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23 January 2011

An Odd Story of Team Loyalty and Rivalry

This is the story of how I became a Colts fan.

I grew up a fan of Chicago teams because I grew up in a Chicago television market. This seems strange to many since I grew up in Michigan, but Saint Joseph, Michigan, on the shores of Lake Michigan, is less than a 100-mile drive from Chicago but only about 60 miles as the crow flies--or radio waves as it may be. Unlike most other Michiganders who followed the Lions, Pistons, Tigers, and Redwings, we got Chicago radio and TV that covered the Bears, Bulls, Sox, Cubs, and Blackhawks. Being so close and having a father who was a diehard Sox fan, my sister and I, with my mother, spent the summers frequenting Comiskey Park. I got behind this wholeheartedly; we weren't, however, reared as hard on the other sports. (Anyone asking why we weren't Cubs fans should stop reading right now.) By default, I became a Bears and Bulls fan which wasn't very difficult since the former won the Super Bowl when I was five years old and that latter starred Michael Jordan and won several championships shortly thereafter. (I didn't learn to appreciate hockey until much later.) I went to college in Tennessee where I thought that I might become a Titans fan, but none of my friends cared much for football. It wasn't until after I moved to Indiana for graduate school and later to Indianapolis proper to live with my girlfriend-now-wife that I solidly latched on to an NFL team. The Colts were ascending under Payton Manning, and my girlfriend's new friends were diehard. In the end, it wasn't the chance of being born in a regional market but the chance of social lure that determined my loyalties. How can anyone argue with that?

I know that many of my friends and many in my family still question this, though.

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