By Phil Hecken
I’ve been spending a lot of time with my pop the past few weeks, unfortunately due to circumstances that are less than pleasant, but one of the better things we’ve been doing is discussing sports in general, and the local teams in particular. This is due in part to the fact that it’s a much easier conversation for both of us, and one around which we’ve bonded since I was a wee lad. Lately, we’ve been discussing the remarkable playoff run of the New York Jets.
Now, in the past I’ve given you all a “uniform confession” (I really liked the original Ducks highlighter unis), but I’ve never really come clean on my “team” confession(s). Part of this, I think, has to do with both how and where I’ve been brought up. You see, as a New Yorker (OK, Long Islander), we’re almost expected from birth to choose one team from each of the three major sports (and hockey), stick with them through thick and thin, and hate the “other” team(s) in your market. So, if you’re a Mets fan, it’s basically in your genes to detest the Yankees, a Jets fan will detest the Giants, Knicks/Nets, and Islanders/Rangers. We’re also generally not big college fans (not that we don’t enjoy college sports) but since with a few rare exceptions, unless we’re an alumnus/a of a school, we don’t really have a local rooting interest. Certainly not in the way that say, someone from Nebraska is almost guaranteed to be a Cornhusker fan, even if they never attended the University.
So what’s my confession? I’m kind of a closet Jets and Yankees fan, and I’ve always had a soft-spot for the Nets (since when I was growing up, they played in the Nassau Coliseum, which is a mere 5 minutes from where I grew up), and I don’t detest the Rangers (or even the Devils). Now, since I’m a Mets, Giants, Knicks and Islanders fan, I’m expected to hate the Yankees, Jets, Nets and Rangers, but I really don’t — in fact, unless they’re playing each other or unless a playoff spot is at stake, I will usually root for the New York team against their opposition. I “blame” this all on my pop.
So how did I get this way, and is this extremely unusual or are there more closet fans? Growing up, we had no cable (I don’t think it was invented by Al Gore yet) so all the sports I watched was on local TV. I remember watching, usually with my dad, any and all of the local teams — the Mets on Channel 9 (WOR), the Yankees on Channel 11 (WPIX), Jets & Giants on the networks, and the hockey and basketball teams were also relegated to Channel 9 — and always and ONLY away games. So, I almost never saw the Isles or Rangers in white, or the Knicks or the Nets. This made the “white at home” very special for me, and why today I still pine for the NHL to return to that uni statement. But it was my father who instilled this “all New York” pride, or rooting interest, in me. When we were watching the Jets play the Pats last weekend (for a very small portion of that game), he told me the story of how we came to acquire the oriental rug that is to this day in my parents’ living room — mom got it while dad watched Joe Willie Namath win Super Bowl III. He told her he’d buy her a mink coat when they won their next Super Bowl. To this day, mom is still freezing in the winter. I asked him if he’d make good on that if the Jets continue their run and finally win their second Super Bowl. Like a typical Jet fan, he responded, “I doubt that’ll be happening.”
Anyway, I became a sports fan, I guess like many of you, because my dad is a sports fan. I’ve tried hard to be a typical New York sports fan and to hate the “other” teams in the same leagues, but I have never been able to quite shake my “all New York” upbringing. I asked dad why HE liked all the New York teams, and his answer probably shouldn’t have surprised me: “Because your grandfather did.” My old man was born in Brooklyn, and of course was a huge Dodgers fan. I asked him if he was also a Giants fan, since those two circles almost never co-mingled. His reply, “Yes. Except when they were playing the Dodgers.” How about the Yankees, “Yes. Except when they met the Dodgers in the World Series.” When the Dodgers and Giants moved away, he became a Mets fan in 1962. He was a New York Football Giants fan from birth, and embraced the AFL’s Titans and Jets as soon as they were born. Same thing with the Knicks and the Nets, and the Rangers and the Islanders. We’re fortunate in New York to have a bunch of teams to choose from to root for, if we choose to root for the locals.
But what about the rest of you? A guy I worked with a few years ago was kind of the “LeBron” of fans — they’re the same age, and his favorite teams are the Yankees, the Cowboys, the Bulls and the Rangers. Not surprisingly, those were the winning teams during his formative years. He’s always liked the front runner. Of course, he also is deep into fantasy baseball & football, and spends many of his waking hours playing video games with made up rosters — so his fanhood is much more player oriented than team oriented. If you are not a “local” team fan, do you root for the teams who were the “winners” while you were young? Did you have a favorite player growing up who just happened to play for a team of which you found yourself becoming a fan?
Did you ever select a team to root for (and I don’t mean for a single game, but to make “your” team) because of the uniform? While I’ve always been into uniforms, it has never affected my rooting interests. Sure, I hated when the Mets went to the racing stripes, but I still rooted for them. Even when they went BFBS, I lived and died by them. But if a “new” league were to form, and there was no local team, I don’t even know if I’d root based on the uniform. I like to pick teams playing each other based on their uniform, but as far as my loyalties, dad always taught me to root for the locals. In fact, the only time I really ever root against a local team is when they play one another — and then, at least — I’m all business. I will always root for the Mets over the Yankees, the Giants over the Jets, the Knicks over the Nets, and the Islanders over the Rangers. Even when there is a playoff spot at stake.
So, are you a homer, like me? And how did you get that way — did you find a Ken Willard card in a box of cereal when you were young and become a 49er fan? If you live in a city like Chicago or LA, do you have divided loyalties, or do you root for all the “home” teams? Did you grow up rooting for the teams who won a lot, and as a result, you’re a fan of those teams today? Did you ever choose a team because of a certain player or uniform? Growing up, and even now, I downplay my affection for the “other” team in my market, but secretly, I almost always root for that team. Until interplague in MLB, it was very easy to root for all NY teams, because in baseball they never played each other and in football, the Jets and Giants only meet every few years. It was, and is, harder in hockey and basketball (although I’m far less of a fan of those two sports) because they’re in the same division.
What kind of fan are you?
We are Family…
This past week, in the comments section, longtime UWer Susan “Tex” Freeman mentioned she had full size postcards of the 1969 “College Family Portraits,” in her collection, and a few of which had been posted. None of those was particularly high quality, however. These actually came from a set of 6 x 9″ postcards, which Susan’s father had framed — she offered to scan them for me. I talked about it with Tex and there’s quite a story behind them, one which we hope to explore in greater detail down the line. For now, here’s what she discovered:
“The print at the bottom (of the cards),” says Susan, reads “1969 Collegiate Marketing Corporation ”“ Box 3436 ”“ Austin Texas 78704.”
There were 8 scans which she sent to me, some of which you have seen, but the rest are probably new to us:
1 – SEC Family Portrait
2 – SWC Family Portrait
3 – “Up For Grabs”
4 – ACC Family Portrait
5 – Big 8 Family Portrait
6 – Big 10 Family Portrait
7 – Ivy League Family Portrait
8 – PAC 8 Family Portrait
Great stuff. But after scanning those, Susan was just a bit more curious as to the origins of these cards:
FYI”¦ I just opened one of these frames up because I was dying to see what was on the back ”“ and drumroll… It is a large postcard with the same markings as the small postcards. Odd, don’t remember large postcards when I was kid! It does identify the teams though: i.e. Vanderbilt Commodore, Alabama Crimson Tide (Mr. Crimson), Georgia Bulldog, Tennessee Volunteer, Clemson Tiger, Louisiana State Tiger, Kentucky Wildcat, Florida Gator, Ole Miss rebel (Col. Rebel), Mississippi State Bulldog”¦ I guess if the mascot had a name it was included.
And sad to say”¦ as the brochure says these were 6x9s that DAD CUT DOWN TO 6x8s! :/ If there is any back story, it would be the artist — they were clearly paintings, you can see brush strokes. Did a search for Don Collins and GOT NUTHIN’! Maybe you or someone else has heard of him. My bet is he was a Texas guy, they did this for SWC and then the Austin based “National Collegiate Marketing” guys commissioned him to do the rest.
