Sportswriters claim to be objective, but we're not. Sometimes I pull for a team, sometimes I pull against a team, and I always pull for what will make the best story. And if I'm on deadline, I pull against overtime.
But because I don't cheer in the press box -- it's one of those rules that make sense -- I'm not accustomed to making much noise when I watch a game. I might clap for a great play, but that's as demonstrative as I get.
On Friday night, though, we were having a drink, waiting for takeout and watching the North Carolina-Minnesota basketball game. Some guys at the other end of the bar were loudly cheering for the Tar Heels, and without meaning to I began to cheer for the Gophers.
I'm not ABC, not pro UNC. UNC had nothing to do with it.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, of course you cheered for the Gophers, Tom. They are the rare institution that emphases academics over athletics, as their record in men's basketball and in football attests.
Good point. But that's not it. I went to school there.
I kept waiting for the Gophers to blow it, but Tubby Smith is too good a coach to allow that to happen.
It was kind of fun, being a fan for a night.
But on Sunday, I must return to real life at Bank of America Stadium, and quietly cheer for the best potential story.