There are a lot of times when sports can be exclusionary. Picking teams for dodgeball, pick-up basketball games at the park, even duck-duck-goose separates the popular kids from the rest. The World Series is no different.
After 162 games and 6 months of baseball, only two teams remain. Only two cities remain. If you have no connection to either team, but still love sports or baseball, do you watch? The question of who do you root for when your team is not in the final series or championship game is as old as the chicken or the egg.
And let’s be honest, you don’t care about which bullpen has the best WHIP, or what team comes in red hot. Here are some hard-hitting alternative facts that will sway you in a particular direction. Let’s break down the cities and teams to give the independents a rooting interest.
One would think the Astros are a nod to the Houston aerospace scene, but in reality it is only indirectly based on NASA and the space industry. Houston changed its name to the Astros because they were moving into the Astrodome. In some weird George Foreman-ish branding effort, anything in the Astrodome became Astro-specific. The baseball team became the Astros, the turf they played on was dubbed Astro-turf. There was also a theme park, Astro World.
It’s not even worth getting into it much more than that. If only because Houston was the Colt .45s for the three years before they moved into the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” To this day, the .45s may be the coolest team name. It also owned the best uniforms as well. The groundbreaking into the Astrodome was legendary.
On a warm January morning in 1962, seven men, sporting cowboy hats and eschewing shovels, broke ground on what would become the Houston Astrodome, home of the Houston Astros and the Houston Oilers, by firing Colt .45 revolvers into the dirt.
Some crazy ass men in Cowboy hats shot real Colt .45s at a press conference. Could you imagine!? God bless those men, and God shun those who changed its name to the Jetsons dog and a burger.
Look the Dodgers isn’t that better. When they were Brooklyn, they were called the “Trolly Dodgers” due to the trolley cars weaving its way through the borough of Brooklyn, and avoiding death. The name was then shortened to just “Dodgers.”
Dodgers by default.
From hip hop greats like Kendrick Lamar, 2Pac, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre to pop stars like Maroon 5 and The Beach Boys, Los Angeles has been the center of entertainment and music since Capitol Records set its roots here in 1942. Los Angeles is also the muse for many artists’ songs, from The Mamas and the Papas “California Dreamin'” to 2pac’s “To Live and Die in LA.” When the Dodgers win, they blast Randy Newman’s “I Love LA.” A staple at Dodger Stadium and down the road at the Staples Center when the Lakers win as well.
Houston may be known now for its “Chopped and Screwed” sound, but there’s much more to the city. Houston’s musical origins may be found in its blues history, which is full and rich. Artists like “Big Mama” Thornton and Junior Parker found their sound here.
Rap groups like The Geto Boys and UGK have been holding down the city ever since. The official queen of Houston though is Beyonce, AKA “Third Ward Trill.”
While Los Angeles’ musical history may be more well known, what Houston lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. “Big Mama” Thornton’s “Hound Dog” was turned into a colossal hit when it was covered (stolen) by Elvis Presley. The Geto Boys’ “My Mind is Playing Tricks on Me” may be the greatest rap song ever. Mike Jones became the first person to rap his own phone number in a Billboard Top 40 hit! When all is said and done, Beyonce may go down as the greatest female artist of all-time.
Houston gets the nod
Movies and Television
This one’s not close. Kind of feel bad making this one of the topics.
Enron was such a fabric of Houston life that when the Astros moved out of the Astrodome, they moved into Enron Field. Luckily for the ‘stros, they did not change their name to the Houston Enrons. Or things could have gotten really awkward.
If you’re too young or don’t care, Enron was an energy, commodities, and services company based out of Houston that employed over 20,000 people. In 2001, it was revealed its reported financial condition was sustained by institutionalized, systematic, and creatively planned accounting fraud. Enron has since become a well-known example of willful corporate fraud and corruption. The scandal also brought into question the accounting practices and activities of many corporations in the United States.
In Los Angeles, the dirty underbelly of Hollywood entertainment and the rock-and-roll lifestyle has claimed many victims over the years. While Enron might have been one humongous scandal. Hollywood churns out villains like hit records…unfortunately.
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) October 24, 2017
Winner/Loser: Los Angeles
From Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers breaking the color barrier to Vin Scully, few can compare to the Dodgers mark on baseball’s history. Dodger Stadium at Chavez Ravine is an iconic ball park. It’s locale provides an oasis to Los Angeles’ urban sprawl of road rage, materialism and pretentiousness that oozes from every block and highway.
Houston…hmmm…Bagwell, Biggio, Berkman and the Nolan Ryan Express.
It’s been 29 years since Los Angeles last visited the World Series. Even more important than that, former Dodgers Manager Tommy Lasorda once said, “If you don’t love the Dodgers, there’s a good chance you may not get into Heaven.”
It has been exactly 60 days since Hurricane Harvey ravaged the city of Houston. There are still over 200 people in shelters. More than 411,418 Harvey victims have applied for assistance from FEMA. Many victims are living paycheck to paycheck at the whims of other strangers’ generosity, not knowing if they’ll have a place to live next week.
“There’s a lot of people that are really hurting right now in this city,” said Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander.
“And (reaching the World Series) gives the city something to rally around and gives people something to cheer for that otherwise may not have a lot to be hopeful for.”
The final tally is 3-2 in favor of the Dodgers. At the end of the day, do you ignore Lasorda and flirt with the risk of not making it to Heaven? Or do you support a city who has been through so much devastation that a World Series championship might start the healing process, and maybe even resurrect Mike Jones’ career.
Might be worth giving it a rooting chance.