"Summer is over. We were tangled in the morning sun, felt you getting colder, and we knew that we would come undone. And it’s back to my town, back to your life. Gray skies are blowing a kiss goodbye to the lovers. ‘Cause Summer is over…"
Summer is Over, Jon McLaughlin feat. Sara Bareilles
For me, any and all sports seasons begin during the post season. Sure, I’ll rejoice in a win for one of my designated teams if someone mentions it, or defend to the death if I happen to be talking to a friend — or arch enemy, but nothing in between — who is adamantly against whatever team I call my own. But for the most part, I don’t start paying attention until the playoffs begin. At that point, if one of “my teams” — Dodgers or Rangers, Lakers or Mavericks, Steelers or Cowboys, Penguins or Stars — is doing well, I will root for them until they’ve ultimately been cheated out of (OR CLAIM!) their rightful victory to whatever final showdown they have.
However, if I do not have a team in the playoffs, I base my decision of who I should root for on a number of carefully considered factors:
Is there a person on the team who I have heard a lot about? Do I like that person? If yes, root for. If no, root against.
Is there someone on the team that rubs me the wrong way for a certain reason? (“I don’t like their face” IS an acceptable reason.) If yes, root against.
Do I like their team colors and/or uniforms? If yes, root for.
Is their mascot cute? (In lieu of an appropriate mascot — Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat, for example — is their team name any good?) If yes, root for.
Is one of the teams near a city or state I have good feelings for? If yes, root for.
Is one of the teams near a city or state I have bad feelings for? If yes, root against.
Does someone I dislike greatly like one of the teams? If yes, root against said team.
Does someone I really like like one of the teams? If yes, root for said team.
Does one of the players, teams, or coaches have a funny name that I can yell when they win? If yes, root for.
Are they Lebron James, the Patriots, Celtics, Yankees, or Jets? If yes, root against.
After I have deliberated through these things, I care about that team for the time leading up to the game, during the game, and then for approximately 20 minutes after the game has ended. And then I wait anxiously until the next year — or I forget about the sport until I overhear it’s playoff time again…