So it comes down to this. I have been coaching Little League teams of various ages for 7 years now. Each year I have insisted that the kids need to be the Rays to support a Florida team. "You can’t cheer for your dad’s team," I tell them. "You are Florida kids and you need to become fans of Florida teams." There was always one kid who would ask, "So why do we have to be the Rays (Devil Rays)? Why can’t we be the Marlins?" My response is always the same, "Because my Dad is a Phillies fan so we can’t be the Marlins."
Now, after all these years, I’ve got 3 of my own boys (and of course, my Florida born wife) cheering against me. I’ve made contacts in the Rays marketing office who have been kind enough to send my teams equipment and leftover trinkets and giveaways. This past spring they made a significant contribution to our Little League after thieves broke into to our concession stand. This year there is a World Series that will interest my friends and family since so many of them know my plight – a Phillies fan who has been supporting the Rays since their inception. Just who will he root for?
I hope it goes 7 games with long balls, great defense, stolen bases and non-stop excitement. I hope the media discovers the young ball players and seasoned managers who were overlooked last Spring as the focus remained on the usual suspects.
My living room is adorned with my now deceased dad’s Phillies jersey that he would wear to watch big games. My kids are dressed in Devil Rays and TB Rays shirts and hats, dissing all of the Red Sox and Yankees fans they go to grade school with.
So who am I cheering for? I can honestly say that I will be happy whoever wins. But if it is at all telling, my computer desktop is a Rays logo. The Fall Classic is fun again……