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Old 03-31-2008, 12:56 PM
Thing Fish Thing Fish is offline
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Morality of Changing Your Sports Team Loyalty

Inspired by the other sports team loyalty thread...

I'm interested in hearing from fans what they think about switching teams. Is it ever permissible, and if so, under what circumstances? Has anyone else ever switched teams? Personally, my loyalties have changed a few times, mainly because one of the things I most enjoy about sports is being able to follow the discussion on the local sports pages and the local bars, which pretty much demands following the local team (my habits were formed before Al Gore invented teh interwebs).

Personal history: I was born in the Pittsburghy part of Ohio, subsequently moved to Oregon and adopted the Blazers, chose to go with SF over Seattle for baseball and football and eventually lived in SF for a while. Subsequently moved to Wisconsin, but couldn't stand the Packers (who had a rivalry going with the 49ers at the time) and knew I would be leaving anyway so stuck with the SF teams until moving to Chicago, started rooting for the Bears and Bulls and, once Sosa vacated the premises, the Cubs. Also married into a New York Giant family (but still dislike the Mets).

My general principles: It's unacceptable to switch teams simply because you dislike losing, but OK (though not required) if you (or the team) have moved geographically, although in such cases a waiting period is appropriate (until most of the players you associated with your former team have moved on). Switching from a team to a major rival is frowned upon. You need not sever all emotional ties with your former team(s), and may certainly root for them once your primary team is eliminated, but it is poor form to suddenly start claiming that they have always been your favorite team once they start winning. Adopting secondary teams because your loved ones root for them is also acceptable.

So, what do you folks think? Am I a poor fan? Am I, perhaps, overanalyzing this just a wee bit?!
  #2  
Old 03-31-2008, 01:06 PM
robardin robardin is online now
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You're overanalyzing. As a sports fan, to me, the #1 rule is that you genuinely care whether your team wins or loses. If you're happy to see them win, but are capable of seeing them lose in a devastatingly heartbreaking manner and just shrug it off, then you're not a fan(atic) but a booster. But if even years later, random reminders of a crushing loss still sends you into a momentary depressive state, as well as thoughts of a OMG NO THEY DIDN'T! wins give you a quick lift of the spirits, then you are a fan.

Not that there's anything wrong with being a booster; it's all only a game, and we're not even playing it ourselves. But speaking as a fan, the essence of fandom is that you've bought both sides of the coin.

Once that's true, if you get a new coin with each relo, that's just civic pride.

On the other hand, your dislike of the Mets is completely irrational. You should see a therapist about that before it starts affecting you in other ways.
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Old 03-31-2008, 01:15 PM
Jas09 Jas09 is offline
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I believe you are only allowed to change team loyalty in two situations:

1) Your hometown (or adopted, if your town does not have one) team relocates. This is such a rank betrayal that you owe them no more loyalty. In this situation you are free to chose what team to support. However, this decision is binding, and you can only change it again in case of #2.

2) A team moves to your new town. If you decide to abandon your team to support the new local team in your town this decision must be made during the first few seasons, not after they become "good enough".

I don't think that your moving is an acceptable reason, unless it's a situation where you simply cannot follow your old team. It's particularly bad if you move to the city of a rival and decide to root for your new hometown - this is completely unacceptable and I question your commitment...

Some would argue that a team can be so poorly managed that you are allowed to jump ship and support a new team... I find this somewhat dubious, but perhaps allowable.

Of course, it goes without saying that picking a team based solely on how good they are is poor in the extreme, but picking a team based on a star player you particularly like is perhaps more defensible (especially if they have a local connection - i.e. went to a local HS or college).

People that simultaneously root for rival teams confuse and frighten me.
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Old 03-31-2008, 01:20 PM
peekercpa peekercpa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jas09
2) A team moves to your new town. If you decide to abandon your team to support the new local team in your town this decision must be made during the first few seasons, not after they become "good enough".
I was always a big Celtics fan. However when the Spurs came to town I immediately became a fan. For a while I could have both worlds since they didn't play each other. But once the Spurs moved to the NBA then the Celtics were the enemy.
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Old 03-31-2008, 01:22 PM
robardin robardin is online now
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Originally Posted by peekercpa
I was always a big Celtics fan. However when the Spurs came to town I immediately became a fan. For a while I could have both worlds since they didn't play each other. But once the Spurs moved to the NBA then the Celtics were the enemy.
But your recollections of the pre-Spurs days are still tinged with Celtic Green, right?
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Old 03-31-2008, 02:39 PM
Justin_Bailey Justin_Bailey is offline
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Jas09 has it. No other discussion is needed. Bandwagoners are first against the wall when the revolution comes.

Justin_Bailey, (mostly) suffering Mets fan since 1988.
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  #7  
Old 03-31-2008, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jas09
2) A team moves to your new town. If you decide to abandon your team to support the new local team in your town this decision must be made during the first few seasons, not after they become "good enough".
Whew.

