Re: Your rooting interest
I'm feeling a little shallow after all these declarations of lifelong loyalty. My confession: I grew up in St. Louis, as deep a Cardinal fan as I could muster. It faded a bit when we moved to Northern Missouri when I was 16, but I recall, as we honeymooned on Nantucket in late September of 1981, still agonizing over the cruel conclusion to that infamous regular season (the Cardinals shared the Reds' fate, other division).
I'm not sure when it was that I switched over. It wasn't really formalized. Since I was writing some baseball for the local newspapers, I wouldn't have called myself a Reds fan. But at the same time, by being amongst them, knowing the players as people, I developed an empathy. Professionally, I had a stake in their outcomes. And over the last couple decades, I've realized that I don't feel much at all for the Cardinals anymore. I have to say, that bothers me a little bit--at least intellectually, if not emotionally. It smacks of character weakness. I mean, if the Reds don't get it done during a certain year, my rooting interest still defaults to St. Louis; but there's no urgency to that sense. The whole thing feels a little soulless. It's convenient, however, for evening entertainment. Besides that, Redszone rocks.
Meanwhile, on the matter of numbers . . . Math--or more specifically, arithmetic (I peeled off at the onset of geometry)--always came naturally, and I suspected that baseball had a lot to do with it. I recall, maybe seventh grade, sitting in the back of the room with a baseball-minded friend as the teacher lobbed the class some basic ratios to convert to percentages. Three out of seven, he would say. "Forty two point nine," Ray and I would shout out together. Nine out of twenty-four. "Thirty seven point five." Simple batting averages. We didn't even have to think about it. In retrospect, maybe the inclination toward numbers preceded the one toward baseball; but I don't think so. Maybe they aren't really related; but I don't think so.
Last edited by Lonnie Wheeler; 08-29-2013 at 11:09 PM.