I have largely abandoned rooting for teams for cultural and political reasons. While my college is still on FIRE's good list for free speech, and a roommate of mine just recently retired as bursar at William and Mary, they have clearly lost their way, as have many other academies. The major sports leagues have been significantly irritating in their politics, which is not surprising. Whatever management thinks, the athletes are disproportionately African-American, living in a woke bubble since age 14 and believing - even more than their idiot fans - that blacks are targeted by the police. So to manage them effectively, the coaches must believe what keeps their players happy, and management must follow along, however reluctantly. The white players believe this also, because they have been in this bubble and influenced by their peers.
So even when my beloved Celtics have been exposed to Enes Kanter for a couple of years, outspokenly reminding them "You want to talk about oppression? How about the government targets your family explicitly, threatening to kill them, " I have a soft spot, even when Jason Tatum or Jaylen Brown says "There are two Americas." Like they would know. Chat with Luka Doncic sometime, wouldja? He is great at not offending teammates, because he has his eye on the prize. But he gives hints that the NBA as a whole does not really grasp reality.*
Having five sons who played sports, I completely get rooting for laundry. Our valiant lads are being mugged by those thugs from Pittsfield/Nute/Groveton (or alternatively, not allowed to be physical against those sissies from Derryfield/Calvary/Bedford). I am not objective, even when I press hard.
So I look out the corner of my eye what is happening to the Patriots; I check in only at random about the Red Sox, who were central to my understanding of the universe until a few year ago; and after checking in on the Celtics only once a month this season, I found in early May they were going to the playoffs and escalated to once a week. And I saw that the same incredible bad luck in terms of injuries is happening again. Isaiah Thomas. Gordon Hayward. Kyrie Irving. So 2018. I am so rooting for Brad Stevens to have JUST ONE YEAR with only a normal amount of injuries. This year, after deftly managing all the injuries to just about everyone in preparation for the playoffs, all of a sudden it is Jaylen Brown out, and Time Lord hanging in gamely despite injury, to no avail.
I don't think God worries much about justice in sports. I think that is us, who assign symbolic value to the cosmic justice of entertainment. But as that is the oversimplistic world I seem inexplicably tied to, I care. Can poor Brad Stevens have just one year without insane injury problems to deal with? It has the deep, unsettling feeling of my years of becoming slowly aware of the star-crossed Red Sox in the 60s, fed by my parents who had watched this develop since the 40s, before the unbelievable, WP Kinsella- level misfortune of Boston** (and Chicago Cubs) became a national understanding. Which lasted six decades.
*Or maybe they do grasp reality, which is "Who cares about truth? We know where the money is. We haven't a clue what Hong Kong, or Uighurs, or underground churches are all about, because we have been told there's nothing to see there. Ka-ching!"
**Exceeded by Cleveland. I admit it.