A guest blog entry by D. Caticchio (mom, student, world citizen)
The Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings, football rivals.
Here’s the situation: on Sunday, November 29, 2009, I had seats to watch the game, Jay Cutler against Brett Favre.
But let’s pause for a moment and think of what was really taking place besides this rivalry football game. I witnessed the greatest example of ethnocentrism, which can be defined as a person thinking whatever is theirs is the best, just because it is theirs.
Ethnocentric behavior was very apparent to me at the football game even though at the time I had no idea that there was a name for what I was observing. Then, I read an article about ethnocentrism and was thrilled to be able to put my studies to use in the real world.
Let me back up a minute to explain.
I am from Chicago and both of my boys were born in Chicago. My husband, however, is from Minnesota. So, on our holiday trip to Minnesota to spend time with family we decided to get tickets to watch the Minnesota Vikings stomp all over the Chicago Bears. My kids, who are not exactly huge football fans, have become extreme Minnesota Viking fans ever since Brett Favre joined the team. You see, Chicago and Minnesota fans could not stand Brett Favre when he played for the Green Bay Packers since all three teams are rivals and Brett Favre was the star quarterback that other fans cringed at but all wanted on their team.
Favre, after a second attempt at retirement, has taken a place on the Minnesota Vikings and to the excitement of Viking fans everywhere, he is the best quarterback there ever was. All of a sudden Minnesota has a love affair with the man they hated not so long ago.
My family spent a lot of money buying purple and gold jerseys for everyone but me. We spent a lot of money on tickets to watch a game for which we already knew the outcome. However, we did it as a chance to watch Brett Favre on his quest to take the Minnesota Vikings to the super bowl.
Fans throughout the stadium acted like they knew Favre personally, like he could hear everything they were shouting from the stands. They booed when a ref made a call against their team, as though the ref only made bad calls against them and never enough calls against the Bears. They screamed at every pass Favre threw and was caught, as though no one else has ever caught a pass before.
Favre did not disappoint his loyal fans, loyal, at least for the past two months and at least up until his contract ends in two years.
As for myself, I am not a football fan, but I could not cheer against my hometown. So, I clapped when the Bears made a catch or scored a touchdown. I also clapped when the Vikings scored. However, I clapped louder for Cutler, because he is from Chicago and he is the best. Well, not really, but everything else from Chicago is the best!