Ranking my teams
Today, due to an overwhelming volume of 'no-work', I decided to register myself on ESPN.com. Doing so allows you to customize your home page, so that the scores of teams you are interested in given priority. For instance, "My ESPN" box that comes on your home pages gives your drop downs of any five teams you want to key on. In order to get the customization, you have to fill out a registration form, with some basic information.

They have two sections where you are asked to start customizing your 'My ESPN' section. The first is called MY FAVORITE TEAMS, and you are asked to insert your favorite teams in order of preference. I have lived in several different areas of the east coast, notably Western New York, Philadelphia, and currently Washington D.C., each with its own sports franchises. What turned this rudimentary registration exercise into a thought-provoking process is that the teams are not separated by category. Which means I was forced to ask which team means more to me, for instance, The Bills or the 76ers?

The criteria I used was this: Which team would I prefer to win a championship? I don't know of any other blogger to do this as a meme, so I can claim complete and autonomous control. As such, after quite a bit of shuffling, here is my official order of preference:
  1. Penn State Nittany Lions
  2. Philadelphia Eagles
  3. Buffalo Bills
  4. Duke Blue Devils
  5. Philadelphia 76ers
  6. Washington Wizards
  7. Philadelphia Phillies
  8. Chicago Cubs
  9. Philadelphia Flyers
  10. Buffalo Sabres
  11. Washington Nationals
  12. N.C. State Wolfpack
  13. Pittsburgh Steelers
  14. Washington Redskins
  15. St. Bonaventure Bonnies
Obviously, I love my Nittany Lions, so that shouldn't be any kind of surprise. Taking note, there are four different NFL teams, separated by a wide berth. Since I spent considerable amount of time in WNY and Philly, and I have family in both places, the Bills and Eagles could be interchanged. I really doubt they'll ever meet in the SuperBowl (could be the 7th sign of Armageddon), but if that day comes I'll be hard pressed to root for anyone. Okay, I have to give it to the Bills, really, because of the four straight losses, but hey, the Eagles had T.O. Isn't that an equivalent hardship? As for the Steelers and Redskins, I have friends who are fans, but by no means does that mean I'm going to sell out my own dreams to support them if push comes to shove, hence the lower-level listing.

Next on the list is a point of contention with many college basketball fans that I know. I never went to Duke, I've never been to the campus, and I went to Penn State, so how can I root for those dreaded Blue Devils? Simply, I started watching them in 1985 and liked their style. Now, if they ever happened to play Penn State (probably more likely in the Big Ten -- ACC Challenge than the Big Dance, at least this year), I would of course root for PSU (hence the chart, for reference).

Then we get to less relevant sports, like NBA Basketball, baseball, and hockey. Truly, I don't get interested in these sports until near or into the playoffs. My litmus test for sports is the length of the season: the shorter the length, the more meaningful and hence interesting the games. I can't possible care about a baseball game played in June that counts 1/162 toward the season. College football is the only sport that could benefit from a couple more games, in the form of a playoff system, but that's just preaching to the choir. Anywho, I grew up watching the Cubs on WGN after school, which would explain the Midwest anomaly. The last one that is out of place is the N.C. State Wolfpack, who are (snicker) rivals of Duke this year. Okay, they are for real, and I support them because one of my best friends is a staunch and murderous supporter, and they have grown on me. Until March. If they play Duke or Penn State (reference the chart).

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