Rooting for Detroit, and Against My Husband
Published on October 14, 2011 by guest author: Ann Williamson

I love the Detroit Tigers.

My husband loves the Texas Rangers.

It’s been a difficult week in our little apartment in Topeka. We are both used to cheering for the other’s team, but this week, because of a twist of fate, we have actively cheered against each other.

One of us takes the cheering much more seriously than the other. I’ve learned through the years that yelling at the TV and pounding around the living room doesn’t really do any good. My husband, the sports professional, still thinks they can hear you through the glass. It’s not like I don’t cheer, but old age has taught me that I can’t control the outcome of the game from my couch in Kansas.

I do still flip my Tigers cap inside out and backwards when it’s time to rally, and because I was wearing a Ronald Reagan t-shirt last Thursday night when they beat the Yankees, I wore the same shirt this Thursday when the Tigers were on the brink of elimination again. Hey, it’s worked twice, so I washed it this morning to be ready for Saturday.

I’ve been in love with the Tigers since the 1984 World Series, when the Boys played the San Diego Padres and won. My mom is an Ohio native and grew up about an hour away in Toledo. She was the one who told me my fate of being a Tigers fan. There wasn’t another choice in our family.

I’ve cheered during winning seasons and proudly wore my Detroit clothing when they lost 119 games in 2003.

I have yet to see a game at Comerica Park. I’ve at least visited once while I was in Detroit covering the Kansas basketball team, but I get to see my Boys a few times a season when they play the Royals in Kansas City. It’s fun to walk through the stadium wearing the Old English D. The other Tigers fans say hello and move out of the way in the stairwells in the stadium.

It’s tough to be a fan of any sports team. You want to believe that they believe in themselves as much as you believe in them. It’s just a job and they are just out there doing their job, but still you hope it means more to them then that. As a fan, you hope the team lives and dies with each out like you do.

Earlier this fall when the Tigers clinched the AL Central, a reporter was interviewing manager Jim Leyland in the locker room as Leyland chomped on a victory cigar. The interviewer asked what the team meant to Detroit, and Leyland began to cry.

“In times like these, a sports team can uplift your spirits,” Leyland cried. “And I hope we can uplift the spirits of our fans in Detroit, because they deserve it.”

No matter what happens on Saturday -- and hopefully on Sunday -- I’ll still be a Detroit Tigers fan, and if they advance to the World Series my husband will wear a Tigers cap to support me.

Getting me to wear a Rangers cap, well, now that’s a different story.

Ann Williamson is a proud native of Missoula, Montana, but she will always love her midwestern ball club. She lives in Topeka, Kansas.

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