Many of us would give up the search there, but then again, we’re Uni Watchers, and we need to know more. Susan not only confirmed it was Don Collins who painted all those, but, it turns out he’s a “Busy guy”¦ illustrates books, his own books, even some Resort ads for magazines. Looks like he has his own shop in Arlington.” A bit more digging reveals the illustrator, Don Collins, is a native Texan and a veteran of the Korean War. After attending the University of Texas at Austin, he has been working as a freelance illustrator in the Austin area since 1956. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, attended classes at several Texas universities, and in 1956 entered an informal partnership with Austin printer Jack Wilson. Operating from a business they called The Art Studio, the two men designed and produced graphic arts materials for customers that ranged from real estate agents to book publishers. All this time Don inclined toward drawing old architectural works. Several large commissions from printers stimulated a long-time interest in rural scenes and architecture. He lives in Austin and Arlington.
Tex put in a call to Mr. Collins and is hoping to find out much more about the series and possibly other works he has had commissioned that relate to college football. Of course, I have actually planned on working on a feature article with Susan in the future, so any additional information she can gather will be included in that. Great stuff Susan!
It’s been a while since the boys from Benchies appeared on Uni Watch, but they’re back, at least for today, in honor of the one year “anniversary” of the Uni Watch Deep Freeze in Minnesota.
Here’s Rick to set her up:
My, how time flies. Already a year since the UniWatch Deep Freeze gathering in the Twin Cities. Although ’11’s daytime wind chills below zero will be a far cry from the rain and relatively temperate conditions of ’10. Anyway, to commemorate the festivities, here’s “Benchies” from a year ago, when we all were just a bit younger. And a whole lot warmer.
Thanks Ricko. If you guys enjoy and miss Benchies, be sure to let Mr. Pearson know. I understand he’s got the creative jones again, so if you missed it, like I did, be sure to urge its return!
Lots and lots of tweaks keep pouring in, so obviously this is a popular feature. A bunch new to get to today. If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.
Remember, if possible, try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per tweak. You guys have been great a keeping to that, and it’s much appreciated!
Got a big set of tweaks today…so lets get right into it.
Now, on to today’s tweaks:
Starting off the show is Kaleb Stuckey, who starts us off with a new look for the Texas Rangers:
These are my tweaks for the Texas Rangers.
I tried a combination of both old and new, and red and blue. I believe the Rangers have been going through an identity crisis, indecisive about whether to be red or blue. Why not incorporate both? This is very evident in the hat I have created.
The home set is what I have heard people want most over the years- a throwback to the classic script, and putting the team name instead of the “Texas”. There are three jerseys and one set of pants, which are double striped in the red and blue.
The road set is basically the same with the exception of the red jersey. I don’t find it appealing on gray pants.
Next up is Austin “Tex” Fischer, who has a few NHL concepts for us:
My name is Tex and I’ve sent you some NHL jersey concepts. First of all, I really love “Uni-Watch” and look foward to another year.
First I made a Buffalo Sabres concept, without the dreaded Buffa-slug logo.
Then an All-Star jersey prediction, based off the info I got off your site.
Third a variation on the Avs third with a matching road white.
A “different” Flyers concept that isn’t that good, but I think would make a nice alternate.
Finally, a nice gold Penguins jersey set to finish things off.
Hope you like them,
Next is Paul Lee, with a Sacramento Kings logo concept:
Here’s a logo-tweak for the Sacramento Kings. The purple and black look is just awful!
And finally, some pro combat concepts from Sean F.:
I really liked your work on all the NFC uniforms using the Pro Combat template. I had to try it myself. I only did these two so far.
Kansas City Chiefs
With this uni, its more like the fire chiefs. I did this by accident, using the eraser on the helmet with a lowered opacity by mistake. I liked the look however, similar to what the Jaguars did with their new helmets. I eliminated all the black and increased the amount of golden yellow.
New England Patriots
I really like the NE logo the Patriots have, although you only really see it on Bradys hat during press conferences. I used that as the main logo on the helmet and made the silver white. I also tried using some verticle stripes on the sleeves, reflecting the look of the pants stripes. I also used the socks from the late 90’s uniforms with the red band separting the white and blue. I like how these came out, but it reminds me more of the Texans than the Patriots.
Thanks for you time,
That’s all for today everyone. Check back tomorrow for more.
And we’ll call it a wrap for today. Apologies for the non-uni nature of the lede, but it was kind of a rough personal week. Don’t worry tho, because there’s a big set of NFL championships on tap for tomorrow, and if all goes according to plan, it should be a pretty interesting post. Thanks again to Susan Freeman and all the tweakers, and to Ricko for (hopefully) bringing back Benchies.
Phil walks 57 miles in 16 feet of snow uphill to and from work to his log cabin where he eats bear grease bread-cake cooked on a wood stove fired by moose dung as he flogs his back with a jersey o’ nine stripes and writes his UNI manifesto. He doesn’t have time to meet your great expectations my good sir, good day. — Robert P. Marshall, III
I have been a NY Giants fan for many, many years. Though not technically a “Noo Yawka”, I did my undergrad work in the NYC area. I am praying to whatever deity there is that the Jets lose tomorrow, and badly. I cannot stand the Jets! From their un-NY like colour scheme (where is the blue???), to their intellectually challenged “J-E-T-S!” cheer, all I can think is GO STEELERS!
YES–bring back “Benchies”!
Absolutely!!! greatly missed, thank you Rick-O!
I was born in Illinois while my Dad was in the USAF. We moved back to Erie, PA, where he grew up, after he got out. He has been and still is a season ticket holder for the Steelers since ’77. Everyone in Erie is either Steelers, Browns, or even Bills (when they are winning). I wanted to be different so I went with my Illinois roots and became a Bears fan in the early 80s. I went through 3 Walter Payton footballs (their valves always leaked terribly!). The Chicago connection then hooked me with my other favorite team – the Blackhawks. They’ve always had the coolest jersey!
On the whole fan thing… my Dad was born and raised in New Orleans, and grew up a Saints, Braves, LSU and Tulane fan.
My Mom was born and raised in Alabama, she looked at the Cowboys for a while, but overall, grew up a Saints and Braves fan too (and the University of Alabama Crimson Tide).
Both parents also grew up rooting for the LA Lakers, and still do to this day.
I was born in Montgomery, AL, but moved to California less than two weeks after my I was born. I of course, cheer for the Saints, Lakers, and Braves.
I rooted for the Bulls in the late 90s because of Jordan, Scotty, and the like, and looked at the Chargers for a long time. In fact, I still have my black Bulls #23 jersey from when I was, like 6-7 yrs-old (1997-1998). It’s the only screen-printed jersey that I will EVER own/respect.
I also started watching a lot of Bronco and Buccaneer games BECAUSE of the then-new uniforms.
So… I pretty much fit almost every description.
Now for a new topic: what about a town/group/demographic of fans that cheer for a certain team, even though they play in a non-neighboring State? Because I would like an explanation for all of these Cowboy fans here in Blythe. It might be because they (currently or used to) host camp in Oxnard, CA, but what do I know?
You did retain your mom’s good sense about being a Bama fan, right?
One thing you have to remember about the Cowboys, and I bring this up since the Braves were touted as being the baseball version… they were “America’s team”. I don’t know the explanation so much behind the Cowboys, but with the Braves and TBS in the early years, they were often the only team consistently on TV. People in states where there was no “local” team to root for would just side with the Bravos. I know a girl from Oklahoma who is a big Braves fan. Why? When she was a kid, they were always on TV, and they were always winning (early 90s).
Perfectly reasonable explanation. And yes, my Mom and I cheer for Bama =)
Sometime in the ’70s, NFL Films put something out that called the Cowboys “America’s Team”, and the Dallas organization embraced it. They were on national TV a lot, in large part because they were good.
Much later on, the Braves and/or TBS adopted “America’s Team” for the ballclub, who were getting national exposure on the superstation.
