“I can make fun of my family all I want, but you can’t.”
That’s the attitude many people take. I’m no different. I can make fun of anyone in the X-clan and they can make fun of me but the second an outsider does it, I’ll defend them to the death. That’s just the way it is, right or wrong.
It’s how I view sports as well. As someone who is a lifelong Phoenix sports fan — or is that doing a life sentence as a Phoenix sports fan — I’ll take my fair share of shots at our teams, but when someone else does it, it’s time to take a stand. And since I don’t have a network television broadcast to use as a platform but rather a humble — and most likely poorly read — blog, I’ll say it here.
I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore! And you should feel the same way.
Sure, calling Phoenix a sports utopia is the equivalent of calling Megan Fox one of the all-time great actresses of our generation. Both are fun to watch, but neither are true greats. That doesn’t mean we should have to put up with people degrading our city’s fans and venues. Especially those people who constantly opine about how Phoenix is no Chicago. You know who you are.
For a city that has more people pass through it than Grand Central station on their way to and from other homes and who has only had professional sports for a combined 99 years, we’re doing pretty well. Sure our venues are more Kate Upton than Sophia Loren — some say the latter is iconic, I just say old — there is nothing wrong with them. US Airways Center holds the history and memories of all the great Suns teams to call Phoenix home. Chase Field played home to our lone championship and the demise of one of the greatest sports dynasties ever. Jobing.com Arena, despite the goofy name, is one of the most beautiful venues in the NHL and University of Phoenix Stadium is a modern marvel (don’t take my word for it, it was actually featured on the show Modern Marvels).
While certain people were watching the 1985 Bears winning a Super Bowl championship, Phoenix sports fans were showing their dedication by trekking to Sun Devil Stadium to watch the USFL’s Arizona Outlaws. In 1993 when they were celebrating John Paxson’s three, we were drying our tears and packing the streets to the tune of 250,000 strong to celebrate our second place team. At a time when their baseball teams hadn’t won anything in decades, we celebrated as ours became the fastest to ever win a championship by ending the Yankees’ reign in one of the greatest World Series of all-time. During a period when they lacked real star power after Michael and Ditka were long gone, we boasted Cy Young winners, NBA MVPs and a magical one-gloved QB named Warner.
It’s true, Phoenix is not New York, Philadelphia, Boston or even Chicago. That’s alright though. For the desert, we’re far from having a drought when it comes to passion about our teams and city.
Things may seem like they’re in a lull right now, but that’s part of being a sports fan. The ups and the downs are what make it fun. Don’t like it? Solution: Head back to the midwest. Although, that would require trading snow for sunshine and beautiful temperatures. But at least you’ll have iconic buildings and “stars” to keep you warm.