by Arnav Rajdev/Lion Staff
What do you do on Valentine’s Day? Convention would suggest that you buy your significant other flowers or a box of chocolates. But what about the people who may not have another being to love? Who do they have? The answer may lie in the realm of athletics. Throughout the Upper School there are various students, some in relationships and some not, who have found themselves “crushing on” a new sports team. Let’s meet these fans.
Senior Gabe Arango is best known for his skills as a soccer player, and discreet love for the Oakland Raiders, but he’s found something new that has caught his eye. The 2017-2018 Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA are really testing his fan faith. “Minnesota has always been the underdog and forgotten team,” said Gabe, “so to see them succeed this season with Jimmy Butler is fun.” When asked about when he started to keep tabs on the T-Wolves, Gabe responded, “I just remember the Bulls trading Butler and thinking, ‘Wow, the West is loaded, and Minnesota may be good this year.’” Looks like Gabe is going to be a happy fan on V-Day.
Much like Gabe, Jamil Atkinson is another senior with wandering sports eyes. Jamil has been a Green Bay Packers fan for a while now, which makes his interest in the New York Football Giants even more interesting. “I’m always going to be a Packers fan,” said Jamil, “but I really like what New York is doing. They have a strong core with Odell and their secondary, so I think they’ll bounce back next year.”
You see, the beautiful thing about sports is that multiple people can love the same team, and there isn’t any fight to the death. In fact, the more the merrier. Such is the case for Junior Carson Callahan and Sophomore Gray Kelly who are both passionate Atlanta United FC fans. When asked about how he gained interest in Atlanta United, Carson responded, “I love soccer, but I wasn’t sure how it was going to do in Atlanta. But when I heard the crowd after our first goal, I knew soccer in Atlanta was destined to be great, and I’ve loved it ever since.” Gray echoed these sentiments, and got a little more specific with his crush: “Almiron is easily my favorite player.”
Senior Aahil Chamadia was in the market for new love after experiencing heartbreak in the Super Bowl (he’s a Patriots fan). “I took a step back, and turned to basketball. There’s some time left until March Madness, so I looked to the NBA,” said Aahil. “I always liked Oklahoma City’s uniforms, so the fact that they’re a somewhat superteam caught my eye.” It seems fair. There are a lot of OKC games left, and binge watching is usually a post breakup kinda deal. When asked about his favorite player on the Thunder, Aahil was quick to answer, “Paul George and Melo are great, but who doesn’t love Russell Westbrook?”
Valentine’s Day is a day to tell your significant other that you love them, buy those fancy chocolate boxes at the front of every Publix, and go out to dinner at a restaurant with incredibly long wait times. While falling in love with sports teams is definitely a lower stakes commitment, it can be just as emotionally taxing as a relationship with a human. There’s loss, disappointment, and the ever-frustrating difference of opinion (“Are you kidding me, how could you pass on the half-yard line!?!?!”). Of course there is always the possibility of reconciliation, but if you do have to break up, there are hundreds of other teams out there. All you have to do is change your jersey.