The Rooting Hierarchy

Without a Packers game on today, my son was a bit unclear about for whom he should cheer in sporting events on television. Daddy tried to explain, as best he could, the rooting rules within the household and why they are rational and just.

  1. In the NFL, you root for the Green Bay Packers.
  2. In baseball, you root for the St. Louis Cardinals.
  3. In hockey, you root for the St. Louis Blues in the NHL or the Milwaukee Admirals in the AHL.
  4. Regardless of the sport, you root for anyone but Chicago. If you’re watching a football game of the Bears against the Cardinals, or even the Bears against a team that could challenge the Packers in the NFC North, you root for that team against Chicago. Or if the Reds can go a half game up on the Cardinals in the NL Central if they beat the Cubs, you root for Cincinnati to beat Chicago.

    Frankly, Daddy is from Milwaukee, which some infiltrators (i.e., residents Daddy does not respect) call Milwaukee “Chicago North.” You know what? Milwaukee kicked Chicago’s back bottom in the olden times, until those lazy cheapskate railroad tycoons didn’t want to drag tracks an extra ninety miles north and settled on “Milwaukee South” as their railroad hub for iron ore and timber. Generations later, Daddy retains the outrage. You can root for Real Madrid or even Manchester United, child, but in any contest where Chicago plays, you root against Chicago.

  5. Root against the St. Louis Rams until such time as they return to Los Angeles, at which time this rule is voided and the Los Angeles Rams become just another team. Frankly, I’m sick of paying taxes to lure this team to St. Louis, to keep sports commission members and their retinue in luxury boxes, and to eventually try to retain the team through additional tax-paid amenities for a corporation.
  6. If the teams are playing against someone who challenges the above-named Packers, Cardinals, Blues, or Admirals for position in their divisions/conferences, you root for that team. That is, if the New York Giants play the Detroit Lions, you root for the New York Giants. But you feel conflicted about it.
  7. You root against the teams from New York. If the Titans play the Jets or the Eagles play the Giants, if the Phillies play the Mets or the Twins play the Yankees, root for the team from the realer world.
  8. There are degrees of badness amongst the enemy cities. If the White Sox play the Cubs, root for the White Sox. If the New York Giants play the New York Jets, root for the Giants. One team in the latter example has a primadonna quarterback who wouldn’t play for whomever drafted him; the other has a bunch of loudmouths. We’re a number of numbers deep here in the hierarchy, so we’re allowed to be esoteric.

Those are the basic rules. When one starts in on the personalities (Go Broncos, the former Packers we want to see do well (Go Titans!), and the other subtle, arbitrary distinctions, it’s no wonder the child is confused except for the ABC (Anybody But Chicago) rule. But that is the most important rule.