Bigamy is the act of entering into a marriage with one person while still legally married to another. Sports bigamy is the act of being a fan of two teams in the same sport. While most sports fans shower all of their loyalty on one team, there are some decided advantages in living a life of sports bigamy.
I’m not a sports bigamist in football or hockey, where I’m married to the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Blackhawks. However, where Major League Baseball is concerned, I’m an admitted sports bigamist, being an enthusiastic fan of both the Twins and the Cubs. I call the Twins my “American league” team and the Cubs my “National league team”. I seldom have a conflict over which team to root for because the Twins and Cubs face each other only in interleague games, perhaps every 3 or 4 years. And, the probability of the Twins and Cubs in a world series….I’m not sure there is a high enough number!
My baseball sports bigamy happened rather accidentally. A long time resident of Minnesota, I adore the Minnesota Twins. The Twins organization is one of the most efficient in baseball. There isn’t a team in baseball that gets more results per payroll dollar than the Twins, who do it the hard way by running an envied farm system to develop their own talent. The Twins don’t have the resources to buy expensive free agents from other teams. When my kids were growing up they saw their idols win two World Series. The Twins just completed their inaugural season in fantastic new Target Field and are always a threat to make the playoffs. The Minnesota Twins baseball organization is undoubtedly one of the best in baseball. If you live in the Midwest and haven’t seen a game at Target field, plan an outing today!
A few years ago, our family purchased a second home in Wrigleyville, on Chicago’s north side. Our place just happens to be two blocks due south of Wrigley Field, one of America’s most historic ballparks. The neighborhood just swarms with Cubs mania. On a typical game day, around 50,000 people flood into Wrigleyville. 42,000 have a ticket to the game and the remaining fans hang around the many Wrigleyville eating and drinking establishments. In all of baseball, there is no neighborhood so wedded to its team as Wrigleyville is to the Cubs. No matter how badly the Cubs play (and they do play badly), the “friendly confines” of Wrigley field are stuffed to the rafters. Whereas the Twins get the most “bang for the buck” the Cubs get the least “bang for the buck”, with a history of paying poor-performing free agents obscene amounts of money for long term contracts. However, as bad as the Cubs are, Wrigley field is the Mecca of baseball temples; it’s hard not to like the “lovable losers” when you’re on Chicago’s north side.
Baseball bigamy has some advantages. First, I’m not certain that personal fan loyalty is a zero sum game. I seem to have plenty of loyalty for both teams. Just as a parent can’t love one child more than another, it is the same with having two baseball teams. On a given summer day I look at the scores. If the Twins lose, I can hope that the Cubs won. If both teams win, it’s a double-good day. If I’m busy in the evening and can’t catch the Twins on television, perhaps I’ve got the afternoon free to watch the Cubs play a day game on WGN.
Second, it’s twice as much fun to root for two baseball teams. In Minnesota I’ve got my Twins caps and jerseys that I wear in frequent trips to Target field. When I head down to Chicago, my battered Cubs hat sits on a nail, along with my nice white pinstripe Cubs jersey with Rich Harden’s name on the back. That shirt and cap see lots of games in venerable Wrigley Field. And get this; I keep a Twins jersey and cap in Chicago, so we can hop on the subway and root for the Twins when they play the White Sox in their crappy venue known as US Cellular field.
Third, it isn’t necessary to root for a team in your home city. With the advances in electronic media you can buy sports packages and see any team on television, any time you wish. Heck, I loosely follow the Tottenham Hotspur, an English Premier League team located in North London. When I was a young man I spent some time in the Enfield area of London and have an affinity for that neighborhood. While I’ve never been to a Hotspur game, attending one of their matches in their home ground known as “White Hart Lane” is absolutely on my bucket list.
Alas, life is short. So, if there is a “second” professional sports team that you’ve secretly admired but couldn’t “go there” because of your loyalty to your hometown team, give some thought to becoming a sports bigamist. Sports bigamy has many wonderful advantages, it’s not illegal, and you won’t have to worry about catching any STD’s.