I did start out as a Yankees fan (my darkest secret). But I started following baseball in 1961 and lived near New York, so there was no other option.

I was away in summer camp in 1965 and didn't follow much baseball. But when the Yankees lost the world series, I decided that if I was going to root for a team that didn't win world series, I'd start rooting for the Mets.

Been a fan every since. I couldn't think of what circumstances would get me rooting for the MFYs at this point.
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Old 03-31-2008, 03:32 PM
Madd Maxx Madd Maxx is offline
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Let me ask this here. It seems to fit the thread.

You are hypothetically a man in your 30's and you have grown up in a Maryland suburb south of Baltimore. Maryland has two current football teams, the Washington Redskins and the Baltimore Ravens and previously the Baltimore Colts. There are also two current baseball teams, the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals and previously the Washington Senators. Rooting for any of those teams or for the teams they became after they left (the Colts, Twins or Rangers, respectively) is what would be expected. I would go so far as to include any of the Philly teams as being reasonable as Philly isn't even that far away.

There is no way you are anything other than a bandwagon jumper if you are both a New York Yankees AND a Dallas Cowboys fan, right?

Last edited by Madd Maxx; 03-31-2008 at 03:34 PM.
  #9  
Old 03-31-2008, 04:06 PM
silly ringtones silly ringtones is offline
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I was loyal to our home baseball team until I was five. At that point I got some baseball cards, asked what trading meant, and discovered that the players not only weren't local lads, but had played on competing teams.
At that point, since the players had no association with our town and no permanent loyalty to our team, I didn't either. I felt really used, being asked to root for these carpetbaggers.
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:09 PM
Key Lime Guy Key Lime Guy is offline
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In order for "morality" to be involved, I would think it would require the team having a reciprocal loyalty to you.

Which they don't.

Everyone's a free agent as far as I'm concerned. Bandwagoners don't bother me at all.

Anyway, why should failure be rewarded?
  #11  
Old 03-31-2008, 05:03 PM
Harborwolf Harborwolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jas09
Some would argue that a team can be so poorly managed that you are allowed to jump ship and support a new team... I find this somewhat dubious, but perhaps allowable.
Nope. If you're a fan of the team, you stick with them no matter what management does. You may not like it, but they're your team.

Harborwolf. Detroit Lions fan.
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Old 03-31-2008, 05:05 PM
Labdad Labdad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jas09
I believe you are only allowed to change team loyalty in two situations:

1) Your hometown (or adopted, if your town does not have one) team relocates.

2) A team moves to your new town.
There's a third, even better reason: a new team signs your paycheck! I spent twelve years working for the University of Illinois. I wasn't an Illini fan until I went to work for them. I immediately became a fan and cheered them for the 12 years I was there. I still cheer for them.

Now I work for Georgia Tech. Not quite the same, because I grew up in Atlanta and cheered for them when I was a kid and never stopped. But if I had left Illinois to go to work, say, for the University of North Carolina, I would have become an instant Tar Heel fan.
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Old 03-31-2008, 05:45 PM
Trillionaire Trillionaire is offline
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From Bill Simmons' "Rules for Being a True Sports Fan " Column from a few years back:

Quote:
19. Once you choose a team, you're stuck with that team for the rest of your life ... unless one of the following conditions applies:

- Your team moves to another city. All bets are off when that happens. In fact, if you decided to turn off that sport entirely, nobody would blame you.

- You grew up in a city that didn't field a team for a specific sport -- so you picked a random team -- and then either a.) your city landed a team, or b.) you moved to a city that fielded a team for that specific sport. For instance, one of my Connecticut buddies rooted for the Sixers during the Doctor J Era, then happened to be living in Orlando when the Magic came to town. Now he's a Magic fan. That's acceptable.

- One of your immediate family members either plays professionally or takes a relevant management/coaching/front office position with a pro team.

- You follow your favorite college star (and this has to be a once-in-a-generation favorite college star) to the pros and root for his team du jour ... like if you were a UNC fan for the past 20 years, and you rooted for the Bulls (because of MJ) and then the Raptors (because of Vince). Only works if there isn't a pro team in your area.

- The owner of your favorite team treated his fans so egregiously over the years that you couldn't take it anymore -- you would rather not follow them at all then support a franchise with this owner in charge. Just for the record, I reached this point with the Boston Bruins about six years ago. When it happens, you have two options: You can either renounce that team and pick someone else, or you can pretend they're dead, like you're a grieving widow. That's what I do. I'm an NHL widow. I don't even want to date another team.
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Old 03-31-2008, 05:58 PM
peekercpa peekercpa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robardin
But your recollections of the pre-Spurs days are still tinged with Celtic Green, right?
Certainly, my sister also lives in Boston so the connection still exists. I'll root for them over everyone else but if they play the Spurs in the finals then I want a sweep with no game closer than about thirty points.
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Old 03-31-2008, 11:56 PM
Least Original User Name Ever Least Original User Name Ever is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harborwolf
Nope. If you're a fan of the team, you stick with them no matter what management does. You may not like it, but they're your team.

