With March fast approaching (not fast enough) and the Huskies tournament hopes in limbo, I’m stuck in the decision of who I will cheer for in March if my Dawgs aren’t in it. The obvious choice is Gonzaga. They’re in-state, have good players, and look like they should get a pretty good seeding come selection Sunday. But I just can’t do it.
In the early 2000’s I cheered for the Zags. The Huskies weren’t relevant and I liked the underdog. Those Casey Calvary and Dan Dickau teams were fun. Year after year they’d upset someone and became America’s sweetheart. They were the classic underdog and everyone loves underdogs, myself included. But I lost that feeling for them.
It all started with Adam Morrison. He was annoying, a cry-baby, had that TERRIBLE mustache, and somehow, through all of
his years of basketball, didn’t learn how to pass. I know he was great, the guy could shoot the lights out, but I swear that he took more than half of his teams shots. He knew how to get the ref’s calls too. Morrison would get to the free throw line so often that I’d lose track of how many times I’d run into the bathroom to heave from looking at his mustache (I might be exaggerating a little bit). He changed a team that was fun to watch because of its chemistry into a one man show. Sure, sometimes the show was phenomenal but it lacked supporting actors and I needed more characters to get attached to.
After Morrison left, my dislike of the Zags only grew. They stopped playing the Huskies and a feud arose between the two schools. They weren’t the underdogs anymore and it annoyed me to see them breeze through their terrible league while the Huskies had to put up with playing the Pac-10. Then Zag fans would brag to me about their great record. All the while I’m thinking, “Didn’t you guys play the San Francisco school of the blind last night?” The feud between the two schools has only grown this past year. With UW proposing to play Gonzaga every year in Seattle (which would never happen) and Mark Few making some comparison to Big Foot. (When you’re putting down 2 things I love, UW and Big Foot, you aren’t going to be my favorite person).
Let me try to clear up why I dislike Gonzaga by confusing things a little bit more. A double negative makes a positive, right? Lets play this game I sometimes play in my head. It’s called “what major league baseball team would this sports team be?” (Obviously this game doesn’t work with major league baseball teams because the Mariners = the Mariners). So for today lets have UW be the Seattle Mariners. I know there are differences but for this example it works. The Ducks can be the Yankees, I hate the Ducks and I hate the Yankees. Again, there are differences (like the Ducks not knowing how to win a championship) but it works. With these two teams equaling the Mariners and the Yankees this would mean that Gonzaga equals the Boston Red Sox.
For years the Red Sox were the underdog, a team everyone cheered for because of their ridiculously long championship drought. I cheered for them right along with the rest of America when they came back to beat the Yankees in ’04. For a while they were America’s team; it was cool to like the Red Sox. It was great they won, just like it was great to see Gonzaga be the tournaments Cinderella for a few years. But then the success got to their heads. They let everyone know they won the world series and that they were going to do it again. Everyone piled on the bandwagon and that became annoying. And now they’ve started taking things for granted. Bill Simmons (the sports guy) wrote a column a year or two ago about how he could see the Red Sox becoming just like the Yankees and I agree with him. They’ve become arrogant with an attitude that says “I know we’re better than you,” even if they weren’t. All of these things that I’m saying about the Red Sox can also be said about Gonzaga. (Although I will never hate the Zags the way I do the Ducks).
I realize that some of you are Zags fans and some of you are Red Sox fans. But you aren’t the typical kind of Red Sox/Zag fans. You aren’t the annoying fan who has this false sense that your team is out of this world. But that’s how I feel like a good share of the fans are and that’s how the teams come off as.
So come March I could be searching for a team to cheer for. I’ll probably just look for some Cinderella team that wins America over in the span of 3 days. A fun team who is on cloud 9 because they’re living their dream. You know, the kind of team the Zags used to be.