Becoming a Cardinals Fan

28 Oct

I often wonder how baseball fans become baseball fans – not of the game in general (that I fully understand!) – but die hard fans of a specific team. Geography? Inheritance? Genetically predetermined alliance? Woke up one day and felt like being a fan of something?

How does a person turn into a crazed maniac, willing to jump, scream, holler and cry over a particular team. I’ve never understood, because its never happened to me.

I always wonder this especially when the fan doesn’t live anywhere near the team. My soon-to-be brother-in-law is a die hard Cards fan. He lives in Australia for heaven’s sake. How does that happen?!

In my own case, I’ve been living in some sort of baseball limbo for the past 5 years.

I grew up with a grandmother who was an extreme Cubs fan. But my parents are loyal White Sox fans. That meant I was a White Sox fan (notice I’m leaving out the word loyal here). We went to games as a family and religiously watched the Sox play on TV. But I never seemed to catch the Sox buzz the way the rest of my family did.

Then in 2006 we moved to the St. Louis area. Family members asked if we were going to be Cardinals fans now. I always said, “No, I don’t think so.” Who just moves to a different city and becomes a fan of its baseball team? The idea seemed very disingenuous.

But my loyalty to the White Sox had never grown strong enough and it just didn’t stick without my family around.

I was an un-fan.

A plain baseball fan. Sans team loyalty.

We went to Cards games, of course. Because baseball is baseball and its fabulous even if you are homeless in your allegiances. I even rooted for the home team, but not with the heart of a real fan.

People ask us about the Cards when we’re back home in Sox/Cubs territory. Whether they’re winning or losing – I’ve never claimed to be a fan. I don’t do that fair weather fan bullshit. Not having a team to love is a bummer, but being a fake fan is inexcusable.

And then. Last night. In the bottom of the 9th inning in Game 6 of the World Series, I began to understand.

This is how fans are made.

By the 10th, my heart was racing and I was on the edge of the couch.

In the 11th, by the time Freese cracked the ball into center field, I knew exactly what I would be telling our children when they ask why we are Cardinals fans.

Congratulations Cardinal Nation – you’ve converted another one.

For better or worse, till death do us part, I now pronounce myself a Cardinals fan.

And I’ll always remember why.

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7 Responses to “Becoming a Cardinals Fan”

  1. klmphotos October 28, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    What!!! Sorry – I’m not sure we can still be friends ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m with your grandma on this one…sorry!

    Just kidding on the not being friend threat…baseball could not possibly break up a friendship.

    • maggieandzac October 29, 2011 at 9:14 am #

      That’s cool…my parents aren’t talking to me either : ) hehe

  2. betsy October 30, 2011 at 8:43 am #

    A parent does the best they can do. They teach their children right from wrong, dont talk to strangers and always always be loyal to your parents…I mean your team! You never know when your children will turn on you, but no matter what, no matter what team they chose you will always love them, always. Damn traitors ๐Ÿ™‚ Now I know how my parents felt when I jilted them for the Sox! Its okay all is forgiven, its for the love of the game. PS…I checked and the Super Eight here has a vacancy for your visit home next week. They allow Cardinal fans there. This house does not!! Just kidding of course, love ya anyways!!!

  3. doneidalynn October 31, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    Let me just start by saying I am a BIG fan of your family…I even loved your mom when she made me and my mom pizza one day..with the cardboard STILL attached. That didnt change my love or respect for her one bit (just gave me something to razz her about every now and then.) That being said..I am NOT a fan of your family being Sox fans! I am with your Amazing Grandma on this one! Go Cubs Go!!! Someday, when you are pushing for the little Maggie and Zac to be Crazy Cardinals fans and your Mom is swaying them to the Sox Side, the Brust’s will do their best to steer those little cuties to the Cubbies!!!

  4. Betsy October 31, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

    Doneida!!! First off…that damn pizza had 2 cardboards attached so I missed one thats all!! Secondly..amazing as my mama was…she still cant get those Cubbies to a World Series can she?? LOL oh well dont care what team the grandbabies cheer for (if of course i get me some grandbabies some day)as long as they learn to cook from someone other than their GMA Betsy ๐Ÿ™‚

    • doneidalynn November 2, 2011 at 11:00 am #

      Whatever you say Besty… ๐Ÿ™‚ To this day though, I think of you EVERY time I make a frozen pizza! You are right about the Cubs though, I guess when the time is right, Peg will work her magic!

  5. ericaaaaa November 25, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    HOW am i just now seeing this?! I’m with grandma. And Kate. Hell and even the Sox fan that is Betsy! Grrrrrr……you’re lucky I love you so damn much! ๐Ÿ™‚

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