Every-Thing Sports

Where does your city fit when it comes to the psychology of the fan base?

Eagles fans, we have a category for you. Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Saturday, I replied to a tweet from Bomani Jones. He quoted a tweet from Yahoo Sports about the Toronto Raptors pregame video. The video was basically a thumb to the nose at previous Raptors players, while serving as homage to Kawhi Leonard. That being said, the idea of the psychology of sports cities has always been debated as a fascinating topic. So here’s my attempt at explaining this topic.

First up, you have “The Bluebloods.” These cities think because of their history, they are superior to all other sports cities. This big brother complex often leads to foolish statements by fans of these cities. They also suffer from team colored glasses and believe it’s their right to be seen as a constant contender. I’m looking at you New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Tuscaloosa, Columbus, and Chicago.

Next, you have the Cinderellas. These cities have only recently won a title, only have one title, or could have won a title long ago. Either way, these cities were longshots that overcame the odds to win, but don’t have a rich winning history. They often display little brother complex and can get quite snippy with the Bluebloods. New Orleans, Tampa, Cleveland, Miami and Clemson, will you please stand and be acknowledged.

There’s always the loud mouth has-been or never-was uncle in every family who all too often proclaims his greatness on some minor scale of life. Whether it was recalling a fabled performance in an obscure high school game long ago, or touting his letterman jacket, showing off his ancient relic trophies, or talking about the time he almost (fill in the blank),  this uncle’s feats are rotary dial phone old. So Dallas, Green Bay, Atlanta, Lincoln, Notre Dame, Austin, and Lexington, will you guys please come get your pagers, flip phones and VHS tapes.

Last but not least, there are the babies. These are your aunt’s kids who are the youngest cousins that are privileged and get away with anything. They are spoiled because of the tech boom their dad took advantage of and are now the new “it kids.” It’s hit or miss whether you like them or not. They have either taken their privilege and made the most of it, or they have squandered the opportunities afforded to them. A couple of them are cool, but some are brats who have too much and like to show off. Will Oakland, Houston, and Philly please respond to our DMs or we’ll be forced to release the screenshot of that text where you called your mom and dad those ugly names.

Of course most of you will disagree with where your city is on this list. Heck, some of you will wonder why your city isn’t on this list. Some of you may even feel like some of these cities can fall into a couple categories. Guess what? You’re ALL right! I’m not here to ague or debate. I just want to spark a discussion. If you ever have a bone to pick with me, I’m an easy man to find on Twitter.

 

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Houston goes up 1-0 in the series

Altuve, Correa help lift Astros to ALCS Game 1 win over Red Sox

Carlos Correa's go-ahead homer in the seventh inning of ALCS Game 1 helped lift the Astros to a 1-0 series lead. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Despite one rough loss to the White Sox in the ALDS, the Astros looked like the dominant team they are capable of being, taking that series 3-1 to advance and taking ownership of home-field advantage in the ALCS against the Red Sox, who upset the Rays. In Game 1, despite trailing for the middle portions of the game, Houston would get more highlight moments from the faces of the franchise to start the series with a win.

Final Score: Astros 5, Red Sox 4

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): Houston leads 1-0

Winning Pitcher: Ryne Stanek

Losing Pitcher: Hansel Robles

Houston strikes first, but Boston sends Valdez to an early exit

Both starting pitchers worked in and out of trouble in the early goings of ALCS Game 1, starting with Framber Valdez in the top of the first. After erasing a leadoff single by inducing a double play, he went on to load the bases on a single and two walks but would strand all three runners to keep Boston off the board. The Astros jumped in front in the bottom half, with Jose Altuve working a leadoff walk, moving to second on a one-out single by Alex Bregman, advancing to third on a wild pitch, then ultimately scoring on a sac fly by Yordan Alvarez to put Houston ahead 1-0 after one frame.

They had a chance to extend their lead in the bottom of the second, taking advantage of a shaky inning by Chris Sale, who loaded the bases with one out as Houston would get two singles and a hit-by-pitch. That flipped the order over to the top, but a great diving catch by former Astro Kiké Hernández would end the inning. Hernández led off the top of the third against Valdez, and he would tie things up with a solo homer.

Things went downhill from there for Valdez and the Astros, as a one-out walk followed by a single gave the Red Sox the go-ahead run in scoring position. On a groundball that likely should have been a double play to end the inning, it would get through Altuve's legs, scoring a run and keeping the inning alive for Boston. They took advantage, getting an RBI double to extend their new lead to 3-1. Valdez would get one more out before Dusty Baker would give him the early hook, bringing in Yimi Garcia, who finished the frame.

A battle of the bullpens, Altuve ties it up

Like Valdez, Sale would also not make it through three innings, getting two outs while putting two on base before Boston would start their bullpen's night as well. Both sets of relievers settled the game down, with the Red Sox stranding two of Houston's runners in the third as well as the fifth, maintaining their two-run lead. After Garcia finished the third, Cristian Javier entered to eat up a couple of innings, and he would do just that by getting through two frames with just one hit, four strikeouts, and no runs.

Next, Phil Maton took over in the top of the sixth and erased a leadoff walk to keep things in striking distance for the home team. In the bottom of the sixth, Houston put another runner on base, getting a one-out single by Chas McCormick. Two batters later, with two outs, Jose Altuve provided yet another career postseason highlight, tying the game 3-3 with a two-run home to re-energize the Minute Maid Park crowd.

Astros take ALCS Game 1

Now a brand new ballgame in the top of the seventh, Brooks Raley came in to face three batters, getting two strikeouts while allowing a single before Dusty Baker would move on to Ryne Stanek, who would get the third out. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Carlos Correa continued his march to a monster off-season contract, putting Houston back on top with a solo homer, making it 4-3.

Houston kept the script after Stanek with the new lead in hand, going to Kendall Graveman as the setup man in the top of the eighth. Despite a two-out single, he would get out of the inning with the lead intact, putting Houston three outs away from the victory. After a walk, single, and hit by pitch to start the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded, Altuve would drive in his third run of the game, getting a sac fly to extend the lead to two runs at 5-3.

That insurance run proved pivotal, as closer Ryan Pressly was met with a leadoff solo home run by Hernandez, his second of the night for Boston, to make it 5-4. Pressly refocused and was able to get the next three batters in order, though, wrapping up the win to start Houston off with a 1-0 series lead and putting them three wins away from advancing to the World Series.

Up Next: The two teams will have a moderately quick turnaround, with ALCS Game 2 scheduled to start at 3:20 PM Central on Saturday ahead of NLCS Game 1 between the Dodgers and Braves getting the night slot. The pitching matchup is expected to be Nathan Eovaldi for Boston, who is 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA in his two starts this postseason, going opposite Luis Garcia, who had a rough outing in the ALDS for Houston, giving up five runs without completing three innings in Chicago.

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