“I’m an Angels fan, why am I rooting for the Astros?”

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“I’m an Angels fan, why am I rooting for the Astros?”

Ana Gonzalez, Culture Editor

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When you are from California, there’s a good chance that you may be affiliated with a random team that is not from California. Why is that? Do outside teams play better than our home teams?

It depends, but that’s not the case if you are a Houstonian rooting for the Astros.

But the funny thing is, I am not a Houstonian. I am a native southern Californian. The Angels, the Dodgers, and the Raiders were life. However, I admired the former more than both the latter. The Anaheim Angels, before they changed the name to –shrug– Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, won their first World Series championship in 2002 and I was happy, alongside millions of “Angelinos” around the LA area.

I still had a love for the Angels every year. I watched their games every now and again until I got older. Fast forward to three years ago, in 2015. I moved to Houston on my own. I still had my Californian habits, which includes rooting for my Angels. Throughout my first few months living in Houston, I began to notice how close-knit residents are with their teams. Houston Rockets, Houston Dynamo, and of course, the Houston Astros. They weren’t doing pretty good at the time, which was depressing.

Because I now live in Houston, I felt like I was “forced” to cheer for every Houston team, and that includes the Texans, too, no matter how they play offensively or defensively. Each Houston sports team had closeness between the team and the fans. The fans love them, and they love the fans.

Fast forward to the 2017 season, after the last game of the American League Division Series (ALDS). The Astros had just beaten the Boston Red Sox. Local news outlets began to bring out so much hype about the Astros made it to the American League Championship Series (ALCS). Houston was still trying to recover from Hurricane Harvey, and many people need at least one good news story out of all the destruction and the long recovery process.

Soon, I started to notice a huge surge of orange and blue. At all my classes at HCC, at work, even around my neighborhood. I didn’t want to make any comment, but I also didn’t know it was becoming a huge deal. I began to realize that this moment was a way for Houstonians to come together and celebrate.

Fast forward once more, the Astros won the ALCS and their first pennant.

“WORLD SERIES” stamped all over the city of Houston. We disregarded the Rockets, the Texans, or even the Dynamo. The Astros were our sole focus because we were one step away to winning their first World Series. I would ask everyone I know, such as friends and classmates, and even co-workers how would they feel; and the first thing they would always say is “I am nervous because of the Astros!!”.

The World Series started, and everyone wanted to be off work early to get to their homes or even at Minute Maid Park as early as possible for the big game. It was a back and forth type of situation. Dodgers won. Astros won. Astros won twice. Then Dodgers won twice. The game score was 3-3, and on Halloween night, Dodgers forced a Game 7.

November 1 finally came. I was home alone for Game 7, and it was my night off from work. That night I realized that I empathized every Astros fan out there. As an Angels fan, we felt the same way. It was Game 7 and we were on the edge of our seats. All or nothing. Our first World Series title was on the line; a once-in-a-lifetime moment that may never happen again.

Astros won, 5-1.

They joined alongside the Angels and the Cubs and other teams that won their first World Series title. The Friday after Game 7, Mayor Sylvester Turner declared it as a Houstonian holiday, where he gave HISD students and teachers the day off to see the parade. Sadly, since I live outside of Houston, I had to work that day.

Days after the Astros won the World Series, certain words began to come out of my mouth when I told my boyfriend of three years these exact words: “I want Astros merchandise”. It was impossible at the time because of long lines at Academy Sports & Outdoors as well as the Astros Team Store at Minute Maid Park. They were as long as the circumference of NRG Stadium.

Eventually, I got my first Astros merch ever: a beanie hat.

Fast forward one more time to today. The Astros are once again on the run for a second World Series title. One day, after the Astros beat the Indians during the ALDS, I decided to stop by Academy for a peek at the new merch. The Cool Base jerseys (the ones that are blue with orange on the sides), were on sale in comparison to their original white jerseys. It was tempting, and it was the last one with my favorite player, Jose Altuve. It was either I get to splurge $100 on it or buy a cheap T-shirt that I would wear one time.

After I bought it, I began to realize: “wait a minute, I’m an ANGELS fan. Why did I buy an ASTROS jersey?”

To be frank, I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. A New York Yankees fan who wrote a lengthy post on Reddit [now deleted] that he was “happy that the Astros are advancing”, and that he has “hope that they can beat our rivals as well”.

I still have a love for my Anaheim—I’m sorry, the LOS ANGELES Angels of Anaheim. Just because I’m in Houston doesn’t mean I’ll stop cheering for y’all. When the Astros are going for World Series Title #2, you just have to cheer for them, especially since they’ve been through so much the past couple of years. You’ll get your second chance someday, once you fix your defense!

Go ‘Stros!

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