OPINION COLUMNS

Hopelessly devoted to Choo

By Joy Carrico | Published Wednesday, February 24, 2016
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The Fella is an avid Rangers fan. When we started dating, I had a passable knowledge of baseball, but no past enthusiasm for the sport.

I didn’t follow baseball. He did. He would tell me things about it, and I would be lost. I wanted a way to participate in this thing that occupied his attention and thoughts so much.

Sure, I could have just done the absent-minded “mmmm-hmmmm” while half-listening, but I didn’t want that. I wanted to play.

Joy Carrico

Joy Carrico

So the question became how to find a way into liking baseball. How could I make it fun for me?

Here is the secret entrance I found into the world of Ranger fandom. I picked one player to devote all my fanatical energy toward. In my case, I chose No. 17, Shin-Soo Choo, the Texas Rangers’ right fielder.

My selection of this player was not random. I had a reason. I liked saying his name. Shin-Soo Choo. It’s fun. Saying it fast is fun: Shinsoochoo. Yelling just the last name is fun: CCCCCCHHHHHOOOOOOO!!!!! Try it. It’s very satisfying.

Now, the next step was to be blindly devoted to him as the sole reason for every good thing in the world of Ranger baseball. Choo could do no wrong. I bought a Choo T-shirt and wore it with pride.

We went to some games, and I would pay very close attention to whatever Choo was doing. But constantly watching a dude standing in right field was an unsustainable activity, and I would get distracted by the other players doing stuff and would end up watching the actual game. Whatever happened, however, if it was a good thing, Choo was the cause, and if it was a bad thing, Choo was blamelessly a victim of others. Choo was my baseball superhero. His superhero power was baseball perfection.

The Fella loved it and willingly played along. He was happy I was trying to embrace this pastime and if he had to talk about one player in particular to honor my baseball love language, he would. So, all our Rangers talk was Choo centered. Choo won and Choo was unable, despite his best efforts, to bring a win home for the Rangers. When the Fella went to games without me, he would text me Choo updates.

It worked. As a result of my arbitrary adoration of Choo, I followed the whole team all season. I learned a lot about baseball and even learned some of the formerly incomprehensible statistics that the Fella would rattle off. I’m by no means fluent in baseball, and I’ve forgotten most of it by now, but I found I really enjoyed baseball, especially going to the games, and I’m looking forward to the 2016 Choo-ball season.

So there you go. I found a way to engage with the Fella in something he loves and learn to love it to, thus bringing us closer together as a couple.

And it’s all thanks to Shin-Soo Choo. His influence for good in the world knows no limits.

GO CHOO!

Joy Carrico is a graphic artist for the Messenger.

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