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Friday, May 22, 2009
InfidelityAfter stirring the pot over at NBC with the Chief Wahoo stuff this morning, I exchanged a few emails with regular commenter Sara K. The abridged gist:
Sara: You know, eventually, you will have to answer for the Tomahawk Chop.
To be clear, I have no intention of abandoning the Braves. We're like an old married couple. We've been together too long to change now, even if it isn't always pleasant. The Braves have learned to tolerate my snoring, and I have learned to tolerate their gas. Familiarity and routine are not the most inspiring reasons to stay together, but they are somewhat underrated and can be enough to carry the day long after the flame has died out. We bicker. We're passive-aggressive. We aren't always nice to one another. But at this point it would take an infidelity-level event to split us in two. The closest thing to that I can think of is hiring Dusty Baker or something, and unless I've fundamentally misjudged my significant other, that's just not going to happen.
But like anyone in a blah marriage, my eye wanders from time to time. I imagine what my life would be like if I was -- dare I say it? -- unfaithful. What would attract me? With whom could I make it work? No harm in looking, right? It's not cheating just to look . . .
Yankees: Never. Not even on a drunken fling.
Red Sox: For all of the Boston-New York drama, they both look the same to the rest of the country, and honey, you're not as hot as you think you are.
Orioles: They have more going for them than you might think. History. A nice ballpark. Enough years in the wilderness to where any residual cockiness has long been beaten out of them. If Peter Angelos were out of the picture, I could see myself swooping in.
Blue Jays: Sorry, when I used to tell the other kids that I had a girlfriend from Canada, I always placed her in Montreal. Just sounded more exotic. And I like things natural -- no fake grass.
Rays: I'd feel like I was robbing the cradle. I couldn't go for anyone without some history and experience, ya know? That rules out all of the 1993-present expansion teams.
Tigers: Ah, the old flame. Sure, it's been a long time since we were together -- and God, were we young! -- but there are so many reasons why it could work again. Still, I'm hesitant to stir up old emotions. I can't escape the fact that I abandoned them once, and I can't help but think we'd spend all of our time together waiting for the other shoe to drop. I think it would work, but we'd have to promise to never bring up the past.
White Sox: History. A great city. I could see us having fun together.
Twins: The Twins are a home wrecker of a franchise (see, 1987 ALCS; 1991 WS) and I'll have nothing to do with them.
Indians: Inconceivable unless they drop that . . .MAN . . .they insist on hanging around.
Royals: Another possibility -- nice park, great history, very underrated city and some likeable players. But there's a lot of High profile competition for their affections, and I don't feel like having to prove myself all the time, so I'm leaning no.
Rangers: They've always been a mess. They have a serious drug history and some questionable associations. It's only recently that they seem to be getting themselves together. I'd want them to prove to me that they can be healthy and stable for a long time before I'd be willing to commit.
Angels, A's, Mariners: I could see it happening with any of these three, but our schedules are so different that I don't know when we'd be able to make time to see one another.
Mets, Phillies, Marlins: There's too much negative history here for any of these three to be serious contenders. Besides, they're far too close to home. If it was a mere fling, there's a good chance we'd get caught. Even if I went with one of them following a breakup, seeing the ex 18 times a year would make things far too awkward. Pass.
Nationals: some of the previous item's concerns apply, but they've always been less objectionable then the others, even back when they were using their maiden name. But when I look in the mirror, I know I can do better, and shacking up with these losers would be a serious blow to my self-esteem in the long run.
Cubs: Another attractive contender in terms of history, location and all of the rest. Plus, hooking up with a team with a national superstation would be a nice symbolic F.U. to the Braves in that their superstation is what caused them to catch my eye in the first place. "You used to treat me right," I'd be saying to them. "I didn't leave you; you left me."
Cardinals: Also high on the list. They're easy to resist now because I really hate their old man, but if he was out of the picture, there's no telling what we'd do. Wait, this is starting to sound like a film noir: "Tony, the reason I got the extra life insurance for you is so that I'd be protected. You WANT me to be protected, don't you? Now hurry up and sign the papers. We have a train to catch . . . ."
Brewers, Reds, Pirates: All are just about equal in terms of attractiveness, but for different reasons. The Pirates may look bad on the surface, but they're nearby and they have a nice pad, and I know they'd give me their undivided attention. The Brewers really know how to party, so I'm sure I'd have a great time with them. People have been trying to fix me up with the Reds for years. I have my reservations, but sometimes when you hang around someone for so long they just start to grow on you and things just sort of happen, ya know?
Astros: I liked them much more back in their wild youth. Now that they're all corporate and boring I have no attraction to them whatsoever.
Diamondbacks, Rockies: See the Rays' comment.
Dodgers, Giants: I'm almost ashamed to admit that I've had their number in my speed dial for a long time. We've hung out. We've done things together. But I swear, NOTHING HAPPENED. I'm not saying that nothing could EVER happen, though . . .
UPDATE: I forgot the Padres! I guess that tells you just how high they rate with me.
Again, let me be clear: I'm happily married, and no matter how bad things get, we're determined to make things work because we truly love each other. All I'm saying is that if -- IF -- something crazy were to ever happen, don't be surprised if I found myself drunk dialing the Tigers, Cardinals, Cubs, Giants, or Dodgers.
And don't you DARE judge me.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 3:54pm
Hollywood Joe said...
You know Craig on your Dodger / Giants attraction, while it is understandable that you would find both hot, if you were ever to choose one the other is forever dead to you
They are like sisters who hate each other and only people who want to end up on Jerry Springer date sisters who hate each other
Posted 05/22 at 04:11 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
If you’re trying to turn me off of them, Joe, it’s not working.
