Opinion: Shifting loyalties

Kudos to the North Carolina Tar Heels for the solid play during the NCAA men’s basketball championship game. While we can happily celebrate the victory, is it OK to pine a bit that our own Indiana teams didn’t fare as well? My beloved IU failed even to make it to the starting line. Then Purdue, Butler and all the Big Ten teams collapsed in due course.

So, we picked a new favorite and cheered for their victory – even if somewhat less passionately! Did we betray our loyalty to our former teams by picking a new hero – or did they fail us by leaving us without one? Our desire to back a winner is a strong one. We find ourselves caught up in the cheering section, advocating for folks that, just a few short weeks earlier, would have seemed inconceivable. Now, we ride the emotional wave with each shot and exchanging lead on the scoreboard.

In giving our allegiance so easily, have we debased our commitment to the home team? Or, are we simply making due with the choices available – and vigorously digging in?  Whether sports, politics or menu choices, sometimes we must acquaint ourselves with a backup plan. Can the fish be just as good as the pasta? Pasta is our favorite. Should we go hungry if none is offered? Or, should we identify an alternative and find a way to enjoy it, a bit fishy though it may be?

The Tar Heels brought some terrific entertainment. And, we enjoyed it. Still, my heart remembers the storied victories of my own alma mater’s past. As a spectator sport, basketball is better when we chose a team to support – even if we hold out, at least a bit of our love, for the home team.