Sunday, March 8, 2009

National Pride or Cultural Pride?

This weekend I have been doing nothing but watching The World Baseball Classic. I am so glad meaningful baseball is back. There are two teams I am pulling for, except for when they play each other. I am pulling for USA and Puerto Rico. I usually do this during the Olympics too. I would also pull for Ecuador, but they don't have a Baseball team.

All this makes me think about National Pride. There is no question that I am an American. I am all about cheering for America when I can, watching Michael Phelps this past summer proved that. However, I am not one who believes that USA is entitled to win everything. I feel that we need to prove ourselves as much as anyone else. It bothers me that some athletes can walk into a tournament like this and think it will be handed to them (like the 2006 USA team, and various USA Basketball Teams).

I find myself equally pulling for Puerto Rico. Because that is the land where my maternal grandparents are from. A beautiful island that made me feel as if I was home (until I attempt Spanish, then it is all down hill from there). I think that PR needs to have more recognition in sports and Baseball is their best shot. I remember when Team Puerto Rico thrashed the "Dream Team" in basketball in the Basketball World Championship a few years ago. I enjoyed that game very much and rooted for PR all the way.

In just about any sport, depending on the situation, I will root for the underdog. I was totally rooting for Arizona in the Superbowl and Tampa Bay in the World Series (although, I am biased, I hate the Phillies). To a certain extent, Puerto Rico is like an underdog in just about any international play, so in that way, it is very easy for me to root for them.

The interesting thing being a Latino American is how we can express our pride for being an American as well as being Latino (in my case Puerto Rico and Ecuador). I know many people who rooted for Michael Phelps just like I was; screaming at the TV like I had no sense, but yet they will root for the country of their ancestry.

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