01/31/2014 03:23 pm ET Updated Jan 31, 2014

Carrie Brownstein Explains How Portland Will Spend Super Bowl Sunday

Ilya S. Savenok via Getty Images

Some of us didn’t grow up with a team. I don’t mean “team” in the friends-and-family sense, nor the recreational or professional one, but a TEAM! That monolithic, all-caps entity that comes with its own insignia, linguistic codes, and mascot. A professional sports team! One to buoy us, to serve as muse, scapegoat, and metonym for our city, embodying its ups and the downs, its prosperity and woes. If nothing else, having a sports team to love is reassuring during the moment—those days, months, years?—when we don’t exactly know what we're doing or where we’re going. You put on the team shirt or cap (or I suppose you get a tattoo, a personalized license plate, or a cat to name after your favorite player) and instantly you know exactly who you are: if nothing else, you’re a FAN. Which, of course, also means you’re not alone. What a relief, all these shorthand forms of saying, “Me, too!”

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