Monthly Archives: June 2006

On Rooting: Picking a Team

So our mighty Pistons were unceremoniously dispatched from the NBA Playoffs by Dwayne Wade, Shaq, White Chocolate and the rest of the Miami Heat, leaving me in a familiar position: no local team in the Championship series (see Red Wings, Tigers, Lions, and my beloved Wolverines).

But I’m a sports fan, right? I need to watch the championships of one of the major professional sports in this country, just to keep my cred as a sports geek. But even though I have no particular interest in either Dallas or Miami becoming the next champion of the NBA, I have a basic need to pick a team to root for in any sporting event I watch. It just makes the game more enjoyable.

So who to pick? There are a couple of different ways to go on this:

Pick the team that beat your team:

I think the feeling here is that you can say your team wasn’t the best, but they lost to the best, so they can consider them #2, even if they aren’t in the championship. Sometimes I can go for this, such as one of the reasons I am currently rooting for the Oilers in the NHL Finals.

I’m not sure the bruises from the Miami beat-down of Detroit have healed enough for this to work.

Pick the underdog:

I always like the underdog rising up and creating a good upset. Perhaps a bit of schadenfreude when I think about it, but great upsets are some of the best games in sports history: Super Bowl III, and the Miracle on Ice to name a few. This is another reason to root for the Oilers (a #8 seed) in the NHL finals.

But does that apply here? The Heat were the #2 seed, and Dallas was a strong #4 seed (second only to the #1 team in their division). So no obvious underdog here.

Strong Like/Dislike:

Sometimes you just get a feeling about a player or a team. Or you have a grudge because of team history. For me, as a Red Wing fan I’ll never root for the Avalanche. As a Michigan fan, I’ll never root for Notre Dame. And I just don’t like the Miami Hurricanes. No good reason. Just don’t like ‘em.

Dallas? No strong feeling. Miami? Well… No real hatred, but there’s a definite leaning to partial dislike there. But that’s not enough. I need…

The X Factor:

This man is the reason I’m rooting for the Mavs:

cuban

Mark Cuban owns the Dallas Mavericks. Mark Cuban is a geek. He should be the hero of every self-professed sports geek in the world. This man started up a streaming audio service in his bathroom with a single HP server and an ISDN line and transformed it into Broadcast.com, which he sold to Yahoo for over 5 Billion dollars. Yes, that’s Billion with a ‘B’. And he started it to be able to personally listen to basketball games. He has a blog. He puts his email address on the jumbotron for fans to contact him. He’s still involved with current geekery such as HDTV technologies. He speaks his mind, has a sense of humor, and knows more about hardcore technology than I ever will. Mark Cuban is the sports geek’s dream. And that’s why I’m rooting for the Dallas Mavericks.

McFreakin' Me Out

Okay, is it just me or is anybody else really disturbed by the new McDonald’s chicken sandwich ads?

I’m not sure if what happens to this guy is really encouranging me to rush out and buy one of those chicken sandwiches. I mean, since when is inducing the fear of body transformation considered as something to encourage the purchase of your vittles? No thank you.

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