Harborwolf. Detroit Lions fan.


Yeah. Think about how good our seats will be when the Lions do win, though.


Please shoot me.
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:11 AM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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I am of the opinion that you should root, root, root for the home team, even if they suck. I live in Denver, where there were years of no MLB, and while I went & got sunburned at various games of the Bears and the Zephyrs (I'm thinking there was a time they had still another name for a triple A team, but maybe not), my true loyalty at the time was the Dodgers (even though they sucked, mostly), because they moved from someplace else to my hometown when I was a small child and it was a Great Occasion.

But I get a little pang when the Rockies beat the Dodgers. It's kinda like watching my sons who went to different high schools playing tennis against each other (for their schools, not on their own--for some reason it was different then even though they were still competitive). I suppose if I ever overcome inertia and get out of Denver I will still always kinda follow the Rockies, too, even if there's another MLB home team wherever I move. In my ideal world it would be Da Bums again.

Anybody but the Yankees, though.
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:34 AM
bucketybuck bucketybuck is offline
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Oh man, it just hurts my head to think that people can rationalise switching sports teams. You just.......dont. Its wrong, it does not compute.

I was in Lisbon a few years back, and joined some American girls from the hostel as they went to the Hard rock cafe to watch the superbowl. I dont remember the teams involved, but anyway, they told me who they were going to be supporting that night. Now I knew that the teams didnt match up to the states they had said they were from, but I just thought
"hey, they must be just picking a team to add a bit of extra fun to the night, it wont really mean anything to them"

I swear, I have never seem two girls get as worked up over anything in my life. They lived and breathed that game, from start to finish.

I tried to get them to make sense of this the next day, to explain it in small words for me. No, they had never cheered for that team before. Nope, never lived there. Yep, will probably cheer for different team next year. Yep, this is quite normal. Yep we are happy, OUR team won. I could only assume that they were a reflection of something in the American culture that could see no problem with migrating loyalties and let it pass. But I just couldnt get the mindset. They really considered themselves proper fans that night, and I couldnt shake the opinion that it just wasnt proper.

I guess the big reason for that is the sport I play, Gealic footbal, is so firmly community centred. You dont support your club, you ARE your club. The idea of switching to another team would be like changing gender because there were some nice frilly dresses in the sales you liked, it just isnt done. EVER.
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:25 AM
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As it happens, I have supported the same team, even though I have moved far away from them.

But I'm not sure who you are 'letting down' if you switch teams.

Presumably it can only be yourself, because there may be no-one else who even knows who you support? Certainly your team doesn't care.
How come players can switch teams for more money and you can't?
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:38 AM
HubZilla HubZilla is offline
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Why should I be loyal to my team if they're doing poorly? They aren't showing loyalty to their fans by putting a bad product on the field. If I continue to root for that team, what message am I sending?

Take my Nebraska Cornhuskers. Last year, we had our second losing season since 1962. Our football program, which has the resources to compete for the national title, lost to Kansas, a basketball school, 76-39.

I was a more loyal fan of the program by rooting for Nebraska to keep losing in order to purge coach Bill Callahan.
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:03 AM
Mesquite-oh Mesquite-oh is offline
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I know quite a few guys who are STILL fans of the teams that the chose to follow when they were kids because they were winning championships and popular. I know one guy who grew up in the 70's and is still a Steeler fan, a few guys who grew up in the 80's and are still Laker fans, and I know a few guys who grew up in the 90's and are still Bulls fans. I would be OK with those guys putting aside their childish bandwagoning and go with an adult "local" or other geographical or college inspired choice. Personally, I have kept the same geographically inspired teams since birth (I had a Dallas Cowboys infant sleepset).
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:05 AM
bucketybuck bucketybuck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HubZilla
Why should I be loyal to my team if they're doing poorly? They aren't showing loyalty to their fans by putting a bad product on the field. If I continue to root for that team, what message am I sending?
To my mind, supporting a team should not be dependant on success. Supporting a team should not be a business decision, with continued evaluations regarding value received dictating future "support".

Besides, is there any other time you CAN be loyal to your team apart from when they are in a bad patch? It doesnt take much loyalty to stick around when they are winning.

Again, I realise there are cultural differences showing here, but I find it difficult to understand the concept of team support as a "product" to be bought and sold. In my personal experience your team is almost akin to your family. You stick with your family no matter what, whether they have won the lottery or they are flat broke, it doesn't matter.

