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Ask NotGraphs (#31)

Dear NotGraphs Sartorialist,

My wife and I visited San Francisco a while back. We caught a game and she bought me a pretty great Giants baseball hat (orange with black logo) that I used to wear but now it’s only collecting dust and bringing me sadness. The problem is that I’m a lifelong Tigers fan, and so now instead of reminding me of great memories of a fun vacation, the hat reminds me of how poorly my team played in the World Series. It’s not like I don’t like the Giants — they’re an awesome team that outplayed us. But wearing the hat just doesn’t feel right anymore. Any advice?


Disappointed Hat Owner,

“It’s not like I don’t like the Giants — they’re an awesome team that outplayed us.”

What? Huh? I believe you have far greater baseball-related problems than your dusty Giants hat. What kind of a Tigers fan can you possibly be if you’re willing to admit that they lost the World Series to a better team? You’re supposed to blame the loss on bad umpiring or Jim Leyland or Prince Fielder’s secret plot to throw the series. Or the weather. Or steroids. Or something besides the opponent being an awesome team that outplayed you.

It sounds to me like you’re afraid to admit that you’re actually a Giants fan. That instead of dreaming about Quintin Berry and Max Scherzer, you secretly draw hearts in your scorecard around Buster Posey and Hunter Pence. You may tell yourself you’re still a Tigers fan, but I think you’re just scared of the truth. You went to a Giants game, you got an awesome hat… but wearing it would only announce to the world that you’ve given up on your formerly-beloved Tigers and chosen to make your own choice instead of remaining saddled with the team allegiance you grew up with.

You need to cut the cord. You need to acknowledge that you’re an adult now, and you’re allowed to leave childhood teams behind to find new, Vogelsong-filled rosters to root for. Wear the hat, wear it proudly, and put the Tigers jersey in the back of the closet, to remind you of your long-departed youth.

You say you used to wear the Giants hat, so, really, you’re just backsliding now. You were okay with your new favorite team until they forced the issue by beating the Tigers– and beating them with such force and magnitude. You got scared. It’s okay. It’s understandable. You went back to old habits. But you can do it. You can make the switch. We’re all rooting for you.

Except for actual Tigers fans. You’re dead to them.

Good luck,

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