Now, if you love baseball, don’t be offended. I’m not big on many sports. I do watch hockey (mostly Olympic playoffs), and back in high school I actually followed and understood figure skating. (But then they went from the six-point scoring system to the current one and I have no idea what on earth is happening anymore.) And there is a special place in my heart for kindergarten soccer, because seriously – watching little kids running up and down a miniature field is just damned adorable, Especially when they forget which way they’re supposed to be running.
But last night, as the Toronto Blue Jays won their game to become some section champion of some division (See? I am CLUELESS!), you can bet your poutine that I was following the action. Dinner was cooked between trips to Twitter to check the score. Dinner was eaten with the game in the background. And when Tsarina asked me to do something for her, I said words that have never before come from this mouth; “Not until the baseball game is over, honey.”
I still don’t care about baseball. I have little understanding of it, or hockey, or soccer. (I can still fake my way through figure skating.) When I wrote A Better Father, with an ex-hockey-player hero, my sons caught me reading Hockey for Dummies and threatened to have my Canadian citizenship revoked.
But when there’s a big game on the line and one of my teams (any Canadian National team in any sport: the Toronto Blue Jays; the Toronto Maple Leafs; and the Hamilton Tiger Cats) is playing, I turn into Uber Fan. Not for the game. Nope, I’m in it for the kinship. For that feeling of being united with my people. For being part of something big and exciting and US.
I don’t think this qualifies me as a fair weather fan. As I understand it, a FWF is one with shifting loyalties, one who roots for whatever team is performing best. My loyalty doesn’t change. My teams are my teams, even if I can’t name a single player or tell you when they last won their championship. (Though I do know that the Leafs last won the Stanley Cup in 1967, because people insist on throwing that in my face.) They are my team because they are from my home, my people, my country. Following the big game makes me feel like I’m a part of something united and magic.
So excuse for a moment while I put on my Blue Jays baseball cap. I have a game to watch.