Daily Prompt, Fandom: St. Louis Cardinals

Daily Prompt: Fandom

by michelle w. on July 11, 2013

Are you a sports fan? Tell us about fandom. If you’re not, tell us why not.


I am a fan of sports.

True fandom doesn’t come from buying a jersey or hat because you like the team colors or from jumping on a bandwagon because an organization is suddenly successful.

True fandom is like religion.  It’s part of a true fan’s culture, just as sure as a certain food dish or type of clothing is a part of that same culture.

I’m from St. Louis.  I am Catholic because I was raised Catholic.  I’m a Cardinal baseball fan for the same reason.  My dad roots for the Cardinals because his dad rooted for the Cardinals.  Everybody has rooted for the Cardinals in my family since getting off the boat and settling in The Hill Neighborhood many years ago.

My one living grandma still roots for the Cardinals.  It’s the only reason she has cable television.

My kids will root for the Cardinals.  It’s not an option to do otherwise until you leave the house.

I’ve heard my grandmother say fuck and shit and goddammit more times than I can remember while watching her beloved Cardinals.  That’s part of the thing with fandom, you give a part of your heart to a team.

The Cardinals represent my hometown.  When they are successful, the City basks in that success and revels in the recognition that comes with national television exposure.  When the Cardinals are in the playoffs, everyone stops being a South Sider or North Sider or gay or straight or a Democrat or Republican or a man or woman.  For just a little while, we’re all Cardinal fans and we’re all oblivious to our differences.

We all suffer together with every blown call or missed opportunity, but rejoice as one with each timely hit or defensive gem turned out by our team.

A team builds a true fan base over generations.  Fandom is passed down from father to son and daughter and from son and daughter to grandsons and grand daughters.  We love the Cardinals because we love our City.  We’re proud of where we come from.

I lived in Dallas very briefly and tried to like their teams, but it was a lost cause.  Many people who lived in Dallas when I was there were from other cities.  Their loyalties were with their home grown teams still, including mine for my Cardinals.  While a trip to Arlington was fun, the game itself lacked the passion that you’ll find in a city where a team has been supported by generations of families.

From the Gas House Gang to Stan the Man to Ozzie Smith and Yadier Molina today, great players are appreciated in St. Louis and even revered.  We adopt these men as a part of our families.

The same is true in many great cities.  While their team sucks, the Chicago Cubs have the same tradition and love from their fans as the Cardinals.  While I hate both teams, watch a Red Sox or Yankees playoff game and you can see the fans living and dying with each pitch of the game.

The ups and downs are brutal, but we love it.  If the team manages to win the championship, the City rejoices.  There is nothing else that brings St. Louis together collectively as a Cardinal World Series victory.  We win it together.  We say WE did it, not the Cardinals did it.

Fandom is more than watching a team or having a favorite team.  It’s changing the channel because you can’t bear the pain of watching the other team’s closer record the final out in a playoff series that you’re about to lose.  It’s wearing red and dressing your kids in red and meeting your grandma and friends all in their red at the stadium to watch a game.

Fandom is a few thousand people taking off from work and their bosses letting them to watch a parade.

That's a winner...

That’s a winner…

Fandom is crying like a baby when the team’s greatest broadcaster ever passed away because you listened to him with your dad as a kid while riding in the back of the car on Sunday afternoons.  It’s one more link to the past gone forever.

That's a winner, folks!

That’s a winner, folks!

Yep, fandom to me is something more than just liking a team.  It’s loving a team.  It’s suffering when the team stinks and being on cloud nine when they’re winning.  You can’t fake true fandom.

Real fandom is passed down from generation to generation.  It’s not a choice.  It’s in your blood.  It’s part of who we are.


Daily Prompt: Fandom

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71 Responses to Daily Prompt, Fandom: St. Louis Cardinals

  1. ardenrr says:

    This is how I am with my Bulldogs! My Dad raised me to love the Bulldogs (much to my Clemson-loving family’s chagrin) and I’ll teach my kids to do the same, future husband’s team be damned!

    PS — The only item on my bucket list is to go to a game in every MLB stadium. I’ll have to stalk … I mean look you up when I make it to St. Louis 🙂

  2. aliciabenton says:

    You forgot to throw in a small section wherein you mention that you also like the Gaytors and wear jorts.

