By Scott Creer
Fair-weather fans are a lot like bad Utah drivers. I can”t stand either of them.
But before I go off about bad Utah driving, an extremely redundant phrase if I”ve ever heard one, let”s spare the fast-lane ignorant and delve into the whole issue of fair-weather fans.
With the Los Angeles Lakers steamrolling the competition for their second consecutive NBA Championship, Lakers” fans are popping up out of nowhere.
Sure, the Lakers” “faithful” cheered Magic Johnson and the rest of his Showtime crew in the 80”s. And of course they cheer now.
I”m wondering where all the Lakers” fans were hiding when Vlade Divac was the Lakers” most famous player, not Shaq or Kobe.
They were probably hiding behind all those Atlanta Braves” fans who promise they were fans back when Dale Murphy laced up his cleats.
True fans should be like the mailman. Rain, sleet and snow shouldn”t deter a fan from staying true to a team of choice.
I”m not saying it”s easy being loyal. Trust me, I”m from Detroit.
I”m forced to relive the glory days of Joe Dumars, Bill Laimbeer and the rest of the Bad Boys sweeping the Lakers in 1989 and then repeating the next year in five games over the Blazers.
Since 1991 though, the Pistons haven”t won a playoff series.
And the Pistons aren”t even close to being Detroit”s most pathetic sports team.
That title clearly belongs to the Detroit Tigers. Yes, the same Tigers that lost more games than any other MLB team in the 1990”s. Yes, the same team that hasn”t done anything worth cheering about since 1987 when it lost to the Minnesota Twins in the ALCS.
Gone are Tiger legends Kirk Gibson, Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammel. The Tigers don”t even play at historic Tiger Stadium at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull anymore.
The Tigers” owners and general managers have done more to abandon their fan base in the last decade than any team east of the Mississippi. They”ve traded away John Smoltz, Luis Gonzalez and Travis Fryman. They”ve lost David Wells and Juan Gonzalez to free agency.
But I”ve been a Tigers” fan since I can remember and I”ll be a Tigers” fan until the day I die. In fact, as the Tigers” success has spiraled downward, my loyalty has only gotten stronger.
I”ll continue to cheer for the Tigers when they win four games in a row, and then keep on cheering when they lose the next five.
Growing up in Detroit, there were plenty of times when my faithfulness got tested. I don”t even want to talk about Barry Sanders retiring early or Chris Webber calling a time out when Michigan didn”t have one in the 1993 NCAA Championship game.
You might say at least I can smile about my beloved Red Wings. You”re right, they won the Stanley Cup in 1997 and 1998.
But it”s tough to celebrate when I”m in Thailand on my mission.
Obviously, when my teams win it all, I”m a happier man than when they lose.
But it doesn”t matter where I”m at or how well my team is playing; my loyalty is the same.
It could be worse. I could be a fan of the Red Sox or Cubs.
But at least their fans are loyal.