Note: the interviews in this piece are entirely fictitious. They were placed purely for comedic value. Any similarities to persons or events – both real or fictional – are completely coincidental.
Last week, Colorado came down with a bad case of the Yankee fever.
For the first time in years, Rockies boosters were forced to put up with a throngs of the New York crowd during a three game series last week – a series swept by the Rockies.
The sudden appearance of Yanks fans in Coors Field at a time when the Rockies have been doing so well raised a question rarely asked in Colorado.
If you live in a state with sports teams, are you obligated to root for the home team, or is it okay if your loyalties lie elsewhere?
Currently traveling through the heartland of America with my parents and fancying myself as a pseudo-journalist, I decided to take the question to the people.
However, finding willing interviewees proved more difficult than staying awake during the Oprah Winfrey Show.
“Who cares?” Kathy Reed, a high school English teacher and mother to an aspiring know-it-all columnist said. “Leave me alone, I’m trying to read. Why don’t you bug your father?”
I followed her advice, but didn’t have much more luck.
“I’m trying to concentrate,” said surgical technician and all around sports nut Steve Reed. “Why don’t you bug your mother?”
Finding no luck in the car, I decided to wait until we came in contact with real people.
My first opportunity came at a rest stop in Ogalala, Nebraska. However, the people there proved just as difficult.
“For goodness sake, can’t a man pee in peace,” said a man who, judging by his surly attitude, wished to remain anonymous.
When I attempted to approach his family on the subject, I only got the same avoidance tactics as in the men’s room.
“Honey, take the kids and get in the car,” he said.
After a black eye and some punches to the ribs, I decided to take my inquiries elsewhere.
I didn’t get another chance until we stopped to get gas in Lincoln.
At the pump next to mine, I noticed a man wearing a Cornhuskers shirt. I decided that he looked promising and decided to give it the old college try.
“Huskers rule!” said the man, who identified himself as Buck.
I asked him if that meant that he favored rooting for the home team and he responded the same. I tried to clarify if that was a yes, only to have him repeat himself. Finally, getting frustrated, I asked him if he was mental, to which he answered another boisterous, “Nebraska rules!” I took this for a yes.
As I began to curse the state of Nebraska for it’s cold and hostile reception toward the press, I gave a final attempt at the only sports enthusiast in the car.
“Mr. Reed, if I live in Colorado, does that automatically mean I need to root for the Rockies, or is it okay to root against the home team if I like another team better?” I asked.
“Sean, root for whoever the hell you want to,” he said.
“Does that mean it’s okay if I want the Yankees to crush the Rockies tonight so badly that all the Colorado fans lose all faith in everything?”
“It’s a free country isn’t it?” he answered sternly. “Now will you please bug your mother?”
I mulled over his response – and those of all the others for awhile, trying to piece together the right answer. Everybody seemed so evasive of the question, as if it was supposed to be some big secret. But then it hit me like phone book to the side of the face. There was a simple answer for why everybody didn’t want to talk about it. And it was the first answer I had been given in my quest.
Nobody cares about baseball – it’s kind of boring.
Why else half the population need to be half drunk to enjoy it?
Sean Reed is editorials editor. His column appears Wednesdays in the summer Collegian edition. Letters and feedback can be sent to email@example.com.