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Lorton: If your team loses, cheer for underdogs (Oct. 11)

By Isaac Lorton | Friday, October 11, 2013

 

Watching the MLB Playoffs with my friends, I have come to realize there is no relationship like the one between a fan and his or her team.

One of my roommates is a die-hard Cardinals fan and is currently basking in his first-round victory over the Pirates. Two others are Red Sox fans, also pleased with their results over the Rays.  

Through the first round, my friends have put off countless hours of homework, streamed games in class and exhausted their respective team’s colors. 

This may seem a bit extreme to some, or as my friend so eloquently put it, “I love my family, I love my friends and I love my teams.” 

A sports team is always there for you and gives you something to cheer for despite any other circumstances going on in life. Sports become an outlet. Even if your team is terrible, you hope for its success more than you hope for anything else at that moment. You hope for hope’s sake. 

What happens, though, when your team did not make or is no longer in the playoffs?

As a Diamondbacks fan, my team is unfortunately finished for the year, but come next year Arizona will be hosting up the Commissioner’s Trophy (just watch, it will happen). Now I have to watch the dastardly Dodgers win their first-round series, and it sickens me but that’s besides the point.  

As a baseball fan, I continue to watch the playoff games, but not with the same fervor as I would have if the D-backs were still going. When my team is not playing, I always choose the underdog – and so should you.

The Dodgers are like the Yankees of the National League: You are either from LA and love them or you hate them with an intense, unrivaled and unbridled passion. I am of the latter group. They swam in our pool and I hope they pay for it. 

Recently, the Cardinals have been a baseball powerhouse, making three World Series appearances in the last 10 years and winning two of those. Although the Cardinals go about their business in a professional manner and I have the utmost respect for Yadier Molina, I was sad to see the Pirates go. 

The Red Sox may have been an excellent choice in 2004, but now they are old news. No longer does the World Series drought or The Curse of the Bambino hold my sympathy. They are just another deep-pocketed team of the AL East (but they will never be as bad as the Yankees).

Detroit is a tough case. It has made it to the World Series twice now in the past 10 years – in 2006 and 2012 – but has come up short both times. The Tigers’ last World Series win was in 1984, which is a strong case for an underdog, but unfortunately for them, they are playing the Athletics. 

Since the Pirates were eliminated, the Athletics are the team everyone without a team left should be rooting for. The Athletics have not made a World Series appearance since 1990 and haven’t won a Series since 1989. When the ageless wonder Bartolo Colon and rookie Sonny Gray are the top two pitchers leading the team through the playoffs, you know the Athletics are the underdog (especially, compared to Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer on the hill for Detroit).

Like I said, there is a special relationship between a fan and his or her team, but if that team is no longer playing, the fan will (or should) choose the team that hasn’t always been successful. It may be cliché, but the underdog stories are the best. 

If your team can’t win, you might as well root for the team that needs the most hope. 

Contact Isaac Lorton at ilorton@nd.edu
The views expressed in this Sports Authority are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.