It's the end of the world as we know it...

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The Fair Weathered Sports Fan

I adore sports. Big shocker here. Especially baseball and football. Or football and baseball, depending. For about four weekends, basefoot ball. I've never understood or gotten into hockey. Once upon a time, I liked basketball. I probably will again some day (I still like college basketball so it's the team, not the sport, which may come close to breaking Rule #4). But since there is no way that I could be as articute as she can, I'll just copy the Rules for The Fair Weather Fan. Also known as, things to say to NY Yankees "fans" (who, if they lived in NYC, adored the Mets in the 80s and if they lived anywhere else, violate Rule #1.)

If there's one thing I can't stand, it's a fair-weather sports fan. The way I see it, all sports fans should adhere to a few basic loyalty rules.

Rule 1. Location, location, location. You grow up rooting for the teams in your local region that play the sports you like. So you either love your home team, or you don't watch that sport at all -- there's no in-between. And you're loyal: you don't abandon the team when they stink [but you are allowed to complain about them], nor do you suddenly develop interest in them when they have a remarkable season.

Rule 2. No two-fers. If your home region has two teams playing the same sport, you can be a fan of only one. So for all you Los Angelinos, it's either the Clippers or the Lakers, but not both. Tough choice, either the perennial losers or the perennial Hollywood favorites. I’m not sure which is worse.

Rule 3. Home team exclusivity. No rooting for teams that aren't a home team, even if your region doesn't have a team in that sport. Who said life was fair? [Although I encourage you to root against non-home teams in any sport. My favorite spectator sport: watching Duke lose in the NCAA tournament.]

Rule 4. No add-ons. You don't suddenly start watching a new sport just because the home team made the playoffs. If you weren't interested in jai alai before, you don't start watching games now.

Rule 5. Loyalty has a price. No matter how big the potential winnings, you never, ever bet against your home team. If you're compelled to join the company pool, it's your duty to take a loss for the home team.

Rule 6. Nomadic obligation. If you're over the age of 15 and you move away from your home region, you stay loyal to your original team. You don't adopt your new region's team just because they're conveniently located. You can watch them play -- heck, you can even take your kids to the games. You just can't care whether they win or lose. And yes, coupled with Rule 1, this rule means that you and your kids will root for different teams. Get over it. You won't listen to the same music either.

Rule 7. No bandwagon hopping. Never start rooting for this season's hot team, no matter how cute the quarterback or how great the superstar. Remember all those alleged Chicago Bulls fans? Where are they now, cheering for the Washington Wizards? Don't think so.

You can go here for the rest. Worth the read.


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