When it comes to sports, the beginning, the middle and the end for me is the St. Louis Cardinals. They are the top of my sports mountain.
Moving a lot had its ups and downs, but one of the ups is that I can claim five fantastic sports towns as my home at one point or another in my life:
- St. Louis
Sports have helped to shape who I am in so many ways. My upbringing being what it was, below is a brief explanation about my sports allegiances over time. Having this background knowledge will help you understand some of my random posts. . .
It’s pretty much the Cardinals and everyone else. You can’t be born in St. Louis and not be a Cardinals fan. As for the other cities, I enjoyed a lot of Tiger games at the old Tiger Stadium during my time in Detroit, so if I had a gun to my head and had to pick a “favorite” American League team, it would be the Tigers. I also enjoy keeping up with the Diamondbacks, but I root against them when they play the Cards obviously.
I hold a grudge against the football Cardinals for leaving St. Louis. That’s why I’m a Bears fan first and foremost. That and I moved to Chicago in 1984, which was a great time to be a Bears fan. Having also lived in Denver, I will say that the Broncos have one of the most impressive fan bases in
football sports. That town shuts down at game time on Sundays for the Broncos and it’s hard not to get wrapped up in all of it when you live there. It was at the old Mile High Stadium where I witnessed one of the greatest games I’ve ever seen in person (91 playoffs against the Oilers). You can keep the Lions (although I was a huge fan of Barry Sanders when I lived there) and Rams.
I consider myself a fair-weather Suns fan currently. Most of the time I’ve lived here in Phoenix, they’ve been hard to watch as they run up and down the floor living and dying by the three-pointer and rarely playing defense. I grew up watching the Bad Boy Piston teams and Jordan/Pippen-era Chicago Bulls. I liked Alex English, but that was where my interest in the Denver Nuggets started and stopped. My love of the NBA game as waned considerably since Jordan retired.
I saved this one for last. It’s my second favorite sport next to baseball, but if you look at those five cities and consider their histories in a hockey context, you’ll understand that I’ve led a difficult and conflicting life as a hockey fan. Through one era or another, all “my teams” basically hate each other. To make it easier to deal with, I’ve always labeled myself as a “hockey fan”, but ultimately, I want to see the Blues win a Cup. I was really into the Blues early on, but especially during the Brett Hull years. I was also a fan of the Yzerman era Red-Wings and the Sakic era Avalanche, then the playoffs happened that one year where all the goalies tried to kill each other and the whole Lemieux/Draper/McCarty thing. These days, I’ve kind of latched onto the Coyotes because I want hockey to succeed here in Phoenix. They didn’t help themselves by putting their stadium out in BFE, but this town is comprised of transplants like me who came from more traditional hockey towns, especially from Detroit. I enjoy watching the teams from all five cities, especially now that they’re all pretty good!
The Smith Good Luck Streak
This has been a thing over the years, but we have some kind of good luck mojo that helps local teams win championships when we move to that area. The proof (which is totally not coincidence!):
- St. Louis (Lived here, Cardinals won the 1982 World Series)
- Chicago (Moved here, Bears won Super Bowl; moved back a second time, Bulls won another NBA championship)
- Detroit (Moved here, Pistons won back-to-back NBA titles 89-91)
- Denver (Moved here, Nordiques followed, became the Avs, won the Stanley Cup in 96)
- Phoenix (Moved here, DBacks won 2001 World Series)
Then, to further that streak, every time holySmith! The Wife and I made a kid, the Cardinals won a World Series (2006, 2011).
And that’s my (pro) sports history. I count the Denver Pioneers hockey team and the various Arizona State Sun Devil teams as my sentimental college favs since I attended both schools. And now you know!