Hey, Phil, I hope things turn out OK with your dad. My father went through some really rough times before he passed, and so often it was baseball that let us connect and actually deal with some of the deeper stuff, if indirectly. Well, that and my willingness to listen to him talk about boxing. He grew up listening to baseball and boxing on the radio in the 1940s, and was a lifelong fan of the ring, but as much as he cherished his memories of all the fights he only ever saw with his ears, he strongly discouraged his sons from any interest in the sport.
Anyway, as to the question in the headline, what kind of fan is Phil? The right kind of fan.
Personally, I’m OK with a little bit of team-loyalty tribalism. If you have a favorite team, it’s OK to hate on your team’s biggest rival. But beyond that, there’s an important difference between American and European culture, and it’s not that we’re all cowboys and they’re all socialists. It’s that they love teams, and we love sports. Most Americans (and Canadians and Australians and New Zealanders, for whatever reasons) are fans of sports first, particular sports second, and particular teams only third. Your typical American guy can sit down in front of the teevee and flip around, find the first sporting event, and watch. Or, if he’s really only in the mood for football, he can find the first football game and enjoy it even if he doesn’t know the teams – or even if the teams are both division opponents of his favorite team. Whereas in my experience a very large percentage of European fans don’t actually like the sport their favorite team plays, and wouldn’t watch a game in which their team wasn’t playing if you paid them. It’s all about being “part” of one team’s culture of fandom, and everyone else is your enemy for the couple of hours a week you immerse yourself in that tribal identity. Having lived in Europe for a few years, that kind of fandom bores me; it’s why I gave up on soccer after a season and switched to watching snooker on the BBC.
My dad too was a huge boxing fan in the 40’s and always. he used to go to Stillmans gym to see guys train when he stayed with his sister in NYC.
I’m in my early 30s and being from Florida we got a lot of new teams during my formative years. When I was born all the state had was the Miami Dolphins and a brand new Buccaneer team but now (if you count hockey) we’ve got 9 major league sports teams. I grew up near Gainesville so none of the professional sports cities were really natural fits. Most of the people from my home town rooted for the Braves but were all over the board when I was a kid on the other sports. For reasons of TV coverage I adopted the Jaguars, Magic, and Marlins around high school but generally root for the other Florida teams as long as they aren’t playing my teams. When it comes to college sports though, any day a team other than the Gators loses is a good day. I think their fans feel the same way about the Gators. If a sink hole swallowed Doak Campbell stadium I’d have a party.
For me, there is no team in sports, at least that I know of, that is easier to hate then the Florida Gators.
I lived in Northern California my entire life and have been a Florida State Seminoles. I liked them initially cause of their similarity to my favorite NFL team, the 49ers, but became more of a fan cause the rivalries down there are so great.
The Gators have the ugliest helmet I have ever seen (the cursive Gators looks like a little kid tried writing for the first time). I don’t like stadiums with cute catch phrases written on them (This is the swamp…). They routinely schedule creampuffs, two before Tennessee, and now one before the Florida State game. They laid down on the field to get the ball back so some guy could set some record. I don’t like Gatorade.
Florida State’s not perfect either, but you’ll never see me going to these Sharks games over here and doing the Gator Chomp before the power play, yuck!
We all have teams we love and hate, and when they are opposite, you know it makes one boil! Sure there are reasons to dislike the Gators (or any other team), but those of us who like the Gators usually feel the exact same way about those other teams, specifically the Seminoles! How many times can they play that droning Tomahawk Chop, or yell that Ric Flair “wooooo” right after the fight song, or smash the QB after the whistle’s third echo? See, it goes both ways, especially when one can be Gator Bait!
And no, I’m not trying to bash you for not liking the Gators, but the “love to hate” almost always can go the exact opposite way. As a Gator fan, I just thought I’d share some examples of the other side.
The ’94 US World Cup team played an indoor exhibition against the Omaha Vipers here’s a link to some pictures:
Enjoyed the pics, especially AC Milan…er..Omaha’s Unis! Would have liked to see the U.S. Squad in the classic 1994 kits instead of t-shirts, but I also would have liked to see Alexi Lalas grow his hair back out…
New Orleans native and lifer.
Always loved my Saints. Started with great uniforms, were pretty good throughout – now have horrible Black leotards that are their worst uniform EVER. Nonetheless I am a fan, and always will be – despite the 4th worst uniform (with Black pants, 6th best with Gold pants) in the entire NFL.
For years we had no baseball in N.O. – AAA Pelicans left in 1959(?) and other than the one-year AAA Pelicans in 1977, no baseball until 1990s. By default a great many New Orleanians became Astros fans – games were broadcast on radio and quite a bit of TV for that time. Astros and Astroworld bumpersickers and souveneirs seemed to be everywhere.
I, instead, became a Texas Rangers fan when they were broadcast for 1-2 years on our UHF station. The original arched “RANGERS” graphics with the unique typset, and the fact that everyone else was an Astros fan, made being a contrarian pretty easy. This was 10 years before the Braves really burst out on cable. Simpler times.
I’m originally from upstate NY. For football, I grew up a Bills fan and was in college for all 4 SB losses, finally abandoning them when after the 2nd loss. The next year was the season when the Chargers started 0-4, then won their division. I’ve been with them since. I also follow the Giants as my wife runs our local United Way and is friendly with a member from our area. I’ve had the pleasure of holding a Super Bowl ring from this (think of the Waner brothers’ comment on the ’27 Yankees – “Jesus, they’re big!”).
In baseball, locality has made me a Mets fan, although I briefly joined on the Braves bandwagon during college. I had relatives from the Chicago area that turned me int a White Sox fan pretty early (during the 1983 season). I have recently started following the Orioles as well, due to visits to the fantastic city of Baltimore and the ultra-kindness of Oriole fans during HOF induction weekend 2007. Orioles fans deserve a winner, but we are thoroughly screwed for the foreseeable future.
In football, I’m ambivalent about the Jets (I would like to see them win tomorrow just to show up the 1-seed), but in baseball I have a deep hatred of the Yankees and Cubs. the Yankee hatred was set in stone in 2000, but I can’t put a finger in the Cubs hatred.
My dad was a big Toronto Maple Leafs fan, so now that he is gone, I have a Leafs hat and t-shirt in his honor. Love the Dodgers as well since I’ve been a kid.
My dad grew up in Evansville, Indiana, when the AAA Triplets were a Milwaukee Braves farm team. He saw guys come through on their way to the majors, and became a Braves fan, so I was also. He was also a Packer fan, so I was brought up the same. I was a Laker fan growing up, mainly because I liked Jerry West. As far as local teams go, I grew up in NW Indiana and liked the White Sox, hated the Cubs. I now live in Indianapolis, and like to see the Colts and Pacers do well, but I’ll always take Packers over Colts.
Born and raised in Michigan I grew up loving the Tigers and Red Wings (and Pistons if I have to choose an NBA team). With colleges I grew up in a household of Michigan State fans and went the opposite way with U of M.
Where I’m a bit weird is with football. I’ve been a Seattle Seahawks fan my entire life. The first game I can remember seeing on TV was the Seahawks and I instantly fell in love with Steve Largent. Even when they’re terrible I’ve never strayed from them (even after they decided that monochrome was the way to go with their unis).
I’ve been a lifelong fan of the Yankees and New England Patriots. I’m also a fan of the New York Rangers and the Lakers were my basketball team. My grandfather and dad were Yankee fans…so that’s why I started to root for them and was devastated when I picked to play for the Dodgers in Capp League. In 1978 I went to a Jets/Seahawks game at Shea and sat right behind the Seattle bench. I was all set to be a Seahawk fan when we were leaving and my Godmother wanted me to pick out a gift…I saw a Patriots pennant and immediately liked the helmet and was even more impressed that I lived in New England (Ct.) and they were the New England Patriots. I became a Laker fan after seeing The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh and heard the greatest name ever…Kareem Abdul Jabbar. I don’t follow basketball the way I used to….nothing compares to Showtime and the Laker/Celtic/Sixer games of the 80’s. As for the Rangers..I was all over the place with hockey teams, liked the Whalers then the Bruins before watching a Ranger playoff run in the 80’s and jumped on the playoff wagon, I went to my first Ranger game in the old blue seats during the 84 season and became a die hard fan.
