wilkes, McAdoo, Kareem, Worthy, A.C., Mychal, Cooper, Rambis, Van Exel, Eddie, Fish, Shaq, Kobe, Rodman, Horry, Devean, Lue, Shaw, Madsen, Fox, Rush, Walton, Malone, Payton, Odom, Sasha, Farmar, Mihm, Kwame, Ronny, Smush, Radmanovic, Mbenga, Pau, Crittenton, Ariza, Shannon, Powell, Morrison, Artest, Barnes, and Caracter.

But the fact is... there's no fun in supporting a team that "buys" their championships... at least for me that is. I've made the comparison in the past... like I said, it's something that has been on my mind for awhile now... and I'll explain it again to help all of you understand. The Lakers are basketball's version of the Yankees, the Cowboys, and the Red Wings. The majority of fans either love them, or hate them. And the reason is because they're not afraid to spend money to buy banners for their fans.

All of these teams are known for dishing out the big dollars to lure the big name athletes, who are expected to bring championships to their cities. And when they do... it's expected... and when they don't, it's catastrophic. And as a result, it's taken the fun out of the game for me. So starting today... I'm moving on to smaller and less talented things.

Today, I've decided to swing my support to the local Golden State Warriors, who are a lot less popular... and less talented, but are honestly a lot more exciting to watch. They're like the A's of basketball. I love the fact that there's no pressure for them to win a championship.

Now I realize that I'm going to be goat in the eyes of both teams' fans. Lakers fans will call me a traitor. Warriors fans will call me the unwanted stepchild. But... I'm okay with it. I realize, I need to earn my stripes here in the Bay Area.

However... it's impossible to throw away almost three decades of support for the purple and gold. As a result, there will always be a soft spot in my heart for the Lakers. Kobe will still my favorite player in the game. But the next time they're in Oakland, I'll be pulling for Monta, Stephen, Dorell, and David. And guess what... they won't be in the hunt for a NBA title, but at least they'll be fun to watch.

I'm sure I'm going to hear a lot of flak about this decision, but as a blogger... I must be held responsible for my actions. So have at it...

What do you think about my decision?

And just for kicks...

What teams do you hate the most?

Happy Friday everyone... have a good weekend. Sayonara!


  1. Your decision is yours to make. As long as you enjoy rooting for the Warriors and have fun watching their games, nobody should have a problem with it.

    I don't hate any teams, also. I root against everyone equally who isn't a favorite team of mine. Their success doesn't bother me beyond its impact on my teams.

  2. I would agree with your decision as sometimes they get less exciting. As for the warriors, I've had a soft spot for them as they are one of my favourites too.

  3. Everybody changes, Mr. Jackson. Some more than others! I think back to how many changes I've made in my life, and how many changes I wish I had made years ago but didn't out of apprehension.

    I can't say I really hate any teams, but I enjoy seeing teams like the Yankees and Red Sox lose. And if I ever see obnoxious fans at a game I tend to cheer for the other team.

  4. That's how I became a Browns fan. The Pats are my lifelong team since birth and I love them, but they started winning everything and everyone was either bandwagon jumping or hoping they'd lose and it was really all so weird - 15 years ago no one even cared about the Pats, now they have some success and everyone does.

    That said, I'm back to the Pats being my #1 team after 4-5 years of them being #2, so maybe you'll come back too? I think cheering for another team that isn't in the limelight gives you some perspective on how special it is that your team is there every year. It also lets you analyze how you feel about the team - do I really like Bill Belichek? Is Tom Brady the best QB alive? Etc. etc. When you're not actively cheering for the team it's easier to answer those questions realistically.

  5. Oh and teams I hate?

    Baseball: Yankees (mostly ARod and Tex)
    Basketball: Your (former) LA Lakers (especially Kobe and Gasol)
    Football: Steelers, Colts, and to a lesser extent both New York teams
    Hockey: No one really.

  6. Could I stop being a fan of my teams after so long? No.Can I understand your decision to follow a new team? Yes.Being a fan of lesser teams it's great fun when they do well and never a real disappointment when they do badly.

    Hated teams include.
    Yankees,Red Sox,Braves and for a reason I can't fathom the Astros.
    Cowboys,Patriots,Bears and Broncos.
    Red Wings,Bruins and Penguins.
    NCAA Football.
    Ohio State,Texas,Alabama,Florida and Notre Dame.
    Southend United.

