Recently, I was browsing a friend's Facebook profile when I noticed application boxes littering the page indicating his favorite sports teams. There was one for basketball, one for baseball, one for the NFL.
And 12 for football.
América of Mexico, Manchester United, River Plate, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Vfb Stuttgart, Lyon, Chicago Fire, Olympiakos, Celtic, Galatasaray, and Sao Paulo of Brazil.
Jeez, wouldn't it have been to easier which clubs you didn't root for?
The beautiful game is unique in the sense that there is no one definitive league where the top talent is concentrated. Virtuosos are spread out through all four corners of the globe, and while it is true that European leagues employ most of the biggest names, most every league around the world attracts millions of fans.
With this in mind, it's understandable how allegiances can be fractured, divided or dispersed amongst more than one club.
If players move around from club to club in search of fame and a bigger paycheck, and swap shirt after shirt (sometimes moving from one bitter rival to the next), why shouldn't fans?
While one-club players might be a rarity these days, the one-club fan might as well be a Holy Grail.
Stop looking, everyone. You found one.
Yes, ever since I was an 11-year-old boy turned on to the greatest game in the world by my next door neighbor, I've bled yellow and blue.
No, I don't have a strange case of hepatitis, I'm just a Club América die hard.
I love you. *giggle*
Game after game, I use my shirt as a napkin, a chew toy, a towel, a kissing booth and most of all, a sacred idol.
I, like most fans, will jump, scream, hit things, run around and then scream some more during a game. It's draining, it's gut-wrenching, it's exciting—it's a rollercoaster of emotion.
Why the hell would I put myself through that for more than one team (or 12)!?
While I respect all of you who profess an undying love for more than one crest, I've always thought that loyalty is a two-way street; with globalization and an increasing number of club competitions going on all over the world, it's foreseeable that once in a while, two teams you like will go head-to-head.
What shirt do you wear when it's Boca v. Barcelona in a FIFA World Club Cup Championship? Will a Bayern Munich-Rangers game have you rooting for everyone except the referee during the UEFA Champions' League?
As a Mexican, it's a lot easier to devote my fandom to individuals rather than clubs. Most Mexican kids who grew up in the '80s are now die hard Real Madrid fans thanks to Hugo Sánchez.
I'm telling you, it's equally fun—and I get to keep most of my hair at the end of the game, no matter who wins or loses (or draws).
I submit to you that it's a healthy alternative that doesn't involve misplaced or divided passion. My heart is only with one team all of the time and that allows me to watch copious amounts of football while keeping my sanity.
Then again, that might be too much to ask for nowadays, what with ads for certain teams vying for your attention or your favorite players moving from one club to the next.
Maybe someday things will change.
I'll start nicknaming myself the Holy Grail of Football Fans.