You are a Yankee and Patriot fans… As a fellow Yankee fan, how can you root for any team, whose fans are also annoying Red Sox fans!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL
2011 Pond Hockey Weather Update.
Currently 2F, -15 wind chill.
Growing up in Southwestern CT, we’re pretty much guaranteed to be a fan of the NY teams in some way. My dad was really the one that started my love for the Rangers though. I still remember how happy he was after they won the Cup in ’94.
I guess I follow the typical NY fan mold and I’m diehard for the Rangers, Knicks, Yankees and Giants. Unlike most Yanks fans though, I don’t hate the Mets. I don’t like them either, so I guess I “nothing” them. I do hate the Jets, Islanders, Devils and Nets though
Man, I’m disappointed after seeing the “SEC Family Portrait” up close. Most of the teams are great, but… “Mr. Crimson”? WTF? I feel cheated. The elephant has long been associated with Alabama football, so I am pretty surprised that the picture shows… shows… well, um, some dopey looking guy with a dopey looking hat. Weird.
And as far as today’s topic, I think I became a sports fan much like Phil. I was born in Alabama, and as most of you have heard, you are forced at birth to choose between Bama and Auburn. My dad was a huge Bama fan, having grown up through the Bear Bryant days. I never questioned being a fan. The first game I remember was the 1986 Sun Bowl, when I was about four years old. There’s never been a time when I don’t remember watching the Tide. As far as pulling for the *other* state team? Well, we weren’t like your dad. That’s something that just never crossed our mind. Wanted them to lose every game, in fact (group Tennessee in there as well, ironically where I live now). The NFL? It wasn’t important. Oh, we watched it every now and then, especially the Super Bowl. My dad liked John Elway, so I became a Broncos fan. But it’s not even a fourth of the passion I feel for Alabama.
Curiously though, we did have one professional sport interest, that being the Atlanta Braves. I’ll admit to never watching them before 1991, however. I think my dad was always a closet fan, and when they went from “worst to first”, he was all too happy to introduce me to it. Being so far from any other markets, I’ve never personally felt a “rivalry” with any other MLB team. Maybe the Mets?
Basketball was never a blip on our radar, especially the NBA, and hockey? I’m a southerner, I don’t know what that is.
I can’t really say uniforms were a deciding factor on my rooting interests in my formative years. But, I’m happy to say that my top two teams have classic uniforms (we’ll just pretend the Braves’ red and blue jerseys don’t exist). It’s no doubt the reason I have always preferred old-school to new-school.
My father instilled in me a love for the baseball Giants, even agfter they nmoved to the left coast. Living in da Brons, in the shadow of the Stadium, he hated everything Yankees. I remember him hanging a Yankee crying towel in his store after Maz’ homer in 1960. And it didn’t even cost him business.
He promised to take me to an out-of-town game, this was pre-mets, so I could see the Giants play.
Werll, here I am this morning,sitting in a hotel in Atlanta with my daughter on our 12th father-daughter road trip to watch thew Rangers play: My father’s tradityion.
I do get to miss pout on Willie and the championship trophy which is being toured around NY this weekend, but am further honoring my father because I already have tickets to the World Champion Giants home opener in April. And, I will be wearing the NY Giants pin my father gave me and bringing the scorecard to Game 1 of the 1954 Series that my mother so diligebntly filled out. (Except for Dusty Rhodes HR.)
The best thing about sharing sports with a parent is the memories long after they are gone.
Phil, I know what is like and those shared moments “will last a lifetime.”
I grew up in NJ, about 20 miles outside of NYC, so I am a Yankees/Giants/Devils/Nets fan. I too never hated the Mets or the Jets because of one of the last statements – they weren’t division rivals. I’m less of a hockey and basketball fan too, but I can say I dislike the Rangers because they are a division rival. As for the Knicks, well, being a Nets fan, there are no rivalries, they lose to everyone. Now that I live in Florida, the NY pride comes into it, so I will be rooting for the Jets tomorrow.
I picked the Raiders as my NFL team when I was 4 or 5 because I liked their colors. Then a couple years later they picked up Bo Jackson and were unstoppable in the first football video game I played that had real player names in it (Tecmo Bowl) and I just decided to stick with them from then on. Now it’s been over 25 years, and why change now?
In other sports, I grew up rooting for the Tigers (because my family went to 2 or 3 Mud Hens games every summer, and they were the pro affiliate), and the Pistons (because my dad worked for a company that was owned by their owner and we got free tickets occasionally). I don’t really follow the NBA or MLB anymore though.
I guess that’s the great thing about growing up in a city where there are no pro teams. You can root for whoever you want and there’s really not much pressure to root for the “local” team when they’re 60+ miles away.
Not surprisingly, a lot of mention of “Dad” in these recollections.
I believe it was writer/historian Donald Honig who said, “Baseball is nothing more than an endless parade of all of the fathers and all of the sons.”
Pretty much can apply that to any team sport, I suppose.
True, but Baseball is the most father/son sport of them all. just like every sport can be called a “game of inches”, but generally, thats football’s thing. Its one of the things that makes baseball truly a great sport
While my fanship of the Indians, Bengals, Cavs, & Buckeyes comes from living in Columbus, my love of the Washington Nationals is ia fun story.
Back in the late 80’s, my aunt & uncle in Landover, Maryland began sending me a series of articles from the Washington Post’s Sunday magazine. For an entire year, the magazine followed a fictitious expansion version of the Washington Senators. It was along the lines of Sidd Finch. There were rosters, games stories, action photos, features. All made up but all exciting for a 5th grader who loved baseball. I fell in love with the idea of the national pastime in the nation’s capital…and with the curly-W this fake Senators club wore. I vowed that if Washington ever got another team, I would be a fan. When the Expos announced their move and the powers-that-be wore curly-W’s to the press conference, I was hooked!
I’ve tried to find the old articles and have tried contacting the Post for information regarding them, but both searches have been fruitless. Hundreds of losses later, so have my Nats! Bazinga
I grew up in eastern PA, and people are amazed when I tell them I detest the Philadelphia Eagles. I proudly tell folks, I’m a Seattle Seahawks fan. Why? Two reasons. The first is that I remember seeing the Seahawks play the Cowboys in a pre-season game (79 or 80), and Seattle won. My dad was a Cowboys fans, and was upset they could lose to a “lousy dome team with a left-handed quarterback.” For some reason all those factors appealed to me. Secondly, I LOVED THEIR UNIFORMS AND COLORS!!! Silver helmets, blue and green hawks, the royal blue jerseys. As a 9 or 10 year old, I wanted to have one of those cool jerseys (and did get one… a #10 Zorn replica). So to make a long story short, yes, I started to like a team because of their uniforms. And I’m still a Seahawks fan today, despite their lousy uniforms they now have.
As for other teams, Rangers in hockey and Indians in baseball (both have great uniforms… coincidence???). I don’t have a favorite NBA team because I just don’t care about pro basketball.
I was a Seahawks fan for exactly the same reasons. Awesome uniforms and a left handed QB.
I grew up in Buffalo. My father loved baseball — he was a Pirates fan — and hated hockey. So I loved hockey. Growing up, the Quebec Nordiques were my favorite, but now that I live 1500 miles away from home, I am a die hard Sabres fan. I first liked the Nords because of their jerseys. And Moose Dupont.
As a kid, my teams were the Celtics, the 49ers (this was in the John Brodie era) and Seahawks, the Nords and the Darryl Sittler Maple Leafs and the Blue Jays and Yankees, all originally chosen because I thought they Looked Cool.
In college, I replaced the Jays and Yankees with the Red Sox, because it was college, and liking the Red Sox seemed like one of those smarmy, pseudo-intellectual things that college folk do.
