So reading through the old blog, I found a post from six years ago that could do with an update. Therefore:
NOTE: “Then” equals 1991-96, roughly the peak of my sporting obsession. “Now” is 2010.
BASEBALL THEN: Obsessive. Atlanta Braves every day, Birmingham Barons twice a week, on top of all major developments and dialed into the minor league situation for the Braves and White Sox alike.
BASEBALL NOW: Eh. Will look in on the Giants once or twice a week, but rarely for a full game. Vaguely aware of the A’s, esp. if it’s a long night and there’s nothing on TV. Will look at the World Series if the Red Sox are in it. Not really sure who the Giants farm teams are. Barons connection limited to a cap.
BASEBALL, 2016: Will watch the Oakland A’s anytime Sonny is pitching. Will go to the San Jose Giants anytime for any reason. Will probably root for the SF Giants again once Tyler Beede is in the rotation, but not until (because it’s getting to be like rooting for the dealer). Very interested in the fortunes of Vanderbilt baseball and its many alumni in the big leagues. Own a Vandy Sunday jersey (red white and blue America themed).
NFL THEN: Everything, all the time. Redskins obsessive, though unable to see every game. Also a vested interest in the fortunes of (deep breath): Chargers, Saints, Jets, Chiefs, Packers, Raiders, and (later) Jaguars and Titans. Watched every preseason game, every instance of Sunday and Monday Night Football, damn near every playoff game. Obsessive scribbling of plans for realignment/expansion of NFL (including something approximating the actual 8-division 32-team form that finally came to pass in 2002).
NFL NOW: Redskins, either on satellite radio or at my dive bar up the road, plus every time they’re on national TV. General interest in the welfare of the Saints (because of my high school connections) and Chargers (family connection or two). Unadulterated loathing for the NFL as an organization and firm conviction that the Super Bowl is to football what St Patricks Day is to real Irish bars.
NFL, 2016: I get angry if I have to actually watch. One Redskins ridearound per year. Mostly only pay attention to the Skins inasmuch as it informs the escapades of the Sports Junkies.
NBA THEN: Everything, all the time. Suns fan, Blazers fan, could name the starting five of almost every franchise, never missed a playoff game or an NBA on NBC Sunday double-header. Could do a passable Marv Albert impersonation. Had Barkley and Majerle jerseys. Obsessive scribbling of plans for realignment/expansion of NBA with an especial eye toward an eventual team in hometown.
NBA NOW: Vaguely aware of Warriors. Even more vaguely aware of Wizards (via podcast of DC sports show) and Kings (because I know Sacramento is in the area and I know people who root for them). Unable to get stuck into actually paying attention, especially with hated Lakers and hated Celtics in prominence.
NBA, 2016: Thanks to Festus Ezili, I became a Warriors fan in the fall of 2012. I’d have to say it worked out OK. Hands down my top local sports affiliation these days.
NHL THEN: Watched Stanley Cup playoffs to conclusion annually. Also regular attendance at minor-league ECHL games in hometown. Occasional scribbling of realignment/expansion plans to include team in hometown (and possibly maximize presence in Canada along the way). Missed half of own college graduation party in 1994 hunched around TV with friends watching “MATTEAU! MATTEAU! MATTEAU!!!” game.
NHL NOW: (crickets)*
NHL, 2016: (crickets)
SOCCER THEN: Watched US team in World Cup.
SOCCER NOW: No longer have access to Celtic, but DVR’d every available game when possible. Still casting about for a team in English Premier League. Watched entire 2010 World Cup obsessively thanks to streaming video at work.
SOCCER, 2016: Will attend San Jose Quakes at any opportunity. Regularly DVR games from Tottenham Hotspur and Everton even if I don’t always watch. DVR and watch Men In Blazers weekly. Considering taking in a game in London this August…somewhere.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL THEN: Alabama Crimson Tide obsessive. Would watch any D-I game turned on in front of me. Schemed up plans for bowl-based playoff system and conceived experimental “Division IV” for major powers to field non-scholarship one-platoon football teams to replicate old-style football and experiment with rule changes. Wanted Keith Jackson to provide running commentary on my life.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOW: Season tickets for Cal, faithful follower of Vanderbilt, vested interest in Alabama if not full attention. Will watch any D-I game turned on in front of me.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL, 2016: I’m out. Will attend Alumni Band Day at Cal, or if they have the Grambling Band coming in to play, but now avoid games wherever possible, including Alabama and Vanderbilt. Gave up a regular Sunday postmortem column on Vanderbilt football at a prominent Vandy blog. I just can’t do it anymore with the game as it’s currently constituted. That said, I will support Alabama in national title games if it’s against a team I dislike.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL THEN: Hardcore supporter of undergrad team – pep band, alumni booster club even before graduation, sports editor of campus paper, known as “SF” (for “Super Fan”) by players living in same dorm. Would watch any D-I game turned on in front of me. Obsessive interest in NCAA tournament and NIT.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL NOW: Obsessive follower of Vanderbilt, including alumni gatherings in the city and even a live game vs St Mary’s in 2009 in Moraga. Will be distracted by any D-I game turned on in front of me. Obsessive, all-consuming interest in NCAA tournament, up to and including foolish decisions about buying tickets and attempting to ditch work at the appropriate times to maximize viewing opportunities. Want Gus Johnson to provide commentary on my life.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL, 2016: Tough call. Kind of punched out, but dragged back by March Madness and an exciting new young coach at Vanderbilt. Stay tuned. This might be a harder one to shake.