Who Should We Root For?
But between Fischer's misbehavior and Spassky's supererogatory behavior during the match, I found her decision to root for Fischer puzzling. (Not necessarily mistaken, just puzzling.) Of course, there were mitigating circumstances in the case of Rand and the Fischer-Spassky match, but I'm interested in the general question: should one root for the worse sportsman (no pun intended!), just because he or she is one of "ours"? That is, are Americans justified in rooting for an American just because he's American, or men for a man just because he's a man, etc., even though they know that the opponent is otherwise more admirable. All things being equal, it's unproblematic, but if things aren't equal, then what?