The "Pete Homer" syndrome
by Jerry Robinson
Publisher Emeritus 1920~2014
Why do we favor some golfers over others? Or baseball players? We all root, root, root for the home team; but why golfers, prize fighters or the boys of summer who carry the single burden of winning your love along with the paycheck?
With many sports fans, the fan loyalty depends on betting on a winning ticket. Pure greed - nothing personal.
Sometimes it is Pete Homer* attachment. It is with me mostly
(* one who favors the home team in spite of poor play).
I loved rooting for Freddy Couples, Jefferson Park boy who made mighty good on the golf course.
I got emotional rooting for Portland great Peter Jacobson because his dad Erling was a star center on the Jeff High football team when I was delivering the Oregonian. I often stopped to watch the team practice.
My high school loyalty lasted years and extended to buying a leather carry bag from Peter's company. I used it for many years when I played at Burien's Rainier golf course.
I rooted for Tiger Woods. He was so thrilling. Now I find myself cheering for young golfers from Northern Ireland (Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington).
Why?.. easy, my grandfather (dad's side) was born and raised in county Antrim. I doubt if they had golf courses there then but they have them now and are producing some great players. Besides, I like the name Padraig. However, if Freddy is head to head with anybody, even Padraig, our Seattle product gets full hero worship.
I do like the Yankees. Of course, with the Mariners, they get all of my whoops and hollers in the living room. When they get into the World Series with Seattle, the Yankees will have to suffer from my silence tho I give them lots of groans and tears when they are playing another team.
I was once a rabid rooter for the Portland Beavers (a minor league team). I turned out at a special event for future baseball stars put on by the Beavers at their old Vaughn street stadium in 1932. Scores of kids 12 and under were snagging hot grounders and fly balls.
I fancied myself a glove man and let a sizzler dribble through my knees. I got yanked instantly. The winner turned out to be some kid named Donny Kirsch who later went on to fame and fortune at the game and was a revered, genuine all star athlete and famed coach for the University of Oregon. I cudda been a contendah if I had any talent..
Closest I ever came to fame was as pitcher for the White Center Fumble Bums playing against the Burien Housecats.
We had our famous ball game at White Center's field now called Mel Olsen stadium.
I cleverly filled a tennis ball with water and threw a perfect curve ball to Burien star Dick Dahlgard (loved that guy). He smashed it in half and got himself all wet. The umpire called him out until we could find a real ball.
We lost 27 to something because our right fielder, a White Center accountant named Roy Ptacek,who lived in Normandy Park, was fielding a high fly ball. It hit him in the forehead allowing Frank Huntley to run home from first base. Roy was last seen on a fishing boat in Ilwaco. That's a sport with less need for eye-hand coordination.
I'm still looking for him.