Last edited by bucketybuck; 04-01-2008 at 02:06 AM.
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:14 AM
Pollux Oil Pollux Oil is offline
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I technically switched loyalties on baseball teams. I was a fan of the Orioles when I was younger, just because I really liked Cal Ripken Jr. Whenever I played little league, my number was 8. But after he retired, I stopped paying attention to baseball and was sort of meh towards the entire sport.

That is, until I started dating a girl from Boston who is a die-hard Red Sox fan. And she made it clear that if I was to date her, I would become a Red Sox fan too. There were no ifs ands or buts about it. Lucky for her, I already hated the Yankees from my term as an Oriole fan, so I was already halfway there. We're still dating, and yes, I am now a Red Sox fan. Not quite a full on fan yet, but I'm getting there.

However, she tried to get me to root for the Patriots....and that just didn't go well. She still blames me for their loss because I chose to root for the underdog Giants instead during the Super Bowl. Whoops. And for the record, I'm a Jacksonville Jaguars football fan at heart...nothing's going to change that.
  #23  
Old 04-01-2008, 02:57 AM
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Kamino Neko Kamino Neko is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bucketybuck
In my personal experience your team is almost akin to your family.
Hmm...sports teams akin to family, huh?

What's the process for trading a brother?

I'm not a sports fan in general, so this concept is mindboggling to me.

My father has been a Blue Jays fan since the Jays were founded (the same year I was born, actually).

The current Blue Jays are, literally, a completely different team than the one he started out rooting for, aside from the name, and the fact they're based in Toronto.

Different players, different managers, different owners, even a different stadium.

So, who is he being loyal to?
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Old 04-01-2008, 03:49 AM
HubZilla HubZilla is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tengu
The current Blue Jays are, literally, a completely different team than the one he started out rooting for, aside from the name, and the fact they're based in Toronto.

Different players, different managers, different owners, even a different stadium.

So, who is he being loyal to?
I gotta agree with this. The Nebraska Cornhuskers of the past 5 years are not the ones I grew up with for the past 30-something years. Heck, even 10 years ago.

1993-1997: 60 wins, 3 losses; 3 national titles
2004-2007: 27 wins, 22 losses; one ranked finish (#24)

The coach, offense, defense, talent, etc are not the team I grew up with. I could not remain loyal for loyalty's sake. If more losses would lead to a changing of the guard, then it was my duty as a true fan to accelerate that change. (Okay, a bit melodramatic...)
  #25  
Old 04-01-2008, 09:04 AM
Mullinator Mullinator is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tengu
I'm not a sports fan in general, so this concept is mindboggling to me.

My father has been a Blue Jays fan since the Jays were founded (the same year I was born, actually).

The current Blue Jays are, literally, a completely different team than the one he started out rooting for, aside from the name, and the fact they're based in Toronto.

Different players, different managers, different owners, even a different stadium.

So, who is he being loyal to?
Well, he's being loyal to the same team. The Blue Jays he rooted for in 1980 were quite similar to the Jays he rooted for in 1977. The Jays he rooted for in 1983 were quite similar to those in 1980 and so on. Yes, the team completely changes over 30 years, but the year to year change is small enough that you tend to get 5 or more years of rooting for a core. As that one phases out, you've already started rooting for a new genesis of that core. Before long, every player is different, but you don't care, because it still feels like your old team. As a lifelong Cubs fan, I can go from the Derrek Lee edition back to Sosa to Sandberg and with just those 3 cores I am back at 1984 when my love for the Cubs was born.

The only acceptable times to change allegiances are:
1. The owner does something that's a major screw you to the fan base: moving the team to a different state, intentionally tanking for a decade and then asking for a new stadium, or hiring Isiah Thomas in a management capacity.
2. You are within 2 years of starting to root for a non-local team but then a local team starts up.
  #26  
Old 04-01-2008, 09:42 AM
Roland Orzabal Roland Orzabal is offline
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As I've said before on the boards, I used to be a Pats fan, but switched to the Chargers a few years back. I had picked the Pats more or less at random; they seemed like a stand-up team and I liked the fact that their fans gave Adam Vinatieri proper credit for the games he won with his foot. Then, they had to muck it all up by going and winning everything.

Normally that's what a fan wants, and I cheered 'em on for the first two, but enough is enough. Invincible teams are boring. I didn't like the mid-90's Bulls for the same reason, and it's why as a native (upstate) New Yorker I go for the Mets instead of the Yankees ('course I was born and raised a Mets fan too; that one's never changing). Plus, the Pats fans I had enjoyed camaraderie with were starting to turn into, well, Yankees fans. That simply could not stand.

Given that my dad grew up in San Diego and has a lifelong devotion to the Chargers, plus the fact that they seemed underdog-y enough without being hopeless, I decided to toss my chips in that direction. It's been very rewarding so far; they keep getting better every year, and I get to watch the games with my dad and celebrate the victories like any father and son should.

So, o arbiters of fandom, was my switch justifiable, or will the brand of Brady stick to me for the rest of my days?

