Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Team Spirit

I don't know if it's the human condition, or just an American thing, but have you ever noticed how everyone seems to have this irrational need to pick a team? I'm not just talking sports here people, I'm talking every little thing in our lives seems to be oriented around "us" and "them." In sports, in politics, in social settings, in lifestyle choices, in just about every way imaginable we choose sides. And when a side isn't chosen, that goes against the grain and is just not right.

I do this, too. Even though I am well aware I am exhibiting behavior I've come to loathe, it is like a strange compulsion to be on one side of the fence or the other BUT NOT BOTH. And as such, it is also my obligation to sneer at the other side with rueful spite, or so I'm told.

I wonder sometimes if the reason this country is so seemingly evenly split politically is because we are too afraid to let go of our team. It's like, no matter what our politicians do, right or wrong, we stick by them because they're on our team. I'm not innocent in this, I celebrate MY democrats and sneer at THOSE republicans. Why? It makes no logical sense (the team part, not the sneering at republicans part, that makes perfect sense).

As for me, I am on the Broncos team, but no matter how hard I tried to resist it, I am also on the Vikings team (go Favre!). To clarify, if the Vikings were pitted against the Broncos, I would root for the Broncos without question. I am NOT like that silly woman I saw on Monday Night Football last night wearing the cheese head with Vikings braids and a half-green, half-purple #4 jersey. Because that's just absurd.

There are other teams for whom I'll proudly wear the home colors. I'm part of the mommy team, and the working mommy team. I am on team Edward, swoon. I am PROUDLY part of team getyourkidsvaccinatedforgodssake. I am a card carrying member of team Colorado, well, at least I used to be until they made me change my card to Minnesota, but I'm still on the other team in spirit. I support team gay rights, and team right to choose (and frankly, I don't really care what you think about that).

I am also a full fledged member of team respect. As in, no matter which team I root for I make it a point to respect and try to understand the other point of view. Well, unless you're a Raiders fan, then I can't really help you.

And really, shouldn't we all be part of team respect? Which teams do you root for?