Monday, September 15, 2008

On football and favorite sons: A nonsensical ramble

"I do this for love."

My house was full of San Diego boys watching the Chargers yesterday, and I was in the other room watching the Red Sox for the first few minutes. For some reason, this got me thinking about how a city is like a family and the sports teams are their children. Bear with me.

See, a lot of times in families, there’s one kid who is perceived as having tons of potential, and that kid is pushed really hard to realize that potential, while the other kid or kids get coddled. At least this is what I’ve been lead to believe by a lot of historical fiction. My own family was nothing like that, probably because none of us kids had any potential.

Now in this sports analogy, the Boston family – where I grew up – is highly abusive and unhealthy. All teams suck unless they make the playoffs, and even then, they’re merely tolerated unless they win a championship. This recent Red Sox obsession? Believe me, it was nothing like this when I was growing up. Back when they couldn't make the post season, people followed them, but nothing like this. Same with the Pats.

But San Diego, I’ve noticed, is a lot like the family described earlier: The Padres are the loveable loser kid who people will watch regardless of what happens, and the Chargers are the kid on whom the city’s placed all kinds of expectations. As a result, when the Padres suck this year, people kind of laugh it off. It’d be nice if they were better, but oh well. But the Chargers start the season 0-2, and the city’s asking Philip Rivers to cut it a switch.

Here is the realization: Usually, the kid who is pushed by his family thinks his family hates him. They end up very successful but full of resentment and daddy issues and self-loathing. Often times, they go into politics. But seeing the way San Diego reacts to the Chargers, I see that this is backwards. That kid who’s been pushed is actually loved the most. San Diego is a football town, after all.

It's amazing how sports can sometimes clarify completely unrelated principals. In other news, I shouldn’t be allowed to have children.


Dave H said...

Haha, this kind of makes sense.

The Padres I think are like the kid that scored high on the SATs, but always underachieved in school and ended up in community college.

At some point you thought they'd make something of themselves, but you now realize that they're gonna be living at home in the basement for the forseeable future...

Red said...

It wasn't always like this for the Chargers. Really, so many people have only been completely insane for them since we got LT.

Dave H said...

Red's right actually.

My dad I and I used to just walk up to the ticket office on gameday and get good seats.

Not to mention how easy it was during the Ryan Leaf years. People are just pissed I think because all SD wants is just ONE title, will somebody please just get it done ONCE!

Then we can all go back to mediocre/low expectations.

But I think with the Padres, you never minded them being bad because they were entertaining, and the games always had a fun crowd. now they have neither, lol

Liz said...

Yeah it felt like even the last few years when the Padres were playoff contenders, the excitment level wasn't much higher than it is now. Though they at least got people at the games. Petco has been empty lately.

Dave H said...

Ya, someone needs to go Project Mayhem on that stadium. Boring and overpriced.

words words words said...

I like your analogy. I guess all the Philly teams are Tina Turner and the city is Ike.

Dave H said...

Haha, that's not bad.

I think the Detroit Lions are like Corky from "Life Goes On"

Actually, Corky is probably more of a winner than the Lions...