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Old 04-01-2008, 10:19 AM
Yorikke Yorikke is offline
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Growing up, I was a Redskins fan, because my aunt was. I was a Dodgers fan, because my dad was.

I moved across the country to San Francisco. I am now an Oakland As fan, because of the "Dollar Wednesday" promotion they did 10 or so years ago - dollar tickets and dogs on certain Wedneday day games. That goes a long way for a poor man.

Ironically, I'm now a Philadelphia Eagles fan, but wasn't when I lived in Trenton, NJ, just across the river. Don't know why I'm an Eagles fan, exactly.

My dad the Dodger fan is a fan because his father used to be. But in '58, when the Dodgers moved to LA, his dad rejected them. Then, in '69, he got swept up in the Miracle Mets, and, AFAIK, was a Mets fan until he died.

Joe
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:20 AM
villa villa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madd Maxx
There is no way you are anything other than a bandwagon jumper if you are both a New York Yankees AND a Dallas Cowboys fan, right?
There are plenty of other things you are if you are either a Cowboys or Yankees fan under any circumstances. But this not being the pit, they cannot be mentioned.
  #29  
Old 04-01-2008, 11:27 AM
Gangster Octopus Gangster Octopus is offline
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I grew up a Minnesota North Stars fan, But they moved away and I was living in Western New York at the time, so I became a Buffalo Sabres fan. Then I moved to Los Angeles and while I tried to remian loyal only to the Sabres, I could wathc as much of the Kings as was available, so I did. Plus I love going to hockey games and going the one time a year the Sabres came to town wasn't enough. So I would go to a dozen Kings games a year and eventually became a season ticket holder. While I still follow the Sabres closely, I am a true Kings fan now.

I think all these rules are stupid. The only rationale I cannot abide by is liking a team suddenly because they are really good. The bandwagon effect.
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:30 AM
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Skammer Skammer is offline
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I grew up 30 miles from Boston (and 5 miles from Foxboro) and so have been a Red Sox / Patriots fan my whole life, through some very lean times. Celtics too, although I'm not much of a basketball fan.

After college I moved to Chicago. The BoSox and Pats were still my teams, and I still hated the Bears for Superbowl XX, but I adopted the White Sox as my local favorites. I would pull for them against any team except Boston. I still have some affection for the ChiSox.

Now I live in Nashville, so there is no MLB team to vie for my affection - I bleed Red Sox red. I'm vaguely fond of the Titans and wish them well, but still hope the Patriots crush them whenever they meet.

Now that the Sox and Pats are both winning teams, I'm always paranoid that people will think I'm jumping on the bandwagon. I always point out that I came by it honestly, growing up in Massachusetts.
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:37 AM
Cervaise Cervaise is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollux Oil
That is, until I started dating a girl from Boston who is a die-hard Red Sox fan. And she made it clear that if I was to date her, I would become a Red Sox fan too.
I'm in Seattle, dating a woman in Boston, and with the small difference that I follow the Mariners rather than the Orioles, I know exactly what you mean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mullinator
The only acceptable times to change allegiances are:
1. The owner does something that's a major screw you to the fan base: moving the team to a different state, intentionally tanking for a decade and then asking for a new stadium, or hiring Isiah Thomas in a management capacity.
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:40 PM
Sublight Sublight is offline
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Is it possible to be an anti-fan?

What I mean is, when I came to Japan, I found myself faced with a whole new league and no home team (I lived out in the sticks at first, though not so rural that they didn't have a soccer team - Go Jubilo!). I first picked the Dragons, since they had a cool name, but their coach turned me off by being a thug asshole. I went to the Yokohama Baystars when I started working for the ad agency that named them, but that was just for one year a decade ago. Now, I've settled into "anyone the Tokyo Giants are playing against" which seems to have a fairly large following.

As far as Japan-league baseball is concerned, am I a fan?

ETA: my first loyalty is the Red Sox, having grown up in Boston. I was never into football, so I freely admit (and admitted during the last season) that I bandwagonned onto the Pats.

Last edited by Sublight; 04-01-2008 at 01:43 PM.
  #33  
Old 04-01-2008, 03:54 PM
Geek Mecha Geek Mecha is offline
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I have always considered myself to be a fan of the games themselves, not specific teams, so there is no question of team loyalty to me. I like players who play well, with skill and chemistry with their teammates, and I will follow players I like throughout their careers regardless of where they hang their cleats. I will cheer when I see a Hawaii-born or developed player. I am a fan of certain eras of specific teams, such as the mid-'90s Atlanta Braves, for their awesome starting pitching rotation. But I could never be a fan of a whole team for years on end just because they are the home team, or because my family roots for them.
  #34  
Old 04-01-2008, 08:34 PM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tengu
What's the process for trading a brother?
The team is akin to a family member, not individual players. Trading a player away is like giving your buddy a shirt from your brother if his gets ripped up or whatever.
  #35  
Old 04-03-2008, 08:48 AM
Count Blucher Count Blucher is offline
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Originally Posted by Trillionaire
From Bill Simmons' "Rules for Being a True Sports Fan " Column from a few years back:
...or if you happen to be running for President.

