It takes more than inefficient pitching and hitting for me to root against the hometown Florida Marlins.
But as I sat in Section 128, Row 4, Seat 1 at Sun Life Stadium Saturday night during game two of three between the Philadelphia Phillies and Fish, my allegiance wavered.
Sure, I cheered as Dan Uggla hit a walk-off grand slam against the Phillies in 2008.
I witnessed Jeff Conine's outfield assist to Pudge Rodriguez for the final out that eliminated the San Francisco Giants in game four of the 2003 playoffs.
I even attended the 1997 World Series.
Nothing compares to experiencing a perfect game. There's a reason why they're so revered. Pitchers have achieved the feat just 20 times in MLB history.
Heading into the game, all 25,086 attendees—mainly Phillies fans brave enough to miss the beginning of the Flyers/Blackhawks' Stanley Cup Final—knew it would be a pitcher's duel.
Philly's Roy Halladay against Florida's Josh Johnson.
Yet, no one could've predicted Halladay pitching a perfect game.
Eleven strikeouts against a hit-or-miss Marlins offense?
When the bottom of the ninth began, Marlins and Phillies fans alike began rattling their giveaway tambourines, including yours truly.
The rally cap took a night off. So did words of encouragement for the final three batters, Mike Lamb, Wes Helms and Ronny Paulino.
No longer was this about a favorite team.
History was on the line.