Ever since I was little, I've sought to only do things that were rational. I thought about every little thing I did, from what I ate to what I believed, to make sure everything made logical sense. I even looked very hard to find a reason why I shouldn't try to be perfectly rational, because if it wasn't logical to be perfectly logical, then I shouldn't be perfectly logical. And there are actually arguments against this line of thought.
There is a fairly well known paradox that probably has a name that tries to discredit those people like me who seek to be perfectly rational. It goes something like this:
A starving donkey walks into a barn with two piles of hay. Each pile of hay is the same size, made of the same exact hay, and are both the same distance from the donkey. This donkey, being perfectly rational, is unable to logically choose between the two piles, and starves to death.
To a person who is not perfectly rational, this seems like a pretty good argument. Fortunately, there is actually a fatal flaw in this analogy. Since the donkey desires to stay alive, it is more logical to pick one pile of hay at random than it is to pick neither and starve, and since both piles are identical, either choice is perfectly rational. The donkey loses nothing from picking one pile over the other, so it can't be called irrational no matter which one it chooses and no matter how it chooses it.
So, with this world view still firmly intact, I took a psychology class my freshman year of college, and ran into a very serious problem.
When I took this class, the Lakers had just won the NBA championship, and I vividly remember the lecture talking about sports fans had a picture of a Lakers fan destroying car in a celebratory riot. Our professor explained that psychologists had observed that sports fans will refer to their team as "we" when they do well, but as "they" when they do bad. "We're awesome" verses "They suck".
She also explained how the "we" didn't make much sense, since the fans had absolutely nothing to do with their team's achievements. For a fan to claim the triumphs of their team as their own was simply irrational.
This was a very big problem for me. I was trying to live my life as a perfectly rational being, and any time I discovered something that I was doing that didn't make sense I would immediately change my behavior. But when the issue of my fandom came up, I didn't want to let it go. It seemed to be such a big part of my identity that to let it go would radically change who I was.
But this caused me even more anguish, since I had always scoffed at those who worried about their identity. To me, worrying about "who you really were" didn't make any sense, because you are you and there's nothing you can do to change it. There is no such thing as a "real you", you're always the real you no matter what you do. But this logic flew in the face of the reason I wanted to stay a fan.
This problem worried me for a long time. I took my self-imposed mission very seriously, and it seemed that this one thing could be the thing that brought it all down. Somehow, I knew there was something, some reason that I held onto this seemingly irrational belief despite the evidence my psychology professor showed me.
Eventually, I did find the answer. I realized that this problem was similar to why people were proud of their hometown. Why should people in St. Louis be proud of the Arch when they probably did nothing to plan, design, or build it? Why should people from Kansas City be proud of their BBQ when many don't BBQ anything themselves?
The reason is that your hometown is part of your identity, because you are a part of the city. Kansas City is not an entity by itself, it is a collection of people who live and work in a certain area. So, as part of the Kansas City group, I take pleasure in the things my city does right, and shame in the things it does wrong. I'm proud to say that my hometown of Independence was home to Harry S Truman, but also ashamed to say that it was at one point the meth capitol of the country.
That same mentality is why I support the Chiefs and Royals. They are a part of my hometown the same way Truman is. It is also why I support Mizzou. Even though I ended up not going there for school, they represent my state at that level, so I root for them.
Since KC has no NBA or NHL team, I consider myself a Bulls and Blues fan. But even as I watched the Bulls get the best record in the NBA and go to the Conference Finals, I realized that if I could choose between the Bulls winning the NBA Championship or the Royals having a winning record, I'd choose the Royals. And this is from a guy who said baseball is the most boring sport in the world. Sure, I like the Bulls, but they aren't a part of my hometown, so I don't really care about them. When they lost to the Heat, I was more upset that LeBron James was going to the finals than I was that the Bulls weren't.
So I don't understand people who root for teams not in their hometown when their hometown has a team. I know there are a lot of people on AP that fall in that boat, so I don't want to sound like I'm criticizing you, I just don't understand. I don't understand how someone could be both a Chiefs and Cardinals fan. I would think you'd identify with one city more than the other.
I've been thinking of making a post like this for a while, but finally decided to do it when I saw a fanshot on here asking if you refer to the team as "we" or "they". To me, the answer is clearly "we".
This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.