Today, I mostly watch soccer.
For me, it was announcers. I grew up closest to St. Louis, so I followed the Cardinals (football and baseball) until the football Cardinals left. For the baseball Cardinals, we had Jack Buck. I also fondly remember watching the Cubs and Harry Caray on WGN, but given the Cardinals attachment, I can’t say I really adopted them. I kind of adopted the Chiefs in high school, during the Steve DeBerg/Christian Okoye era.
Then I moved to Houston, and we had Milo Hamilton and the Astros. I can’t say I remember the Oilers announcers very much, and in any case, they decided to move, too.
On to Michigan, where I got spoiled by Ernie Harwell’s announcing for what was a sad, sad Tigers team.
Then on to LA, where I had Vin Scully.
Yeah, I think I’m more a fan of the “show” than I am of particular teams.I tend to follow whatever my local team is. Like Seinfeld said, when it comes down to it these days, you’re rooting for laundry.
Living in Wisconsin, but grew up in Michigan. I am a fan of the Detroit Tigers, Lions, Red Wings, and the Pistons, plus Michigan State for football and basketball, and Northern Michigan and Wisconsin for hockey. My parents weren’t really into sports, but my paternal grandparents were, so I spent many a weekend at my grandparents watching the Tigers and Lions. I followed the Pistons during their championship years in the late 80’s, and early 2000’s, but not much since. For the Red Wings, if they are on, I will watch. I became a Michigan State basketball fan after meeting Tom Izzo, at an alumni function at NMU, MSU football just followed from there. Because I’m a NMU alum, I follow their hockey team (only D-1 sport at the school), and because of my job, I’ve followed the Wisconsin hockey team (including watching them play in two national championship games in the last five years)
Not uni related, but instead “playing surface” oddity here…
For those that can’t view from work or whatnot, its the tennis court Maria Sharapova played on yesterday(?). The heat caused it to bubble up and there was a dead spot that totally negated any bounce from the ball. Pretty neat video in the link too.
Wow. Interesting explanation too. I would think a bubble under the court would make it more taut until it cooled off and the bubble went slack.
It’s not a pressurized bubble. It’s more of an air pocket than a bubble, if that makes any sense. There’s not enough pressure under it to force it to maintain an outward bulge. When the ball hits it, it’s pushing the raised area back down and dissipating the energy in doing so, so the ball doesn’t bounce. If the bubble had more air pressure under it, then it would lead to the ball bouncing off at weird angles instead.
yep, well put, THE.
Born in Baltimore, raised on Long Island, in Brooklyn and New Jersey. Long time Houston resident.
My Dad was NY all the way, Yankees (Joe D.), football Giants and Rangers. He grew up a couple of blocks from Ebbets Field but never set foot in the place until he was given a ticket for a Yankee-Dodger WS game. Said he never had any reason to. He made many trips to the Bronx though and began taking me in the late 50’s. I decided that I would strike out on my own as a fan and NOT root for the team everyone I knew rooted for, the Yankees. Early on I decided that since I was born in Baltimore the Orioles and Baltimore Colts were my teams. I was the kind of lunkhead kid that went to church on Sunday and spent the time praying for the Baltimore Colts. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.
I fell in love with hockey and the Rangers when we went to a game at the old, old Garden in about 1962. There was no Baltimore team so I just went with the flow and adopted the Rangers.
I’ve been an Oriole and Ranger fan for about 50 years now, for better or (mostly) for worse. They are in my blood.
The Baltimore Colts leaving Baltimore was the most traumatic sports related day of my life. I tried and failed to be an Oiler or Ravens fan. Just felt wrong. When the Texans were announced I jumped in on the ground floor and been riding since.
I always loved my teams’ uniforms. Still do. Always thought the Orioles, Baltimore Colts and Rangers were/are the best dressed teams in their sport. And just like my saying that my wife is the most beautiful woman in the world… nobody can convince me otherwise.
Like Phil, I grew up on Long Island, about 5 years older than him. I rooted primarily for the LI teams – Mets, Jets, Nets. I rooted for the Rangers because there were no Islanders when I first became aware of sports. But the Islanders came around when I was 8, my parents got season tickets ($8/seat 10 rows up on the blue line!), I was in the Coliseum for their first ever game, and the Islanders became and remained my #1 team of all even as I moved to Baltimore and now Massachusetts. And as a good Islanders fan, I HATE the Rangers. I was not as passionate about other sports and so I did also root for the Knicks, Giants, and Yankees, but turned on the Yankees when they fired Dick Howser after winning 103 games in 1980.
I am mostly a home team guy. Detroit Tigers in baseball because my dad took me to see a game at Tiger Stadium when I was six, but I liked the A’s in the early 70’s because of the uniforms (and maybe because they were good) but the Tigers are my first team.
Hockey, I am a Wings fan. My grandfather introduced me to hockey when I was young. He was born in Canada, he played junior hockey with Larry Aurie (whose number is unofficially retired by the Red Wings). He was a Leafs fan since he almost signed with them. I use to go over to his house on weekends and we would watch Hockey Night in Canada on CBC. I found the Red Wings on a local channel and since they were the local team I would root for them.
Football, I was a Lions fan going up but Matt Millen has ruined that. I really have no team right now but rather root for players on my fantasy football teams instead. In college I am a Michigan fan because when I was growing up Michigan State was on probation and never on TV so I just kind of became a Michigan fan.
Basketball, No one in my family was a basketball fan so I never really got into it basketball. I also hope the Piston do well but in my NBA video games, I always talk Golden State because of the old uniforms.
I have always been a fan of Detroit teams in other sports Detroit Drive, Detroit Fury, Detroit Vipers, Detroit Wheels, Michigan Panthers. When we did not have a Arena Football team here in Detroit, I rooted for the Grand Rapids Rampage since they were in Michigan.
There’s a team called “Cougar Bait” in the Pond Hockey tourney wearing plaid shirts and plaid slacks. Now THERE’s a mono look to ponder.
As a native NE Ohioan, some of my rooting interests are predictable. I’ve always been a big Indians and Browns fan, but have never had the basketball bug, so the Cavs have always been just a bunch of tall guys in funny shorts to me – I’m just not a basketball fan. I am, however a huge hockey fan, so when we got the early incarnation of basic cable in 1978 which included WOR from NY, I couldn’t get enough of the Rangers (along with the incessant “I Love NY” and Manufacturer’s Hanover commercials!), so I’m a Ranger fan to this day. Collegiately, I am from Ohio, so I was raised on Ohio State football. I graduated from Bowling Green, so I have to root for the old alma mater, too. Also, as a former Army officer, I root for the West Point teams, too.
Oh, by the way – Bring back Benchies!
First off, I hope all goes well with your family.
As for my teams, I grew up in Staten Island in the 70s-80s, so I know the pressure to pick teams – but intereting I’ve changed allegiances on two out of four.
In baseball the 1st season I remember was 1976 so I naturally was a fan of the Yankees, especially Thurman Munson – after he died in August of 79, it never was the same & soon started to root for the Mets.
In hockey I was an Islanders fan until the mid 80s until WWOR stopped airing the games – cable didnt come to the outer boros until 1987, so no hockey on TV meant I stopped being a fan.
I adopted the Nets from the outset of my fandom and the Knicks are near the top of my most despised teams, mainly since Knick fans act they were the Bulls & won multiple titles in the 90s.
And although I always rooted for the Giants over the Jets, my favorite player growing up was Steve Largent so I have always been a Seahawk fan.
Both my dad and my paternal grandfather were raised in Dominican Republic, were baseball IS bigger than religion. So I like them, I become a baseball fan in general… they were also ardent Yankee fans. One of my earliest sports memories goes back to the 1976 World Series ( I was 5 years old ), I was rooting for the “guys wearing the red caps” because I thought it they looked cool. The next day my dad bougth me Yankee jacket and my abuelo brought me my first Yankee cap. I still have both, and I will probably be buried with them.