...and then you can expect to have your ass kicked. Red Sox, huh Rudi? How's that workin' for ya?
  #36  
Old 04-03-2008, 04:52 PM
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I agree with most of the "rules" in this thread. People who switch loyalties based on moving or win/loss records are not true fans in my book.

I've been a Cowboys fan forever. Some of my earliest memories are watching the Cowboys on TV with my dad and the "big folks." I now live in the DC area and work right in the city. How could I even contemplate rooting for the hated Redskins just becasue I happened to move here?

I've also been a Cubs fan since the early '80s. No real reason--I've only been to Chicago once in my life. As a kid, spending summers with my dad in Florida, I had a lot of time to watch TV in the daytime. My dad had something my mom did not. Cable. WGN. Watched the Cubs every day. Got to know the players, the announcers. Became a fan. A diehard fan. In fact, I'm posting this from work right now streaming the Cubs game over the internet.

Washington now has the Nationals. Sure I'd like them to win. When I read the paper in the morning I check to see how they did. If they win, great. If they lose, no big deal. I did get out to RFK last year to see a game. Against the Cubs. I went to root against the Nationals of course.

Quote:
You follow your favorite college star (and this has to be a once-in-a-generation favorite college star) to the pros and root for his team du jour ... like if you were a UNC fan for the past 20 years, and you rooted for the Bulls (because of MJ) and then the Raptors (because of Vince). Only works if there isn't a pro team in your area.
I'm glad for this exception b/c I can relate to this wrt to the NBA. I haven't watched an NBA game since the strike season (1994?). For various reasons the NBA holds no appeal for me at all since then. As a kid, though, I was a big Celtics fan. Bird, McHale, DJ, Parish--that was my team. I have two college basketball teams I follow with a fanatical pasison. Memphis State and LSU. Back in the early 90's, the Orlando Magic drafted Shaquille O'Neal (who I watched live at LSU) and then Anfernee Hardaway who I really liked, from Memphis State. So I became a Magic fan to watch my favorite college players on the same NBA team.

College football. I live and breathe LSU purple and gold. When they lose it's like a little piece of me dies. A kick to the stomach. Waking up in the middle of the night with that immediate sense that maybe that loss from earlier was just a terrible dream! They really didn't lose! But then it sets in that, yes, they did (say, in triple overtime) and you toss and turn for the rest of the night.

You telling me that I could all of a sudden start rooting for, say, Maryland?? I can not even comprehend such a thing.
  #37  
Old 04-03-2008, 05:04 PM
Darth Sensitive Darth Sensitive is offline
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Originally Posted by villa
There are plenty of other things you are if you are either a Cowboys or Yankees fan under any circumstances. But this not being the pit, they cannot be mentioned.
As this isn't the pit, this born and raised Dallas area Cowboys fan won't say anything.

Except that you just wish you could have an 'excuse' to root for them.
  #38  
Old 04-03-2008, 05:23 PM
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I have committed 'Sports Bigamy' once. When I was a wee lad, my parents took me to see Bob Hope at the North Carolina State Fair. It was the Fall of '71, and I was vaguely aware that the World Series was happening, but being a wee lad, was not impressed with the Gravity Of The Situation. Anyway, Bob asked who had won the game that afternoon (shocking, I know, but rumor has it that World Series games used to end before sundown! Who knew?), and a crowd member yelled 'Baltimore.' Bob said, "Good, I hope they win." which brought a loud cheer from the crowd.

Now, being a wee lad of some fairness, I thought that it was unfair that the Pirates didn't have anyone pulling for them, so I decided, at that instant, that at least the Pirates would have one person rooting for them. So, I was a loyal Pittsburgh Pirate fan up until the Day of My Shame.

1981. A decade later. Cable television finally made its way to my hometown. The next thing I know, I was seduced by Dale Murphy and the Braves. My high school chorus also went that spring to Atlanta where we saw a Braves game in person. Skip Caray and Pete van Weiren (long time Braves announcers) became the voices of baseball to me. So, with sadness in my heart, I committed my Sports Bigamy - I became a Braves fan. Just in time to suffer through the late 80s, when the Bravos were routinely dropping 100+ games a year. Yep. Sometimes Sports Bigamy has its Timing Perils.

But I stuck it out. And in the early 90s the Braves and the Bucs played two excruciating seven game NLCSes, and I have to say, I was never once tempted to pull for the Bucs. So, I suppose this time it's for real. Anyway, I feel much better now that I have admitted my Fall.

