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Is it ever OK to stop cheering for a team?

A small group of my friends and I got together Saturday night for a number of reasons, not the least of which was to watch some playoff football on the big screen at Kostas.

When you spend that much time together certainly debate and discussion arises. Some sports related, some not.

At one point my friend Dave, who is a lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan, was getting grilled by the group as to why he still cheers for that godforsaken franchise. After all it’s now going on 30 years of being one of the least impressive franchises in all of the National Football League.

Dave gave a Tito’s induced speech on loyalty and lifetime fandom and how he will never stop cheering for "The Boys." I told him to me it seemed to me lifetime Fandom could be just Fan-dumb.

Where does it say the fans have to be loyal from the time they’re eight years old until they leave this earth? Players don’t stay loyal. Coaches don’t stay loyal. Franchises themselves leave cities from time to time. Who says because somebody buys you a Dallas Cowboys hat when you’re in middle school that you need to stay with that team until a loved one tells the doctor to pull the plug?

Now that question is a bit hypocritical of me given the fact that I’ve been fan of the New England teams my entire life. The only time that I’ve come close to wavering was on one October night in 2004 when the Yankees pounded the snot out of the Red Sox in game three of the American League championship series.

After what I’d been through with the Sox in my lifetime including 2003 and Aaron Boone ruining my chance to utilize my tickets to see game one of the World Series at Fenway, I said enough is enough. Screw this. I declared out loud at Pete and Larry’s in Bangor that I would become a Kansas City Royals fan.

That never really happened though. Somehow David Ortiz and Dave Roberts helped win game four win against the Yankees and I’ve never wavered since.

But it truly is a choice. I don’t feel obligated. Although I do feel spoiled from recent success and don’t want to be a person jumping off the bandwagon now.

It is all that much sweeter if your team is not good for many years and then they become good. Like the Golden State Warriors had a heckuva run in recent years after decades of nothing. The Sox and Cubs finally won World Series after long droughts. So I guess if Dave goes easy on the Tito's and hangs on long enough his Dallas loyalty might be rewarded.

But what if I dynamic player like a Patrick Mahomes comes along and you’re a lifelong Detroit Lions fan, is it the ultimate sin to all of a sudden start paying attention to a young dynamic player who can provide thrills for a decade or more to come?

Which begs the question can you cheer for two teams? That certainly seems possible these days as Patriots fans remain loyal to the flying Elvis yet many remained squarely in the corner of Tom Brady this weekend.

Loyalty is rare and should be commended. But life is short. And the aggravation of cheering for a team like Dallas just might shorten it more.


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