Battle Of D-Backs And Braves Fans

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The battle for the National League championship between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Atlanta Braves heated up the atmosphere in the editorial offices of the Payson Roundup.

Seems we have on our staff a host of Diamondback fans and one long-time die-hard Braves aficionado who refused to jump ship and join the Arizona bandwagon.

Leading the Diamondback charge was reporter Charlene Hunt who went so far as to (temporarily) tattoo herself with a team logo.

As the Diamondbacks went, so went Charlene and a host of other Arizona fans in our offices.

The one soul who has staked his lonely claim with Atlanta was production technician Dave Rawsthorne.

One of the most likable, easy going employees at the Roundup, its difficult to understand Dave's loyalty to a team from Georgia. Especially when his devotion to the Braves resulted one day in Charlene, decked out in a Randy Johnson jersey, declaring Dave a nonperson and refusing to talk directly to him.

"He doesn't exist," Charlene proclaimed as Dave walked into the offices sporting a Braves T-shirt.

As go betweens for the two, it was difficult for others in our office to decipher just exactly what one was trying to say to the other.

To understand Dave's loyalty to the Braves, one has to go back to his boyhood home in Racine, Wisc. Those were bygone days when the Braves played in Milwaukee.

As a youngster, Dave attended many of the Milwaukee games and quickly became a huge fan of the Braves and of the Green Bay Packers, who played nearby.

Dave's family moved from Racine to Scottsdale in the late 1950s, but his fervor for both the Braves and Packers never wavered.

When the Braves departed Milwaukee in 1965 for greener pastures in Atlanta, Dave stood by his longtime favorites even though they had abandoned his home state.

That's true loyalty. Some might call it misguided, but not Darkroom Dave.

The past week, Dave who refers to himself and the Braves as "we" suffered through some terrific haranguing from the many D-Back fans at the Roundup. But, he continued to wear that Atlanta T-shirt as a badge of honor.

We all know the reasons for Charlene and the others' devotion to the Diamondbacks.

As Arizonans, it's our patriotic duty to cheer our state's team on to victory. And after all, the Braves have been to the World Series plenty of years it's time the newcomers on the baseball block had their shot at a title.

About the best news in the entire interoffice situation is that the lowly Cardinals will probably never field a football team that will challenge the Packers for a spot at the Super Bowl.

If that unlikely scenario ever unfolded, Roundup publisher Richard Haddad would have to hire a referee to keep Charlene and Dave at peace with one another.

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