Go Braves!
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  #39  
Old 04-03-2008, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wargamer
I have committed 'Sports Bigamy' once. When I was a wee lad, my parents took me to see Bob Hope at the North Carolina State Fair. It was the Fall of '71, and I was vaguely aware that the World Series was happening, but being a wee lad, was not impressed with the Gravity Of The Situation. Anyway, Bob asked who had won the game that afternoon (shocking, I know, but rumor has it that World Series games used to end before sundown! Who knew?), and a crowd member yelled 'Baltimore.' Bob said, "Good, I hope they win." which brought a loud cheer from the crowd.
Little known fact: Hope was part owner of the Cleveland Indians.

Even more obscure fact: Bing Crosby was part owner of the Pirates.

Why may be why Hope said he wanted Pittsburgh to lose.
  #40  
Old 04-04-2008, 02:31 PM
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May I ask a question? [Abbot and Costello]Fellow Dopers, I love baseball.[/A & C] However, I moved back to Pittsburgh two days after the last baseball strike started and, I think, 1 year after the last season in which they finished over .500. Now, when I moved back, I swore off baseball for life, even though I love the sport. Then an employer gave me tickets to a game which were about 15 rows back on the 1st base line. I watched Aramis Ramirez hit his first major league home run, and the Pirates won it in the bottom of the ninth. I was hooked again. The Pirates have now had 15 losing seasons in a row. May I please renounce my loyalty to them? I understand about sticking by your team. I'm marrying a Detroit Lions fan, after all, and I remained a Steelers fan through the 1980s, but this is ridiculous.

How many straight losing seasons must a person endure before she may legitimately be permitted to give up on her team? I'd like to root for a baseball team with a winning season before I die.
  #41  
Old 04-04-2008, 02:57 PM
Justin_Bailey Justin_Bailey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siege
May I ask a question? [Abbot and Costello]Fellow Dopers, I love baseball.[/A & C] However, I moved back to Pittsburgh two days after the last baseball strike started and, I think, 1 year after the last season in which they finished over .500. Now, when I moved back, I swore off baseball for life, even though I love the sport. Then an employer gave me tickets to a game which were about 15 rows back on the 1st base line. I watched Aramis Ramirez hit his first major league home run, and the Pirates won it in the bottom of the ninth. I was hooked again. The Pirates have now had 15 losing seasons in a row. May I please renounce my loyalty to them? I understand about sticking by your team. I'm marrying a Detroit Lions fan, after all, and I remained a Steelers fan through the 1980s, but this is ridiculous.
While I could never allow it to become part of the official rules, I wouldn't hold it against a fan of the Pirates or the Royals or the Lions or the Arizona Cardinals or the Clippers to switch loyalties.
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  #42  
Old 04-04-2008, 03:22 PM
Rysto Rysto is offline
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I'd give Bruin fans a pass as well. Blackhawk fans who have already sworn off the team are ok too, but nobody's allowed to forswear allegiance to them now until we see whether the new regime is a good one.

Last edited by Rysto; 04-04-2008 at 03:22 PM.
  #43  
Old 04-04-2008, 04:57 PM
Harborwolf Harborwolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siege
May I ask a question? [Abbot and Costello]Fellow Dopers, I love baseball.[/A & C] However, I moved back to Pittsburgh two days after the last baseball strike started and, I think, 1 year after the last season in which they finished over .500. Now, when I moved back, I swore off baseball for life, even though I love the sport. Then an employer gave me tickets to a game which were about 15 rows back on the 1st base line. I watched Aramis Ramirez hit his first major league home run, and the Pirates won it in the bottom of the ninth. I was hooked again. The Pirates have now had 15 losing seasons in a row. May I please renounce my loyalty to them? I understand about sticking by your team. I'm marrying a Detroit Lions fan, after all, and I remained a Steelers fan through the 1980s, but this is ridiculous.

How many straight losing seasons must a person endure before she may legitimately be permitted to give up on her team? I'd like to root for a baseball team with a winning season before I die.
Personally, I've always found that there is room to be a supporter of a team even if you are a fan of another. There are still rules.
1)No bandwagon jumping. No Patriots. No Yankees (ever).
2) The team must be of your favorite sport.
3)The team must be in another division/conference/side of the league (Eastern/Western, National/American League, etc.)
4)Your original team must always come first.
5)Supporter status must be declared before the season starts. This also helps cut back on bandwagoning.

For example, I am a Detroit Red Wings fan first and foremost. I love hockey though and occasionally support an eastern conference team. I've been a supporter of the Rangers ever since Brendan Shanahan left the wings to play for them. Obviously on the rare occasions that they play the Wings, I hope we crush them (or Shanny at least doesn't score against us).
  #44  
Old 04-04-2008, 05:49 PM
Siege Siege is offline
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Well, technically, football is my favorite sport, and my brother has exemplified team loyalty in that, not only is he a Steeler fan, despite having lived in New England for over 15 years, the Patriots are his son's fourth favorite football team, behind the Steelers, and the Giants. I have also, in the interests of marital felicity, become a Detroit Lions fan, thus fulfilling all five of your conditions.

