Favorite Sports Team you're NOT a fan of.

I’ve got a sports poll I’m curious about, it might take a little explaining so bear with me. I’m interested to learn what people’s favorite sports franchises are when you eliminate the “fan bias”. I’d like to see how much geography plays into it, history, tradition, Q-rating, exposure etc. So, what sports team’s do you really like which your not a fan of?

Allow me to establish a few ground rules in order to help define what, for the purposes of this thread, make you a “fan”. You must exclude the teams from consideration if they fit the following descriptions for you:

[li]You live in the city (read: metroplex) in which the team plays. I understand that in cities like New York and Chicago there are multiple teams playing the same sport and people typically aren’t fans of all of them (nor are people fans of all sports), but the media saturation places you under too much influence to be unbiased. So, your hometown teams are out.[/li][li]You used to live in the city where the team plays, assuming the team existed when you lived there. This should rule out childhood favorites, college alumnus, and rose colored memories of days gone by.[/li][li]The team is or was one your favorite teams. I realize many people live in places without sports franchises close by and adopt teams from other places for whatever reason. Also, people might latch onto a team from another city than their own as children when that team had your favorite player or was very successful. Basically, if you own things with the Team logos or follow them religiously, you’re a fan regardless of geography.[/ul][/li]
So, which teams do you like that fall outside of those definitions? Teams, that when watching a game where one of your teams aren’t playing, you will always cheer for over the other. Why? Feel free to list as many teams as you like from any sport.

To start, the** Tennessee Titans** have always been a favorite of mine. I’ve always lived in Chicago and have always favored the NFC, but for some reason I always cheer for the Titans.

Going back to the Houston days, I can’t say I had any particular attachment to them. I loved highlights of Earl Campbell and Billy “White Shoes” Johnson. Warren Moon and the run-and-shoot made for some exciting TV, but I was never really a fan. They played in the AFC so they were never a rival of the Bears, which helped them not be hated, but I didn’t pull for them regularly. I still recall rooting for the Bills in the 92 AFC Wildcard game when the Oilers were the victims of the greatest comeback in NFL history.

Things changed when they moved to Tennessee. The new uniforms were always a good look. They always had a few Illini, which helped. They had the underdog vibe going for them in their vagabond days after the abrupt move away from Houston to Tennessee without a home. It helps that they are a traditional thorn in the side of the Jailbirds, the most hatable NFL franchise in the league too. Most importantly they had Eddie George, who from the start was tons of fun to watch and who anchored my fantasy teams for the first 4 years of his career. Soon they added Steve McNair, who after Brett Favre, is the ultimate blue-collar, tough guy QB. Always a class act from a small school, easy to root for in the extreme. The fate was sealed in 2000 when I adopted them at the end of the regular season as my favorite playoff team, with the Bears being out of it of course. They rewarded me first by pulling off the stunning Touchdown Throwback aka “The Music City Miracle” to upset the Bills in the AFC Wild Card game, a nice bit of irony that it was the Bills for sure. Then they played underdog in what remains, to me, the most exciting Super Bowl ever played. Falling short of beating the Rams by that brutally climactic and iconic half-yard.

While I’ll never be a sports bigamist by becoming a Titans fan and I’ll probably never own a piece of Titans paraphernalia they certain are the NFL team who I’ll always cheer for.

What about you guys, which franchises do you have a soft spot for but would never self-identify as being a fan of?

It changes year to year depending. This year, it’s the New York Rangers. They are actually playing like a team. They’ve earned themselves a playoff berth. It’s nice to see.

First of all, allow me to say WOOHOOOOO!

Secondly, as a lifelong Bills fan, I have frequently found it necessary to have an “NFC team” to follow to keep the end of the season interesting. This team has almost always been the Minnesota Vikings. Partly because of their uniforms, and partly because when I was a very small child I saw a clip form Super Bowl IV, where a defensive lineman punched a Viking offensive lineman, and when the Vioking hit him back, he got called for a penalty. I felt this was so unfair, that I hoped the Vikings would win whenever possible.

And yes, it would appear that I am cursed, as far as Super Bowls go. If I can finally prove this to be the case, I will become a Dolphins fan.

Probably too many to name. I’ve lived around the country, but have spent quite a bit of time living in the Eastern time zone and working jobs with strange hours. Thus, I’ve watched a lot of games in all sports, college and pro, with West Coast teams. So, I tend to cheer for the West Coast team.

Seattle Seahawks. A classy team in a classy city with classy uniforms. I’ve enjoyed them since the mid-1980’s when they had a playoff run and the crowd shook the Kingdome with noise, except that when Seattle had the ball, it was quiet as a church in there. It was amazing. I’m glad they finally made it to the Super Bowl.

I also have a slight affinity for teams that are over 20 years old and have never made the Super Bowl:

Cleveland Browns
Detroit Lions
New Orleans Saints
Arizona Cardinals

I also kinda like the Jets since they permanently went with their throwback uniforms.

CSC is a bicycling Danish team run by Bjarne Riis. He won the Tour de France by beating Miguel Indurain about a decade ago. It would have been Big Mig’s 6th win. Back then his nickname was Mr. 60% because of his rumored doping… The team is well run under Mr. Riss, but I hate to see them win.

Couple addendums to the OP.

