I love sports. It’s no secret. Basketball is my favorite to watch. Track and field is my favorite to do. I know more about those two sports than any other, but I can get into and understand almost any other sport. It takes next to no effort to get me pumped up about a game. If you can find me a good reason to cheer for a particular team, I can become invested — fast.
I’m not big on bandwagon fans. I say this from a completely hypocritical place. I do not enjoy people with absolutely no connection to Boston, who just happened to become Boston Red Sox fans the year they broke their world series slump. I do not enjoy hockey because when I was a kid it seemed no one in North Carolina cared one bit about hockey until the Carolina Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup – then every Tom, Dick, and… well… Stanley (that hurt me more than it hurt you, I promise) put giant Hurricanes flags on their cars. I do not like when people just claim a team. I don’t like it, but I’m guilty of it. Not a full-on bandwagon, per se. I won’t ever devote absolute fanhood to a team without any connection to my life. I will, however, jump on board for a few Saturdays. I’ll cheer a team on if they do something I love, like beat Duke or the Gamecocks. I’ll pull for a team if their story is particularly exciting.
I’m not a huge football fan. It’s been widely noted (mostly by me, but whatever) that I only really care about football until basketball season starts up. That being said, I watch it pretty regularly during the basketball down time. I have teams I love and I have teams I hate. Then there are the teams that garner my bandwagoning attention.
This football season Missouri is my team to watch. Truth be told, it only started two weekends ago when they played Georgia. Like I said, give me a good reason and I can dive right in – fast. The 2013 Missouri football team is nothing if not a series of good reasons. You’ve got a team that’s had decent seasons, but never seems to draw a whole lot of national attention. There’s a general underdog feeling, whether the rankings make it true or not. This is a team that joined the SEC just last year. The SEC — that conference that is considered (it pains me to say this) the best football conference. The pompous, horrible, disgusting SEC. Sorry about that… sort of. What I’m trying to say is Missouri is a team that is in the SEC, but it doesn’t feel like it. They’re not a Georgia or Alabama. They’re the sleeper team from halfway across the country. They’re kind of just sneaking in and staging a takeover. I love it.
I guess it says something terrible about me that I enjoy cheering against some teams as much as I enjoy cheering for the teams I love. I don’t want to know what it says about me, actually.
All I know is I absolutely support the idea of culture change in the SEC and if some nice kids from the midwest have to be the ones to make it happen, then so be it.