    Thats alot of hate,maybe dislike is a better word.

  7. I fully endorse your change. I was a Lakers fan back in the anti-Celtics days (I patterned my play after Kurt Rambis: more fouls than points), and although I don't follow basketball really anymore, I stopped liking the Lakers about when Kobe showed up. Far too many thugs and prima donnas in the NBA for my liking.

  8. first, I have to disagree with your statement about the Cowboys and Red Wings. To compare them to the the way the Yankees conduct their business would be unfair at best. Neither team spends overlky agressive, or outside the salary cap imposed. The Yankees and red Sox have thumbed their noses at the cap for years.
    And certainly in Detroit's case, it's not a matter of buying championships, but rather them just being a lot smarter and better than everyone else.
    Scotty Bowman doesn't have 12 Stanley Cup rings because of his bank account.

    As to your dilemma, I too, had a few moments of uncertainty regarding my allegance to a sports team. I found that I had been rooting for my two favourite players more than the team. Now, with both retired, I wondered if it was time to switch. However after watching a few games, I found new, young players to watch, and my allegance is still sound.
    My question to you is will you be able to change so easily?

    my teams most despised are the Bruins, Redskins, Giants and Eagles. Especially the Bruins.

  9. greg - sometimes i wish i didn't dislike certain teams more than others. it seems like life would be much more mello. then again watching the yankees and cowboys lose, brings me so much joy ;-)

    mini groover - it feels good to be welcomed by a fellow warrior fan. a few of my co-workers are warriors fans and i told them about my switch... they just said it was about time.

    ryan g - glad to see you picked up on my mj song.

    spastik - i'm pretty sure i'll be sticking with the warriors, however... when they lakers aren't playing them, i'll cheer for them too. i kind of look at it as the warriors are my favorite team and the lakers are my second favorite team... if that makes any sense.

    hairy - it took years of contemplating before i could pull this trigger... but i felt this lockout served a good transition time. plus i didn't want to risk the warriors becoming good in the near future... the main reason i'm switching is because the lakers are still a championship quality team and the warriors suck. i could never do the switch if the rosters were reversed.

    rhubarb - lol speaking of rambis... my sister in law is a die hard lakers fan... and her dog was named rambis. loved the guy and his glasses.

    captain - i agree that the red wings and cowboys have always stayed within the salary cap rules... but some smaller market teams can't afford to even come close to the salary cap.

    i also agree that bowman is a legendary coach, much like phil jackson is. but the redwings and the lakers both use their money to put stars around those coaches. which is completely understandable and part of the game... it's just not what type of team i want to root for anymore.

    as to your question... i've though about the switch for a while now, so although it may seem easy... it's been on my mind for years.

    i don't foresee any future changes. the lakers are the only team i've ever felt like i was a "front runner" for... and so in a sense there was some guilt.

  10. I don't follow basketball at all, so all the teams are the same to me.

    As for teams I hate: Yankees, for at least 200 reasons. This is a well-thought-out dislike.

    Dislike the S.F. Giants very much, too, although it's more from a "you hate my team? Fine, I hate yours, too" standpoint.

    Back in late '80s/'90s, I hated the Dolphins with a passion. But that's pretty much passed. My blood boils every time I see Marino in the studio though.

  11. FUJI!!!

    Beat LA, Beat LA. Learn this chant well. We here in the Portland area know it well.

    I completely understand why you'd switch teams. Especially now, with the lockout looming, it's the perfect time to go in a new direction. Plus, you actually live there, so no problem there.

    And hey, the Blazers could always use another fan if the GSW thing doesn't work out.

  12. As long as you're not jumping on a bandwagon just because a team is winning. Can't stand when people do that.

    Most hated teams? Easy- Phillies and Yankees.

  13. Well the Lakers and Warriors play each other pretty often, so you'll have some moral dilemmas on your hands.

  14. I credit you for having the guts to make a change that makes you happier. I don't have such a dilemma or desire but I understand what you're saying.

    I picked the Steelers as a kid when everyone in the entire fifth grade was a Cowboys fan. This was in Indiana - when the Colts were still in Baltimore. Literally, the teacher asked before the Steelers/Cowboys Super Bowl and I was the only Steelers fan.