Besides being a Yankee fan, since I grew up in Hudson County NJ, I am a Giants, Nets, Devils and Rutgers ( alumni ) fan.
In most sports, except baseball, there is some overlapping. Even though I am a Nets fan, I was rooting for the Knicks in the 90s when they had the epic battles with the Bulls, Pacers and Heat. I am a Devils fan, but will also go to Ranger games…and would have gone to Islander games if they didn’t play home games in Europe ( Uniondale seemed that far! ).
I am a DIE HARD NY Giants fan…..but will root for the Jets. I hope the beat the Steelers and make it to the SB. I hate any Boston area teams, so I enjoyed the Jet victory over the Patriots…
BASEBALL IS AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT STORY. Now in my opinion, Met fans hate the Yankees more than Yankee fans hate the Mets…and while the baseball team I really hate plays their home games in Fenway…. I am not fan of the New York Metropolitans… I still hate 1986!
However, I do like Citifield better than the New Yankee Stadium.
We have been living in North Carolina for a few years, but I am making sure that my kids grow up rooting for the RIGHT teams!!
Living my entire life here on the frozen tundra of Western New York my early exposure to major league sports came from TV. I didn’t become a sports fan until I turned 10 in 1957. It was like a new window had been opened to me. The first World Series I really followed was the Braves-Yankees in ’57.
I never liked the Yanks because a lot of my friends did. I’m kind of that way. To this day I totally detest the Bronx Bankers.
Rochester’s only true big league team, the Royals, left for Cinci in the summer of ’57, so I got my NBA basketball in the form of the Boston Celtics whose games were shown on Rochester TV. I became a big Bob Cousy fan and loved the antics of Red Auerbach.
On Sunday the two local channels gave us a choice for football. The Cleveland Browns or the New York Giants. Because I was already a Yankee hater that meant I could never like the Jints. And add to the mix that the Browns and Giants were always fighting for the Eastern Conference Championship my hatred of the Giants was assured. DYK-Except for the 1960 season either Cleveland (1950-55,1957, 1964, 1965) or the Giants (1956, 1958-59, 1961-63) won the division every year from 1950-65. I also hated Chris Schenkel who was the Giants broadcaster on TV. “Field goal by Summerall is good. The Giants win!” I wanted to wring Chris’s scrawny neck.
I fell in love with hockey from watching the NHL games on CBS on Saturday afternoons with Bud Palmer behind the mike. I loved the action. As I grew a little older I began following the Rochester Americans in the paper. The Leafs and Habs were the Amerks parent teams in those days so I chose Toronto to root for. We had vacationed there several times in the 1950s and since my heritage is English/Welsh I am a born Anglophile.
As far as baseball I was a big Rochester Red Wings fan who saw many great players go from Rochester to the majors, mostly with Baltimore. Therefore I followed the O’s and when the Muts beat them in the ’69 Series my hatred of the Shea boys was forever cast in stone. I didn’t watch the 2000 Series because I dislike the Muts and the Bronx Bumblers that much.
When the Blue Jays were hatched in 1977 I became hooked. Only a three-hour drive from my house, I saw the Jays five or six weekends each summer in the early days when Toronto was still affordable and the border more open.
My Dad was not really a sports fan. His Mother died when Dad was 12. He had to leave school after the eighth grade and go to work. He never had time for sports. Although he did love auto racing. When I was real young we would attend the stock car races at our hometown Hemlock Fairgrounds every weekend. When I became interested in baseball and hockey Dad took me to the games early on, but as soon as I was 13 Dad would have me invite two or three friends to go with me and he would drop us off at the ball park or arena. He knew it was safe. He and my Mother would go visit our relatives in Rochester and then he’d listen to the game so as to know when to pick us up.
One night at Red Wing Stadium Boog Powell hit a late-inning home run to win the game. The ball struck my Dad’s car in the right-field parking lot and left a dent. My Mother was sitting in the car and heard the ball hit. By the time she reacted a group of kids had retrieved the ball.
My Dad was a great guy that worked hard all of his life. I think he saw my love of sports as my being able to enjoy something that he couldn’t because of his situation. I’m forever grateful to him for giving me the chance to enjoy sports.
Thanks for sharing this. And thanks for sending all those great Red Wings to Baltimore… Powell, McNally, Blair, Johnson, Palmer, Belanger…. Grich, Baylor… Flanagan, DeCinces, Murray, Ripken, etc. You saw alot of talent in Rochester!
Sorry to tell you this, but Dave McNally never played for Rochester. He was already up when the Wings joined the O’s in ’61. Interesting story about Jim Palmer in Rochester. He’s pitching one day against the Buffalo Bisons and some 19-year old phenom named Johnny Bench with the bases loaded. Rochester manager Earl Weaver goes out to talk to Palmer and suggests how to pitch to Bench. Palmer ignores Weaver and throws what he wanted to. You guessed it- grand slam! Most everyone agrees that’s where the Palmer-Weaver fued started.
But I did see two St. Louis Cardinals play for Rochester when we were a Redbirds farm team. A 17-year old catcher named James Timothy McCarver and a right-handed pitcher named Bob Gibson. Whatever happened to those two? LOL
Great story. I have heard Palmer tell that one many times. I is even more interesting because one of Palmer’s unique stats is that he never allowed a grand slam in the big leagues.
And thanks for he clarification on McNally. I was born in ’59 and although I knew the Cardinals were affiliated wih Rochester before the O’s, in my lifetime the cries we heard for 3 or 4 decades was “send ’em back to Rochester”. I’m not sue “send ’em back to Ottawa” or “send ’em back to Norfolk” ever caught on.
A lot has changed.
I’m a little younger than you; I was 14 was the Jays came into being. I grew up in North Tonawanda. At least three or four Saturdays every summer, my dad would drop me off at the big NFTA bus station in downtown Buffalo, and I’d buy a round-trip bus ticket to Toronto. The T.O. bus station was in the middle of Chinatown, a fair distance from Exhibition Stadium. Bleacher seat tickets were fifty cents, Canadian. About 8:00 that night, Dad would pick me up in Buffalo.
So at 14, I would make a 200 mile round trip in which I’d cross an international boundary, make my way across a large city, and attend a major league baseball game, all by myself.
I think if we tried to let our 14 year old do something like that, my wife and I would be investigated by CPS.
I love Toronto. From the T.O. bus terminal all you had to do was take the Dundas streetcar to Bathurst and transfer to an Exhibition Car which took you right to the CNE grounds. I used to stay at the Holiday Inn on Chestnut right off of Dundas. You could stay there back in the ’70s for $29.95 CDN a night with a 15% premium on US currency. The Sai Woo was a great Chinese restaurant adjacent to the hotel on Dundas right at the start of Chinatown. Jays tickets were $7 CDN for the best seat in the house. It was a great, cheap weekend getaway. I’ve heard of other kids like you making similar solo “road trips” from the Niagara Frontier. How did it all get so out of control nowadays?
One of my first lessons in economics: when a street vendor in Toronto in 1977 tells you he accepts American currency at par, he is not doing you a favor.
I do remember summer warm summer nights, windows open and Yankee Baseball on WPIX channel 11….the Mets played on that “other” channel….
Oh Phil, so you’re actually a New York fan cliche of rooting for all New York teams? :P
The uniform actually never had an effect on my team choosing. At least here in Chicagoland, you either like the Cubs or the Sox and never both, no matter what, and otherwise just feels wrong. Tho I notice with the 40+ crowd that beggars can’t be choosers since both teams sucked in the 1970s. My feeling is if a 2nd NBA, NHL or NFL team ever came to Chicago, they would be completely shunned (sans by those still with a vendetta towards Reinsdorf, the old Wirtz family & the McCaskeys) because all 4 Chicago teams (the ones that really matter!) have won championships in the past 25 years, so the loyalty is more rock-solid than ever. Double-dipping in the same sport just feels slutty. I never, EVER root for the Cubs. Never, not in any circumstance. Also consider myself a baseball purist, anti-Interleague Play, anti-DH, anti-Instant Replay, anti-hitters advantage, anti-Selig, anti-jackass announcers.
