Friday, June 22, 2012

King James Is Crowned. What's It Like To Cheer For A Champion?!?

So, as I'm watching the Heat celebrate their championship in remarkably subdued fashion, it occurs to me: I've never had a professional team that I root for win a world championship. Ever.

Yes, my UNC Tarheels have won four NCAA men's basketball championships in my lifetime. And yes, I remember where I was, who I was with, and what I was doing each time. But college is different, obviously. It's more about regional pride and bragging rights. It also, for some reason, feels so much more... temporary.

Professional championships are bigger, although if you think about it, you technically are only better than about 30 other teams, whereas in college, that number's dramatically larger. But in any event, it's a feeling I can't say I personally know. My lifetime of pro fandom has consisted of the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons,[1] Charlotte Hornets, (formerly) and now solely the Washington Bullets/Wizards. I'm a bandwagon Redskins fan, and trying to get into the Nats, but that's the extent of it. It's really Wizards or Die! And yeah, based on the team record of late, it's been a whole lotta dyin'.

Which brings me full circle to the point of this rambling narrative: if you're a (true!) Miami Heat fan[2], what's it feel like today? Or for that matter, if you're a fan of a professional sports team that's won in this decade, what exactly does it feel like? Just curious. Tell me below.

Question: Hoooow does it feeeeeeel?!?

[1] Cyber CapriSuns™ to the first person that can explain why a kid growing up in rural NC rooted for team from The A.

[2] I'm convinced that about 80% of the people "cheering for" the Heat are either Lebron fans or people who just love a frontrunner. Nothing's wrong with either, but please don't tell me this as "true fandom" because it's not. A "true Heat fan" would be able to tell me at least 5 players on the franchise's expansion year roster. If you can't do that, you're probably a Lebron fan. You were probably a "Cavaliers fan" two years ago. Word to Dan Gilbert.

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