Re: Your rooting interest
I'm not even 100% sure how I became a Reds fan, only that there's no cure for my affliction. No one else in my family was a Reds fan; my dad was kind of a Red Sox fan but that was because Ted Williams was his favorite player. He didn't live or die with any team like I do. His dad, who he didn't even meet until he was 37 years old, worked in the Twins' front office once upon a time, so the generational baseball pass-down scenario that's so prevalent in many families didn't take hold for us.
Growing up in Virginia Beach, VA with the Chesapeake Bay in my back yard, I guess I should've been an Orioles fan (they were pretty good in the '70s too), but the Reds became my team. My earliest memories of being a Reds fan go back to about '77-'78, so I don't really even remember the BRM's glory days. I can only assume that I grew attached to them by watching them play on the Saturday Game of the Week, but I have no recollection of consciously deciding: "I am a Cincinnati Reds fan."
I guess I want to believe that my team consists of only good guys and that's why I like them so much, but the fact is, the Reds are my team no matter what, even though I've never lived anywhere near Cincinnati. If my fandom could survive the early '80s, the Lost Decade, and Jim Edmonds (did that really happen?), it must be indestructible. I've often said that if MLB expanded and decided to award a team to Virginia Beach and the team played its home games in my back yard, they'd be my second favorite team behind that team from Ohio.
My attraction to the team waned for a few years but I'd have to say that finding RedsZone contributed more to my renewed interest than anything else. It's been said before, but this is the best fan forum there is, for so many reasons that I won't go into here.
I was sad that Dunn and Griffey were traded because I liked both of them, and because that was the final realization that any winning that may occur would have to happen without those two. I think they caught more grief than they deserved, grief that should've been directed toward the front office, but it was time for the team to go in a different direction.
I think Jocketty bringing in the high character guys played a role in the Reds' resurgence; I'm just not sure how big a role. Mostly, the Reds just have more talented players than they did a few years ago, especially on the pitching staff.
Anytime I think about how and why I became a Reds fan, I wish I could pinpoint it a little better. But I also smile when I remember my mom buying me that first pack of '78 Topps baseball cards and I flipped through them, hoping against hope that I would find a Reds player aaaand...RAY KNIGHT! Now I can't stand the guy. I mean, once you change teams and then punch Eric Davis? That's it, pal, you and I are through.
Great thread, Lonnie - I'm glad you started it. I love reading everyone's stories.
"I can make all the stadiums rock."