Personally, I got into sports on my own – my parents hate sports. I have a general disdain for sports fans who pick teams all over the country & based on who’s winning at the time; those cherry pickers.
Any particular reason why NYers use the term “Jints”?
My sports fandom was greatly inspired by my dad’s approach. There are basically two rules. Cheer for the most local team. If both are equally remote, cheer for the under dog.
Being from mid-Michigan, we cheered for Michgian teams first MSU, UofM, CMU, EMU, etc. Then local conferences: Big Ten, MAC, and so on. In the pros, it was the Detroit teams, then their division teams. If my Lions can’t be in the NFC championship game, the next best option is this year: Packers vs Bears. I never got into too many “traditional” rivalries, if only because there often isn’t any good reason to cheer against the rival. I prefer rivals with purpose. For example, as a Red Wings fan there were good reasons to hate the Colorado Avalanche, so we did.
Outside of local flavor, I will pickup a team here and there based on individual players, often the under dogs. I cheered for Elway, when it looked like he’d never win a Super Bowl. I cheered for Messier to bring a Cup to New York City. That sort of thing.
Over 25 years ago Channel 4 here in the UK was showing a lot of American Football. Season highlights, playoffs and of course the Super Bowl. I started watching in 1988, the year of the Bengals (and Montana). I loved the Bengals (esp how they looked) and have sworn by them since – and sworn at them just as much…sadly I am unable to swap teams. Its against my DNA I guess. That bloody team does my head in.
First time, long time…
I grew up in northern New Jersey. I would be closer in age-range to the “Yankees-Cowboys-Bulls-Rangers” fans. The only sport my Father watched was boxing, my Grandparents were Yankees fans, so they were my baseball team and those were rough times ha. My other Grandfather worked for the Giants, so that was my football team. However, basketball was different. I loved playing the sport and had no team in the age of Jordan. For many years, I followed players… Jordan, Bird, Magic, etc. Then I got into players/teams due to uniforms, I loved the Bucks and Vin Baker haha.Around that time the Knicks were playing well and I decided that is it, the Knicks will be my team. I have stuck with them since and I will always be a Yankees, Giants, Knicks, and for hockey Ranges/Islanders/Devils, any local team will work…. even if I live 800 miles away now.
Missed part of it, sorry. I would root for the Mets, Jets, and Nets, as long as they were not playing my team. I am hoping the Jets can pull it off tomorrow and make it to the Superbowl. I would never wear a shirt or hat of one of the teams, but if my team was not playing them or was out of the postseason, any NY team would get my vote.
I’m a Brit, and only really follow the NBA. I’ve been a hardcore Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets fan for 20 years now. Back then, NBA merchandise was very scarce – you’d see the odd t-shirt & cap, but that was about it. The only teams whose merchandise you’d see on a regular basis were the Bulls and Hornets. My best friend at the time was a Bulls fan, and I wanted to be different, so I picked the Hornets. It didn’t hurt that I loved the logo & colours…
I’ve never met another Hornets fan over here. Most people who follow the NBA tend to bandwagon on whoever’s successful at that time – so there were a lot of Bulls fans in the 90s and a lot of Lakers fans now.
With football (soccer), it was a simple matter of geography. I support Manchester City because I was born and raised there, and my grandparents lived a few streets away from the Maine Road ground. My father’s a die-hard Manchester United fan (he grew up across from Old Trafford and worked for the team for years), and he’s never quite forgiven me for my choice…
I don’t forgive you either, Matt.
Ive always felt, along with many others, that true fandom comes from one of two sources…Dad and/or Geography. I was born and raised in Dayton Ohio, less than an hour from Riverfront Stadium. So Reds and Bengals right? Nope, Reds and Browns. How did this happen? well it isnt that uncommon. My dad grew up in Wilmington Ohio, not far from Cincy. So he was naturally a Reds fan. But there were no Bengals when he was a kid. He was a Browns fan in the 60s when the Browns were king in the midwest, along with Detroit. So when Paul Brown opened shop in Cincinnati many of my dad’s friends and family made the switch. He did not. So his love of the Browns was transferred to me, for better or (mostly) worse. So I grew up in a mostly Bengal fanbase as a Browns fan. I wouldnt have it any other way.
I also lived in Ohio outside of Columbus in late 60’s early childhood and also rooted for the Reds and Browns. Back then the Indians weren’t much to root for, though my Dad said he pulled for them in their 50’s heyday. When the Bengals came into existence my Dad was P.O.’d that the Columbus station showed the Bengals instead of Browns.
Right after that we moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where the Dolphins were in their early 70’s heyday, so they were the ONLY team in the state. When the Bucs came into existence, I liked my friends shirt with the Bucco Bruce logo, and have rooted for the Bucs ever since through thick and (mostly) thin. My dad stayed loyal to his Dolphins. History repeated itself in the mid 90’s with the Jacksonville expansion, when my dad got NFL Sunday Ticket because the local station no longer showed the Dolphins games, and he died a Dolphins fan in Jacksonville.
Despite being from Jacksonville, I have zero loyalty for the Jaguars, and have attended the rare Bucs-Jags games in Jacksonville dressed in Red and Pewter, and (proudly) Creamsicle Orange.
“You don’t live in Cleveland, you live in Cincinnati!!!”
Bengals season ticket holder/fan 72-99
Whole family were Sox fans, it was destined to happen for me.
As for Manchester United, it was uni related. I came across a whole box of Football League trading cards when I was about 4 or 5 (which would put it around 91 or 92), and thought the United players looked the coolest, red shirt and white shorts.
But you didn’t choose Nottingham Forest. Or Bristol City. Or Barnsley. All of whom also wear red shirts and white shorts but aren’t anywhere near as successful. Funny that.
Totally miss Benchies!
Kaleb Stuckey’s Rangers concepts: technically you just made another version of an identity crisis being the identity.
IMO if the Texas Rangers are going to flip back & forth between royal & red and since they won’t stick with royal, I’d rather they pick an entirely new & unique color scheme in MLB along with new graphics and a decent & non-Expos-esque primary logo.
Long time ago I did a anvy and yellow gold set here (really quick and crude in MS paint) for the Rangers. Nobody in MLB wears that. Brewers come close, but the bright yellow-gold gives things a completely different look.
Naturally, the Wolverine-haters, well, hated it.
Interesting. Here’s a quick larger version sans sleeve patch:
The “TEXAS” totally pops on the roads, but the yellow script on the white homes could get washed-out, tho the script might benefit from a navy blockshadow.
I thought the Rangers would look good in burnt orange or crimson & Athletic Gold, but there’s just too many College ties. I thought maybe black & metallic gold, but too much like the Saints.
I went to school on a WWII service uni for it. I think in real life and on TV the yellow-gold would be a lot brighter than it typically is on computer design program.
A thicker gold Rangers script & a slightly thicker navy outline would definitely help.
The cap for that GLNS uni or very close to it:
I grew up in Cleveland. I suppose I shouldn’t have to say any more, except for my rooting interests in hockey and college. I was never a huge Ohio State fan (although as a good Ohioan I do hate Michigan). I went to college at Rice and currently attend law school in central Virginia, so I used take a lot of flak from Big 12 and now SEC boosters about Ohio State even though they knew I wasn’t a fan.
Living in Texas, you have to choose between UT and A&M and I chose UT, later confirmed by my sister attending. When I visit my parents during football season and have a chance to go to a Browns game, I throw up the horns while they play “Hang on Sloopy” after the third quarter and most of the stadium does that stupid OH-IO cheer (of course now I have a legit reason to).
For hockey I’ve always liked hockey but never been more than a casual fan. I rooted for the Red Wings when I was a kid, simply because my brother rooted for the Avalanche and I wanted to oppose him. Lately, I’ve become more attached to the Flyers. I guess if I end up back in Houston I’d stick with the Flyers. If I were here I’d probably latch onto the Capitals, and if I somehow ended up in Dallas I’d pick the Stars.
