Everyone has their dark secrets, but I harbor within me a Dark Passenger. It has an insatiable and unspeakable hunger, one that when spoken aloud, is tantamount to sacrilege. Its desires have led me to an unthinkable resolution: I am a fan of two NBA teams. The Mavs will forever be my love, my life, but now and again, I escape away into the embrace of the Charlotte Bobcats.
That said, I can’t help but feel that my relationship with the ‘Cats is bittersweet, if not tragic. For whatever the reasons, this team has always courted the turgid romantic inside of me. The whole ordeal has been rooted in contradiction, a betrayal of logic: I love the Bobcats because no one loves the Bobcats. And for what? A talented forward with so much energy, it keeps him off the court. A departed face of the franchise, shipped out after he failed to measure up to Dwight Howard’s considerable shadow. A point guard who has forgotten how to pass and shoot, but still finds ways to be effective. Roster moves that ‘make sense’ but rarely do, and head-scratching trades that come up roses. O brawling love! O loving hate! O anything of nothing first create! O heavy lightness, serious vanity! Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
This love I feel, that feel no love in this.
Perhaps it’s that force, that contradiction, which has kept me a Bobcat fan through five…interesting years. Even though the wins column has yet to top 35, even though their orange unis are unspeakably awful, and even though ownership and management are inept enough to be considered villainous. This team, through all its incarnations, has been enigmatic and lovable enough to keep me coming back for more. The Bobcats may not love me, but there’s a special nook in my heart that glows that miserable shade of fluorescent orange.
Do you have a Dark Passenger?