I would not condemn my soul by becoming a Yankees fans, and becoming an Indians fan, I believe, is also anathema to a near-native Pittsburgher, although Steelers fans are permitted to feel sorry for Browns fans and cheer for the Browns when they're playing the Ravens, if a Browns win wouldn't adversely affect the Steelers' chances of making the playoffs. We mourned the loss of a good rival. I have a certain sympathy for Chicago Cubs fans, but would joining their ranks be another exercise in futility? If the gentleman were more of a baseball fan, I'd consider becoming a Tigers fan.
  #45  
Old 04-04-2008, 06:40 PM
Harborwolf Harborwolf is offline
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Originally Posted by Siege
I have also, in the interests of marital felicity, become a Detroit Lions fan, thus fulfilling all five of your conditions.
If he really loved you, he wouldn't want or expect you to be a Lions fan. There's no joy down that road.
  #46  
Old 04-04-2008, 06:47 PM
Antinor01 Antinor01 is offline
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You sports people are really strange.

But I'm sure you knew that.
  #47  
Old 04-05-2008, 12:07 AM
astorian astorian is offline
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Morality??? Are you people nuts??? Wait. Of COURSE you are. I should remember. I used to be one of you.

Okay, to some extent, I still am. But whereas teenage Astorian lived and died with the Yankees, middle-aged Astorian regards them as just another entertainment option. And I'm pretty sure middle-aged me is saner.

I mean, is there ANY business except sports in which people would be so proud of shelling out tons of money for a crappy product?

Suppose someone said, "The only restaurant I eat at Chez Biff. The food always stinks, the waiters are always rude, the prices are always way too high, and there are roaches everywhere. But I eat there every night, because unlike you, I'm a TRUE FAN! Sure, I could go elsewhere like all those fair weather fans. I could go to a GOOD restaurant and eat DELICIOUS food in a clean restaurant with decent prices. But I won't! I'm LOYAL, damn it. And that makes me BETTER than you! I hate you people who try out different restaurants to see which ones you like. Sure, you may enjoy good food, but you'll NEVER know what it's like to really love a restaurant the way I do. And when this restaurant finally serves me a decent meal someday (it could happen...), I'll enjoy it in a way you NEVER could!"

Sounds kinda... silly? Pathetic? Delusional?

My feeling is, there's only one reason to go to a ballgame: to have a good time. Dodger fans arrive late, leave early, and seem to be working on their tans more than watching the game. I USED to look down on fans like that. I don't now. Those fans paid their money and had a fun afternoon. That's MUCH smarter and healthier than going to watch a perennial doormat and making yourself miserable when they (inevitably) lose.
  #48  
Old 04-05-2008, 12:52 AM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astorian
Suppose someone said, "The only restaurant I eat at Chez Biff. The food always stinks, the waiters are always rude, the prices are always way too high, and there are roaches everywhere. But I eat there every night, because unlike you, I'm a TRUE FAN! Sure, I could go elsewhere like all those fair weather fans. I could go to a GOOD restaurant and eat DELICIOUS food in a clean restaurant with decent prices. But I won't! I'm LOYAL, damn it. And that makes me BETTER than you! I hate you people who try out different restaurants to see which ones you like. Sure, you may enjoy good food, but you'll NEVER know what it's like to really love a restaurant the way I do. And when this restaurant finally serves me a decent meal someday (it could happen...), I'll enjoy it in a way you NEVER could!"

Sounds kinda... silly? Pathetic? Delusional?
None of the above; it just sounds like a bad analogy.
Quote:
I mean, is there ANY business except sports in which people would be so proud of shelling out tons of money for a crappy product?
Pop music, reality television, summer blockbusters, romance novels; pretty much any and all forms of entertainment.


Also, note that any logic defending bandwagon fans (may they rot in hell) falls apart by one simple example: the Olympics. Unless you can justify rooting for the USSR in the Miracle On Ice, you really don't have a leg to stand on.
  #49  
Old 04-05-2008, 05:55 AM
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Watching sports is a fun hobby. Root for whomever you enjoy watching.
  #50  
Old 04-05-2008, 06:32 AM
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Eh, considering the Rangers' management seems intent on intentionally screwing up the team no matter what happens, I'd see no problem switching loyalty there. And I'm born, bred and still not living too far from the Dallas metroplex. But although I pretend not to root for them, I haven't found anyone else I'd prefer to invest my time in.

As to the Cowboys, I've hated them since infancy and usually find it within my heart to support whatever scrappy underdog is fighting the most for survival during the year. Fortunately, I'm happy to stand behind the Mavs and Stars. Otherwise, I'd pretty much be a fan without any affiliations.
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