    • Lol. I only liked the Gators because I figured it annoyed you. I just like the orange and blue hat and bought it while I was on vacation in Florida. I’m a Mizzou fan, but I can’t go and tell you that your team sucks and then admit to being a Mizzou fan since they’re, well, they’re just awful.

  3. Maggie O'C says:

    This should be Freshly Pressed.

  4. ksujulie says:

    YES!!! LOVE THIS POST!! People laugh when I say I’m a Royals fan. Yeah, I know – they suck. But I don’t care. It is how I was raised. Same with KSU. I graduated from the school and I walked out of there with a Bachelors and purple blood.

    • I was in a happy place with my Cardinal thoughts until you put Don Denkinger’s colossal blown call in my brain! Lol.

      I love that you love the Royals and Wildcats because you were raised to do so. Thanks for the comment, Jules.

  5. Cordelia says:

    I agree with everyone else… best post of yours to date! Rock it, Mr. Trades!

    • WHAT??!!! Really?

      Who are you?

      • Cordelia says:

        Shhhhh… don’t make it awkward…. 😉

      • angloswiss says:

        Who am I? A golden oldie, retired, still likes a good football match (the one with the round ball) and part of The Daily Prompt. Originally English, but moved over to Switzerland 46 years ago and am still here. Anyhow read it all on my blog thing where it says “about”. I just like to read what others have to say, broardens the mind. Like I now know who St. Louis Cardinals are. If I could work out this pinback bloggy thing I would send you one of my blog, but am still working on that one.

      • Lol, I will find you blog and read it as you sound very interesting to me. I don’t meet many Europeans! My who are you comment was actually directed at a regular commenter of mine who said something surprising but my phone sends comments all over sometimes. I hope you didn’t take my comment as being abrupt or rude!

      • angloswiss says:

        Not at all – no problem.

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  7. Great post, I miss my Cardinals and living in St. Louis during the 2011 World Series. I rooted just as loud for them in Colorado that year as I would if I was still in St. Louis. I miss also listening to Jack Buck on KMOX. there never will be another like him.

    • No, there will never be another Jack Buck. Ever. I like to listen to Vin Scully on the MLB app to hear an old voice even. I’m nostalgic like that I guess. Thanks for commenting. Go Cards!

  8. Brian says:

    I’m not a sports fan but I was one as a kid but not really. My family were Cubs fans. I sat and watched every game with them, not for love of the game or hometown pride but for announcer Haray Caray. He was a drunk, dirty old man with huge old man glasses. As games would progress along with his inebriation, he would stop trying. He stumbled over names then tried to pronounce them backwards. He gave great commentary like “there’s a man running to 2nd. look at the kid in the sombrero…Hey!…high pop fly…Irma Baumgartner is celebrating her 83rd at home watching the ga- wooooohahaha look at the sombreros on her! It’s sombrero day at Wrigley Field and she got the two biggest ones.” Once he spilled his beer on his microphone and when he got a new microphone he said “This technical difficulty brought to you by Budwiser; the king of beers!”

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  10. OMG I LOVE THE WOLFPACK! bury me RED. TRUE southern style…but…………………………….

    its a camel thing in between now…two humper. don’t judge.

  11. tric says:

    Here in Ireland we have gaelic games. They play gaelic football or hurling. It is a religion and they can go back twenty years and discuss matches that happened and point and goals scored. You support the county you were born in so I support Dublin and my kids support Cork. This year Dublin are amazing and look like we can win the all Ireland double in September. It is a huge event and the whole country watch the match if they are not attending it. You should google hurling on you tube or watch it on RTE Ireland. it is a fantastic game. Real men play hurling!
    My daughter has managed to convince her employer in the US to subscribe to cable so the bar gets all the matches every weekend so she can watch them. ( I am sure the increase in numbers drinking whilst watching the matches might have encouraged him!)

    • Where I’m from hurling means puking. I’ll have to check it out on YouTube. It sounds pretty lame by I trust if the whole soccer loving country likes it then it must be good. Is this where they toss logs??