    So I felt like a rebel and I liked it. It's also been pretty easy to root for them and be a diehard fan all these years - sort of underdogs at times, working class heroes, but providing plenty of championships.

    I've despised the Cowboys to this day.

    As for baseball, always a fan of the Reds and Tigers - but the Yankees have been the team I don't like ever since the late '70s. I remember pulling hard for the Dodgers when they met in the WS, despite the fact LA was a big NL West rival at the time.

    Basketball: Pacers - and sort of got behind the Bulls during my 15 years in Chicago.

    Lakers have always been the team I root against. I've never liked the Heat or Knicks either.

  15. Coming to you live from Boston, one less Lakers fan is always a good thing. If I didn't already dislike the Lakers, having Kobe on the roster and Phil Jackson leading the way would have started me down the path of hating the Lakers.

    You're going to enjoy watching Steph Curry. He's one hell of a player.

    Boston has had a ton of bandwagon hoppers in all four sports over the part four years. It's so bad here that one of the local sports morning shows does a segment "Ask A Pink Hat" to show how ridiculous it is that people spend $75 a ticket to drink beer and sing Sweet Caroline and then can't correctly answer the question of who the Red Sox just played against.

    Boston teams really haven't bought any of their championships no matter what New York fans want to think.

    An injury and a great offensive game plan brought three championships to Foxboro.

    Some great low-risk, high-reward moves (David Ortiz, Billy Mueller, Todd Walker) brought a ring to Fenway and a Thanksgiving Dinner brought another in 2007. (A large majority of the Red Sox big contracts have been big failures. The Sox spend to keep the good players around, but have given up some huge prospects to get them here.)

    Trading away the whole roster that wasn't named Paul Pierce or Rajon Rondo brought Banner 17 to the Garden (and there would have been at least one more if Garnett doesn't get hurt when the C's were defending.)

    Then there's the Briuns. After a bunch of mis-fires, they finally pulled it off. No one can accuse the Briuns of spending too much money. This is the team that traded away an MVP mid-season.

    I can definitely see how it wouldn't be fun "rooting for the house" as Bill Simmons describes rooting for the Yankees (or in this case the Lakers). Once any team wins, it's the first criticism that some fans of every other team start throwing at the new champions.

    Good luck with the new team. Hopefully it's a fun ride once they start playing again.

  16. night owl - i get the whole "i hate you", because "you hate me" rule... that's what rivalries are all about... and honestly they make sports entertaining.

    gmoses - long time no see friend... thanks for the offer, but i'll stay local. lol... yeah that beat la chant is going to take some getting used to.

    (...joe) - i'd never do that... although, the lakers are the only team i've ever started rooting for because of their winning ways... so in a sense, i'm jumping off the bandwagon.

    cheap card collecting - i attend several warrior games each season and had no issue rooting for them as long as it wasn't against the lakers. it'll be the same, except now i'll pull for them over the lakers.

    -potch - for some reason, i've admired the steelers for the same reason you mentioned... the working class heroes angle. but i would never consider myself a fan... especially since both of my teams have met them in the super bowl in the last 6 years.

    offy - after reading last month's espn magazine issue, i was amazed at how successful boston has been. kudos. although i'll admit, i can't stand the celtics and the pats. i'll always pull for the sox over the yankees... and i actually pulled for the bruins once the canucks knocked my sharks out of the playoffs.

  17. I don't think I really hate any teams, I hate their fans. I tend to cheer against certain teams just so I don't have to listen to their idiotic fans.

    Those teams would be Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Notre Dame and Ohio State.

    As a White Sox fan, I'm supposed to hate the Cubs. But I don't. They are just another team to me. I'll even admit to feeling sorry for their fans. But being as I live about and hour and a half from Chicago, I live around a crap load of Cubs fans. And I don't like a lot of them.

    As a Colts fan, I'm supposed to hate the Patriots. But as a Michigan fan, it's hard to root against Tom Brady.

    I just don't really hate any teams but I root for some to lose, if that makes sense.

  18. jeff laws - i get it... and after you mentioned it... i'm like you at times. i definitely can't stand certain fans... like yankees fans.

  19. I used to love the Warriors as a kid, when I first started following the game.... BTW, need you to visit my card draft if you can.