Please give us a general idea of where you live and/or which teams you actually are a fan of jusy in case it’s not clear from your location. It’ll be interesting to see if New Yorkers tend to have a soft spot for eastern teams, midwestern teams or western teams, just for one example. Also if NL, NFC, Eastern Conference etc. fans tend to have a fave from the alternate conference or if they tend to favor teams from the conference they are most exposed to.

Second, by looking at the replies so far most are talking about NFL teams. I just wanted to assert that I’m interested in all sports with the poll, hopefully my starting with a NFL example doesn’t skew the comments too much.

dalej42, interesting comment. One variable I hadn’t really considered is the time-zone factor. I remember, as a night owl myself, really taking a liking to the San Diego State Aztecs in high school. Those WAC teams had some totally crazy games back them between BYU, SDSU, Air Force etc. I was watching one game with virtually no knowldge of any of the players and it turned out to be one of the greatest ever between Faulk’s Aztecs and Detmer’s BYU Cougars. Both lit the world on fire. I made a point of catching Aztec games for those years. One question though, you say you watched alot of West Coast games, when they played each other did one stand out or it just a overall west coast bias?

The Devil Rays. Yeah, they’re not so great, but they put forth a pretty damn good effort, and manage to beat the Yankees more than half the time, so that makes me very happy. :stuck_out_tongue:


I was born in Texas. I am a Dallas Cowboys fan. I grew up in SoCal and am a San Diego Chargers fan after Dallas. I like Seattle in part due to West Coast bias, but I don’t care for the Oakland Raiders or San Francisco 49ers.

I am, first and foremost, a Dallas Cowboys fan. Even before I liked watching football, I was a fan because of my Dad. Now that I like to watch, I’m just plain rabid! :slight_smile:

Secondly, I tend to root for the Chargers. I, like my mother, was born in Southern California. Mom was a Chargers cheerleader during their first season, and she still has a soft spot for them even though she doesn’t much care to watch football.

But as for teams I just kinda like: Carolina Panthers–they’re based in Charlotte, NC and I’d just had a daughter named Charlotte the year they became a team. Silly, perhaps, but I couldn’t help liking them because of that!

Also: Tampa Bay. I have to admit that it was because I felt so sorry for them back when they stank, and also because I had to admire fans that hung in there year after year with them. Now I very much enjoy their success!

Charlotte Panthers. There’s so many former Buffalonians living in Charlotte, supporting the Panthers is almost like cheering on a team from Buffalo itself.
Montreal Canadiens**. Don’t know why, but I’ve liked them since I was a kid.

Chicago Cubs. Who doesn’t like them?

I meant Carolina Panthers. Took the little yellow bus today, I fear …

I grew up in New York City, and my favorite baseball team was always the Yankees. However, as a kid, I was always a big fan of…

The Minnesota Twins. Largely because the first baseball player who ever gave me his autograph was Earl Battey, the Twins catcher.

Plus, nobody hit the long ball like Harmon Killiebrew.

Jerseyite who lives and breathes Big Blue. My wife, however, is a die-hard Dolphins fan, making me a Dolphan-by-proxy.

  • New York Jets. Because they wear green and white, like Michigan State.

  • Toronto Maple Leafs. Because they haven’t won for so long. In my book, there are Original Six teams and there are unimportant teams.

  • California Golden Bears. Because they haven’t been to the Rose Bowl in forever.

  • Whoever Michigan is playing.

I don’t really care for baseball, myself, but go Royals! I loves me my Royals. Why? Because they (along with the Twins) were playing in my first professional baseball game. I didn’t want to cheer for the Twins for whatever reason (hey, I was young, like 7), so I thought I’d cheer for the Royals. Much later, we went to Kansas City and watched them play in their home field, which I thought was a really nice baseball park. So I still like 'em. Don’t watch baseball, but when scores come up and I see they’ve won whatever game, I smile.

I also cheer for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers. The Steelers because they’ve got a storied history, somewhat similar to my Vikings (with wins instead of losses, but hey), but both mainly because of Rosie. We were in Pittsburgh a while back (lovely town) and went to Three Rivers Stadium. I think it was closed or some such, but Rosie was a groundsworker who took pity on the tourists and showed us around the place - we walked the halls the players ran out of and she even pursuaded a shop to open so we could purchase some souvenirs. She’d worked there forever and had such a love for her teams that she made us love them too. Here’s to you, Rosie.

Other than that, I’ll cheer for teams in my NFL division when I’m not watching my Vikes - I (generally) cheer for the Packers, Bears, or Lions against whoever they’re playing. It’s nice, too, when one of our neighbors makes it into the playoffs or such when we don’t.

In b-ball, it’s the Celtics. I grew up in the 80s when Larry was almost always fighting against Magic for the title, and I was a Larry fan. I don’t watch a lot of basketball now, but I’ll cheer for the Celts if I happen to see them on somewhere.

Boston Red Sox. Most Mets fans feel that way.

The rest of my favorites I don’t root for are all teams that don’t exist any more:

New York Americans (hockey)
St. Louis Browns (baseball)
Washington Senators (baseball) (Especially in the 20s and 30s, when they were one of the top AL teams.)
Philadelphia Athletics (late 20s-early 30s version, one of the greatest teams of all time.)
New York Nets (and most of the ABA).

Whatever team is playing the Yankees.

Montreal Canadiens, because of their history.

I’m a Chicago guy (Bears fan), but my AFC team is the Broncos. I’ve always loved Colorado, and John Elway always seemed like a nice guy so I liked cheering for them.