Posted 05/22 at 04:13 PM
So a team with (overrated and obnoxious) fans who wear “Zambrano Mows My Lawn” t-shirts is high on the list? Ewww.
Posted 05/22 at 04:17 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Matty—I’ve been rooting for the Braves for pushing 25 years. It’s not like I have high standards for my fellow fans’ behavior at this point . . .
Posted 05/22 at 04:21 PM
My own marriage to the Phillies has long been a stormy one. When the ‘94 strike hit, we separated, but neither party would sign the divorce papers, and we reconciled in 1998 (thank you, Chad Ogea’s 6+ ERA). Now, we’re cruising off the good vibes from finally having our baby, World F###ing Shillingford, and things are alright. Good, even.
We trust each other. We’ve suffered together, and we’ve cried happy tears, too. If they betray me, I’m leaving them for a minor league team. Or the Seattle Mariners. Whatevs.
Posted 05/22 at 04:23 PM
Wooden U Lykteneau said...
Craig - This smells an awful lot like a recycled NCAA basketball story to me. Is there another fandom that’s more shallow this side of California?
Posted 05/22 at 04:26 PM
there are so many reasons to dislike the tomahawk chop and braves fans for that matter. But, I still find myself moving my hand in a chopping motion and humming along, when I’m at work listening to a close game. It reminds me of younger and better times.
Posted 05/22 at 04:26 PM
Hollywood Joe said...
It was just a warning Craig
I have a been one of the Dodger faithful since before I have memories of baseball.
We’d gladly welcome you into the fold, but you’d have to drop that Giant fascination at the door.
Posted 05/22 at 04:35 PM
As one of those lifelong Red Sox fan who recognizes that while she may not be as hot as she used but she’s got a whole lot of money, had some good plastic surgery and appears to be quite the cougar wto all those young college bucks in Boston.
Posted 05/22 at 04:37 PM
The comments from the Dodgers fans also apply to the Cubs and Cardinals. Choose one, and the other must become your mortal enemy. As a non-Chicago resident, the Cardinals are the bigger enemy than the White Sox. Especially in my part of Illinois, where loyalties are pretty evenly divided between the two. The plus side is that the I-55 series is easily the best baseball rivalry in the midwest. I share your disdain for LaRussa. For your sake, I hope he manages them forever so you never succumb to the temptation of the bird on the bat.
Posted 05/22 at 04:51 PM
Matt Mitchell said...
You’re forgetting a key aspect of the White Sox:
I’m convinced the older sister only looks better after multiple glasses of Old Style.
Posted 05/22 at 05:27 PM
Sara K said...
Brian’s right about Cards-Cubs. It’s good-natured on the surface, but in places where the fanbase is split, we are not above cutting someone open to make sure they bleed the right color. I just emailed Craig to say that if he jumps ships for the Cubs, I’ll never read his blog again.
I mean that in the nicest possible way, of course.
Posted 05/22 at 05:28 PM
So, just to clarify, Chief Wahoo is offensive but using “retarded” as a pejorative is A-OK. Got it.
Posted 05/22 at 06:08 PM
When the Braves retire Francoeur’s number, you’ll join us. You will. You’ll have no choice.
Posted 05/22 at 06:20 PM
Actually, using “retarded” as an adjective isn’t anything like using racist symbols as team mascots or chants.
Just because some decided to refer to the mentally handicapped as “retarded” doesn’t mean we have to strike the word from our lexicon now. If you use that word to describe someone with Downs, you’re an asshole. If you use it to describe yourself, it’s just a word.
Posted 05/22 at 06:24 PM
Sara K said...
Would it be better to call the Chop “really, really dumb,” or would that be just as bad?
Posted 05/22 at 06:28 PM
Dayn Perry said...
I live about a mile-and-a-half from Wrigley, and I wear my Cards hat all over town with minimal taunting (really ... what are they going to say?). That’s part of what I love about the rivalry. It’s intense without the East-Coast douchiness that’s common to Sox-Yanks and, now, Mets-Phils. The Midwest is great.
Anyhow, Craig, if you decide to join us one day after La Russa moves on, then I’ll see what I can do to have the hazing period waived.
Posted 05/22 at 06:46 PM
Mad Bum said...
Giants fans would welcome you as you’re intelligent enough, though you’d have to insta-hate the Dodgers and equate them with pure evil, Hitler and Satan, etc on a routine basis. Of course, you’re way too smart to be a Dodger fan, anyway (IQ>80?). Also, if you enjoy the first 3 or last 3 innings of baseball games, being a Dodger fan probably isn’t for you as most of them can’t be bothered to watch those.
I have to warn you however, that being a Giants fan is a painful and often depressing experience and frankly, I’m not sure I would recommend it to anyone with a choice.
Posted 05/22 at 06:47 PM
Aaron Moreno said...
Reds used to have a mustache. All I’m sayin’.
Posted 05/22 at 06:49 PM
@Andy, Sara K, anyone else who cares:
I think you could make a pretty good argument that “retarded” is perfectly appropriate. Retardation, of course, refers to being developmentally deficient. In this case, the implication is that the Tomahawk Chopping Braves’ fans are socially behind the rest of us cultured types. That is, ever since the Civil War in the 1860s and the civil rights campaigns of the 1960s, we’ve been learning not to make caricatures of minorities to “earn” a buck. The Braves, being socially retarded, haven’t yet learned that.
Sorry for turning this into GrammarBlog.
Posted 05/22 at 07:16 PM
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