October 6th, 2009

a mystery of sports

I just watched the excellent game between the Twins and the Tigers, and the Twins won in twelve innings. I have noticed something about whom I can root for. I was raised ninety miles from The Cities, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Even though the Cities were where we went for major shopping and occasions of special excellence, we were very conscious of being Wisconsin people. There was never any doubt that we rooted for the Badgers over the Gophers. The Braves were our team, not the newbie Twins. It was an absolute birthright to root for the Packers against the hated Vikings, a passion that never leaves. (No, I am not happy about last night's game.) Truthfully, the population centers of Wisconsin are far from Eau Claire, and the teams do not really curry the favor of the northwestern part of the state (something that still rankles me).

But... there is a kind of exception in the Twins and their relationship to Wisconsin. When I was in high school, it was the Twins who were in driving distance for a game, and us guys would head over for an AL double-header at Metropolitan Stadium. By the time the Brewers came to Milwaukee, I was too long gone to switch my AL allegiance. Moreover, when I am at the lake in the summer, I primarily hear Twins games, and it reinforces a sort of weakly allegiance. Hey, I am a Mariners fan, but when the M's are out of it, I find it easy to support the Twins. You have to choose, you know.

But don't think that I root easily for Minnesota, unless it is for my own personal college down in Northfield. Um Yah Yah.