Living in New England has taught me alot about sports.
You're either a Red Sox fan or a Yankees' fan. There's no in between.
There are a number of people here who are Yankees' fans who aren't even from New York, Jersey or anywhere close for that matter.
This brought me to the thought:
Where do our sports allegiances derive from?
[Raising my hand] Um, is there like a rule I don't know about that says it's NOT okay to be a fan of a team in a town where you've NEVER lived? Does living in a state for more than a month constitute enough weight for an allegiance to be born?
Here's my outlook on the Big 3...plus one - NBA, NFL, MLB and College sports.
With professional basketball, I find that most people are fans of certain players, opposed to being a fan of a team. Prior to this years Celtics /Lakers matchup, not too many people cared about the NBA or it's players. Aside from David Stern enforcing a dress code for it's players, I believe the league just became too ghetto for season ticket holders to bare. There are also several states that don't have a professional NBA team like...Nevada, Montana, South Carolina and...oh, Connecticut. Several Connecticut natives tend to lean towards the Boston Celtics as "their team." As you can see, the NBA is an exception.
Who doesn't love the NFL? Seriously. There's nothing like curling up on your couch on a Sunday afternoon with some wings, soda, chips-n-dip and your laptop (for you fantasy football fiends). So who holds your NFL allegiance? My allegiance stems from my 5-year stint in Charlotte, North Carolina. I must say, I heart the Carolina Panthers. Prior to 2000, I was never a huge football fan due to how horrible my hometown Seattle Seahawks were...but it was just something about Carolina that won my loyalty. Depending on where your from, football fans are not always for the "home team." I think I've met more Washington Redskins fans in the New York area than I have in Washington D.C! Now that's real talk. I think the jury is out on this one. Some people say you have to be from the team's city that you root for, while others disagree. What do you think? This is also one sport where a lot of people have two teams they like: one being the dominant team, while the other is a closet favorite because of a particular player or coach.
America's favorite pastime....Baseball. It's about as American as apple pie...well, until steroids came along. But seriously, this is one sport where I think most people are fans of their home town team. It's true that players get traded often, but it's rare that people will switch their allegiance from team to team in MLB. While living in the south I noticed that baseball is not really that popular. Due to the lack of teams in those regions, there's no demand for baseball so there's no allegiance either. History is also a big factor in why people stay loyal to certain teams. You can't deny those who paved the way...for the A-Rod's and Jeter's of today.
If you live in North Carolina for more than a week it's inevitable that you'll be asked the question: Are you a Carolina fan or a Duke fan? For the record, I bleed Carolina blue. It's so necessary. I'm not gonna go into the top ten reasons why I hate Duke...I'll save that for another blog. Instead I'd like to focus on the amount of people who cheer for a school they never attended. Sports fans are attracted to dynasties and rivalries. College sports is one place where you'll find alot of that. However there are always those teams like CAA's George Mason who slip through the cracks and make us all believe that the unexpected can happen. It's Cinderella teams like GMason that make sports fun. Who are your favorite college teams for each sport? Are they the same for each sport? Isn't it interesting how people can be say... a UConn basketball fan, but a Notre Dame football fan?
My overall opinion is...be a fan of what ever team you want. I am.