The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

THERE'S NO "I" IN "WE"
ice gridiron field court
Something that drives me bonkers is how even the casual fan will, in conversation, refer to his/her favorite or local team as "we". Like, "we're looking good to beat Team X this week!" I personally don't know any professional athletes right now, so it goes without saying that when I hear this in a conversation, it's coming from someone who will not be playing a professional down, or shift, or at-bat any time soon. It's the ideal end-result of sports marketing: You get the fans to identify so closely with the franchise they root for that they consider themselves to be part of the team.

I notice that the level of identification is strongest when the team is winning, and decidedly less so when losing comes around. To wit: "Boy, we really kicked some ass yesterday, didn't we!!" versus "Man, they sure sucked the other night, they deserved to lose!"

You can see my feelings on this dynamic. So I read this piece by St. Petersburg Times Sports copyeditor John Strickhouser with a knowing nod. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one with this opinion.

I'll have to remember to compliment Strick the next time I stop by the Sports Department.