Thursday, June 14, 2012

middle-American pride

I stole this from facebook (thank you LinLin!). I have no interest in basketball but it does such a good job of capturing the strange local pride, tinged but strengthened by an edge of defiant pseudo-self-deprecating underdogness, that you find in the middle of the country. Particularly in Oklahoma, for some reason (the bombing is surely part of it, as the article describes). In the big cosmopolitan cities of the U.S., no one is more ready to defend their home state than Oklahomans, even though displaced Oklahomans are precisely those who probably didn't like living there in the first place. It's a bizarre yet consistent irony that I don't understand despite being a living example. (And the fact that introspection fails me in this department, despite the fact that introspection is so reliably able to rationalize anything, makes me all the more interested in it.)

It's the same strange loyalty that creates sports fanaticism (and team-pride+local-pride is I'm sure why the case of the Thunder is so particularly powerful). And once again, I'm caught up in an inexplicable psychological phenomenon. I didn't even watch football until after college. I arbitrarily ended up choosing the Jets to root for when I lived in New York and lo and behold, no other team will ever hold the same sway in my eyes. Sure, I'm happy to root for the Giants too, or isolated players like Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers, but despite the fact the Giants have won two Superbowls in the short time I've been following the game, it's not the same as if the Jets had won. (And don't even get me started on how not only did they fail to pick up Peyton Manning, they got his displaced leftovers, that infuriating flailing ineffectual holier-than-god-himself weasel.) Why?? Please explain it to me.

Now if only OKC had an NFL team too. Yeah yeah, a town that size would have a hard time supporting multiple pro teams and there is already an insane college football culture it would have to compete with, but whatever; the NFL is the best sports league, and that's that :)

No comments: