Thursday, February 21, 2008

Rooting for arch rivals? I don't think so

The San Luis Obispo High girls soccer team came out of its post-game huddle Wednesday after a 1-0 win over Diamond Ranch in the second round of the Division III playoffs, and the first thing the Tigers hear is an update on the Arroyo Grande game.

The Eagles won 2-0.

"Urghhhh," was the collective harrumph that came from the disappointed SLO group.

Back at The Tribune office, editor Ashley Conklin took the phone call from the Eagles, who were equally bummed to hear how the rival Tigers won their playoff game.

I didn't get it at first. One of the first things I thought when I found out both teams won was "We'll have to plan some super coverage if they end up playing each other in the playoffs." (It'll happen if both teams win their next two games. They'd meet in the final round.)

But I'm thinking about it like a journalist. And as a reporter who covers both teams, I'd imagine it would be a grand spectacle to have two SLO County teams facing off for a championship.

Heck, fans will even root around sometimes. In the past couple weeks, I've seen Tiger Bill here and there. Except, one time, he was Eagle Bill. The other time, he was Royal Bill. He said he only switches caps during the playoffs.

I'm thinking of renaming him Ubiquitous Bill.

But players don't think that way, especially not in rivalries as bitter as the San Luis Obispo-Arroyo Grande one has become.

The Tigers and Eagles want to see the other one lose right away — maybe even get blown out for their troubles and humiliated on the way out.

It's not bad sportsmanship. It's passion. It's emotion. And it's so right on.

No, I'm not saying go out and burn your team's name into your rivals' grass field. But if you're a player, you're out there pushing and clawing — let's face it, that's what you do in most sports — there's no way you're going to ever bring yourself to root for a league rival.

A SLO player? Pull for AG? To borrow the rough spanish equivalent to when pigs fly, "Yeah, on goalkeeper's day."

7 comments:

Aaron Crutchfield said...

Try growing up in one town, going to high school and wrestling for that high school... then eventually getting a job covering high school sports for the paper that covers your old high school's main rival, thus covering all the rival's sports teams from beginning to end.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, after SLO knocked Arroyo Grande out of the playoffs 2 years in a row in Football, AG should want pay back any way they can get it. I would think they would want a playoff game against SLO? When yuo spank your rival like the Tigers did to AG in football this year it is sweet indeed. Message to Tiger players in all sports "take on AG anywhere, anytime in any sport" It's worth it to watch them walk off the field after you win. I forget is it "pluck the Eagles" or "@$ck the Eagles".

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the Tigers are hoping they can at least play a competitive water polo game against the Eagles at some point in the next 5 years.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it. SLO Tigers did well this season. But all that matters is how you ended your season. AG gets the upper hand in the playoffs with more points scores and bigger winning margins. And to lose to the #4 team in Div III in the :37 minute of sudden death OT while the SLO Tigers get beat in regulation by the #10 team says it all! The rivalry continues!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Scroggin says he's covered both teams this season? Many beg to differ. Unless you call giving the score of the game and who scored "coverage", then I guess you are right. My apologies.

Anonymous said...

HOW about some track who do you

think is going to win the pac 7?

Anonymous said...

Paso