      • tric says:

        Oh your ignorance is shocking! That is Scotland! In this country soccer is a very poor cousin of any football. In fact years ago you were barred from playing GAA which is football (gaelic) and hurling (not puking) if you played any English sports (soccer, cricket of rugby)

  12. AHMommy says:

    Proud Cubs fan here…. I know they are really awful – some years are better than others. I think you’re right though. Watching the games reminds me of my grandpa, and it just makes me happy.

  13. Understood. Seattle Seahawks: 12th man here!

  14. gimpet says:

    I suppose if I slink in and whisper “Royals” I will have the living crap kicked out of me…..

  15. michd74 says:

    True Fandom is like Religion…I have read that in several blogs today. Great expression and you can tell you are a “true” fan! 🙂

  16. My father and mother are Yankee fans. But all their kids except for one are Red Sox fans! I don’t know how that happened but my parents probably did not threaten us enough and did not kick us out of the house. My nephew just got drafted in the second round by the Detroit Tigers last month, so we are adding the Tigers as our other team! 🙂

  17. angloswiss says:

    Being European, baseball is not something I know very well but I now know who are the St.Louis Cardinals are. I can now see them playing and am cheering along. Oh I love your grandma and yes, even us golden oldies can get verbally excited when watching a match (in my case football with the round ball). The blog is a credit to the St. Louis Cardinals.

    • Grandma is unique to say the least. When she’s at the game though, she doesn’t want anyone to talk to her so she can concentrate on the action. I played soccer in college on a scholarship, so I enjoy that game as well! Baseball is the first love though. You should get into it!

      • angloswiss says:

        I played something called Rounders at school which is something to Baseball I think. I am sure I would get into the game somehow. A Swiss schoolfriend of my son lives in the States and coaches a soccer team.

  18. djmatticus says:

    Well said. I forgot the love, the living and dying on every play, and the tradition aspects in my post about the two soccer teams I support. How silly of me. I grew up in a Dodgers household, but sadly, we’ve all sort of stopped watching the game. Any time I hear Vin Skully’s voice though it takes me back in time to when I loved watching them.

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  20. mistyslaws says:

    You have spoken the truth here, Dono my friend. I learned all about baseball while sitting in the living room with my dad when I was a wee tot, watching the O’s play. Back then they were good, so everyone loved them. In the last few (ahem, 15, ahem) years, they have sucked donkey balls. But I will always be a fan, god help me. My oldest son is a super mega fan. He started loving baseball and the O’s a couple years ago when they still super sucked, and I felt so bad for him that he was so invested in a team that just kept breaking his heart every night. Then the following year (last year) they miraculously got better. Much better. In the PLAYOFFS better. It was so wonderful to take him to a playoff game and watch him so excited to root for his team. It is true that you pass down the love over generations. He actually still sits with my dad, the one who taught me, and they watch games together. It is priceless.

    • mistyslaws says:

      Why did your blog deposit my comment in the middle of this comment stream? Weirdness.

    • It’s great to see the many generations of families bonding over a common love like a team, even if it’s the Orioles. They have a lot of young talent right now, so hopefully, your boy gets to see some good baseball for years to come.

  21. Don, this post shows your talent for memoir. I am tempted to write a long comment about fandom, sans the family tradition, but I will spare you that. Maybe, if you don’t mind, and if I can get to it, I will write a post of my own on the subject.

    • Talent for whodawha?? Lol. Thanks, i think.

      Oh please do write about fandom, I’d love to hear it. I stuck with the Cardinals only because they’re my favorite, but I have less infatuations with some other teams as well.

  22. flyingplatypi says:

    I’m a Giants fan. My brother loves the Niners. I love teaching his kid to love the Giants when he’s not around. Because I’m an awesome sister.



  23. Yes, I know all about living and dying with every pitch. I’m a Red Sox fan. Or I was. The moment that ground ball when through Bill Buckner’s legs in the World Series was the moment I stopped watching baseball altogether.

    Now football? That is a whole other story. I’m a die-hard Pats fan. But I liked them even during those decades in which they absolutely sucked and Tom Brady was knee high to a grasshopper. That is a true fan.

  24. I have been a Spurs fan for a long time, so of course the ultimate bitterness insued this last June. I still don’t want to talk about it.

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