I grew up in Milwaukee as a devout Green Bay Packers fan. I've since moved to Chicago and have lived there about seven years. I love the city and have adopted it in many ways -- with one catch. I hate the Chicago Bears.
Now the Bears are in the Super Bowl and my question is, Should I root for them out of a sense of civic pride, or should I do what feels right and root against them to prove my loyalty to the Packers?
My girlfriend, who doesn't understand anything about football or sports loyalty, thinks I'm being silly and that I shouldn't care who wins.
Am I making too much out of this? Should I just relax and root for the new hometown's team?
Pack Fan in Bears Country
Dear Pack Fan in Bears Country,
Ask your girlfriend this: Say you were to move from Chicago to Cleveland. Should you transfer your loyalties to a new girlfriend, one with a Cleveland address, out of civic pride?
If you moved to Cleveland, you would want to take your girlfriend with you, right? Right? (Say it with me: "Right!") Perhaps when you moved from Milwaukee to Chicago you were hoping to take the Green Bay Packers with you too. But the Green Bay Packers take up too much space in a small apartment. And imagine the refrigerator. And imagine the awkward conversation with the NFL. Not only is it debatable whether the Green Bay Packers would fit in in Chicago, it is debatable whether they would even fit in Chicago. So taking them with you was not an option.
But ... she's got to like this -- you can take them in your little heart! You can put all the Green Bay Packers plus their equipment and coaches and jockstraps and minty pungent eucalyptus unguent and everything into your little old heart, just pack them in and take them with you to Chicago. And that's what you did. You carry the Green Bay Packers in your little heart, just as you do your girlfriend.
But a girlfriend is a different story in one way. You actually could take her with you to Cleveland, if you were to move. Tell her you would take her anywhere, and the same goes for your Brett Favre bobble-head.
If she still doesn't understand, explain it to her this way: You care. You care about her. You care about the Packers. Once you care, you care. OK, so you move. You still care.
Let this sink in. Maybe she will make the connection and it will make her happy and she will buy some avocados.
And then let Uncle Cary just ask you this: Do you really have to root at all? If there is nothing in your heart but scorn, how can you root? Why not simply "observe with interest." Eat the guacamole and observe with interest.
Observe with interest, my friend, as the Colts demolish the Bears by six -- even as, in the same game, the Bears also demolish the Colts by an equal or greater margin, as has been reliably predicted in King Kaufman's Sports Daily.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
What? You want more?