On a side note, being a multiple-transplant, I have acquired several secondary teams, but don’t have the passion for them that I do for the Browns, Indians, or Cavs. In baseball I like the Phillies and the Astros. In football I follow the Texans, despite their blah name and uninspiring uniforms. In basketball, I don’t care enough but will root for the Rockets.
I’m originally from the Chicago area. I became a Cubs fan when they were winning the NL East in 1984, and I’ve stuck with them through and through. I got hooked on the Bears because they were the local team and I started following them just as the 1985 season was kicking off (good time to get on the bandwagon and stay on there, again through thick and thin). When I started liking football and basketball, of course I had to go with the local teams. And when I went to college at Iowa State, I had my team. In addition, I even picked out my favorite soccer teams based on geography (the Chicago Fire, of course), and other connections (my favorite soccer team overall is FC Barcelona after I went to Barcelona in 2003).
Now second teams (the teams I will root for if they’re not playing or affecting my main teams) come mainly from geography or family connections.
My brother, wanting to be different, became a White Sox fan, so I will pull for them when they’re not playing the Cubs. I also have a soft spot for the Royals (Kaufmann Stadium is a great place to watch a game and I like Kansas City) and the Indians (I have family in Akron, Ohio, who are big Indians fans).
Football, I again lean toward Kansas City and Cleveland, though I have a soft spot for the Jets and the Buccaneers because I like their unis.
In the NBA, I might watch the Bucks because my hometown is right between Chicago and Milwaukee and I like the unis.
Hockey: I lean toward the Canadiens, Maple Leafs and the Rangers because I love their unis and I do want to visit those cities someday.
Colleges: I live in Iowa City, and even though I’m supposed to hate the Iowa Hawkeyes since I’m an Iowa State fan, I’ll pull for Iowa if they’re not affecting the Cyclones or my other teams (Illinois (home state), Northwestern (near hometown), Notre Dame (tradition and unis), or Navy (family’s connection with the Marine Corps).
Finally with soccer, no other MLS teams (the rest of the league hasn’t got my attention like the Fire have), but I choose my other European favorites based on cities I want to visit (Arsenal since they’re based in London, and PSG since they’re in Paris) or cities that my church has sisters churches (Borussia Dortmund in Germany and Juventus in Turin, Italy).
Always living in south Texas I have always been a Spurs fan first and foremost in the NBA. Loved the Houston Oilers till they moved to Nashville. I tried to follow them as the Tennesee Oilers but it wasnt the same. Also locally the stopped showing the games. It is hard to be a fan of a team you dont see play. In college I want to see all Texas teams succeed but like UT the best. Evenly split between the Astros and Texas Rangers. I never watch hockey. Its all regional to me obviously.
I grew up in central Kansas and became a bonafide Kansas City A’s fan when Sports Illustrated put Jim Nash on the cover link Kansas City had been so bad for so long, but the A’s had some promising young players, so I stuck with the A’s … until they bolted for Oakland. It took a long, long time, but I hated the A’s. That’s been tempered, but all those good Oakland teams had their roots in Kansas City. Of course, I’ve been a Royals fan since. For the past 20 years, that’s saying something.
When it came to football, my dad was a die-hard Packers fan. Just to gig him I rooted for Don Meredith and the Cowboys, but my real allegiance was with the Chiefs. Today, though, I don’t spend much time with pro football.
Oddly, for professional basketball, I kind of picked a new team at the beginning of the season for a long while. When the Warriors were in their “City” threads, that was my team. But I like the Bullets in their lifeguard unis. Eventually, I settled into a regular Celtics fan.
Regardless, I’m an American League faithful in the World Series, even if it means rooting for the Yankees. The AFC is my default conference in the Super Bowl, though I’m not has rigid as in baseball. This year, I’m probably leaning to the Packers. Though I’m pretty ambivalent.
There are many times I’ll have a random game on that I do root for the team in the better uniforms.
Chris Creamer’s twitter feed is reporting that the Erie Otters will wear a “throwback” that they have never worn before.
I grew up in northeast PA, and it was during my formative years when the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons came into existence as the new affiliate of the Phillies. My dad took me to a few games each season, and even though he wasn’t a big baseball fan (he professed to like the Dodgers, albeit lukewarmly), I became a huge Phillies fan and still am despite being in the diaspora.
As for the other Philly sports team, I always quietly favored them over the Pittsburgh teams (for no logical reason except that we were from the east). When Wilkes-Barre/Scranton got the Lil’ Penguins (AHL) in ’99, I started cheering more for the parent team as opposed to the Flyers because we got to know some of those players.
But truly, I am a baseball fan, so it’s hard to answer these loyalty questions about football that dog me now as a resident of NE Ohio, deep in the heart of Browns/Steelers rivalry country. Do you like the Steelers, my friends will ask, and you can always tell they’re trying to prey on my possible loyalty to the Steelers because I’m FROM Pennsylvania. So, even though I’ll cheer (kinda) for the Eagles or the Steelers (don’t hate!), I have to be very careful how much I let that show in these parts. It has brought the whole geographical notion of fandom to the fore of my mind lately.
Growing up around Boston in the 60’s I am a Boston Patriots fan. In those days the Pats home games wete blocked out due to them not selling out, so you never saw them in their reds on TV….most of the time is was the white/white look which is classic pro football in the 60’s….my other favorite team from those days was the San Diego Chargers….powder blues. definately a uni based decision!
Until ’73 or ’74, when Congress threatened to intervene, all home games were blacked out regardless of ticket sales. I heard the Immaculate Reception, but I wasn’t one of the people who would go to motels where TV stations outside the 75-mile radius could be picked up.
I have lived most of my life in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. In my life we have had many “home” teams to root for. As a fan of just about every sport, I found myself rooting for all of the home teams. I wished well for the Rams (and even the Raiders when they were in town), but I see myself as a Charger fan now. I loved to see blue crew hit balls out of the park at Dodger stadium. The Angels were near and dear to my heart and are probably the team I root for the most. I have loved the Lakers for years (although my love for the NBA has diminished substantially in recent years). I even like to see the Clippers do well. Kings? Yep! Ducks? Sure! I even root for both UCLA and USC. I couldn’t imagine not rooting for the home team (clichÃ©, I know). I am not sure what would happen if I ever moved. Would I continue my devotion to the teams from “back home” or would I embrace the teams of my new place of residence? Not sure…but I will say that rooting for the home team has brought me much joy in my life. Thanks for the great article and the memories it brought up.
I don’t know if it was Tex’s mistake or the postcards, but I’m certain that SEC picture has an AUBURN Tiger, rather than a Clemson Tiger.
Phil, Great question!
I grew up and lived in NE ohio, directly in between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, just over an hour from each. And I’ve always been a fan of the local team so NBA team was easy with the Cavs, (I still am a HUGE Cavs fan despite their recent struggles) and my NHL team has always been the Pens. Growing up I played hockey idolizing number 66, and they still are my favorite professional sports team. However it led to a little bit of conflict in choosing an NFL and MLB team being that Cleveland and Pittsburgh each had one. Baseball was a clear choice, as my father brought me up going to three rivers in my younger years, to see Andy Van Slyke, Jay Bell, and Orlando Merced (some names many have forgotten). So I love the Pirates, but I also cheer on the Indians, I guess as my default AL team. NFL was a little bit more difficult, especially with the browns not being in Cleveland from 96-99 (I was 8-11). However when they did return in 1999, I became sucked into Cleveland Browns Football (much to the dismay of my Dad, a lifelong steelers fan). I loved everything about the franchise, the tradition, the fanbase, and especially the uniforms. So from 1999 on, I have watched pretty much every browns game, attending more than my fair share. And that is my professional sports fandom, essentially half Cleveland, half Pittsburgh.
I know why I root for the Mets & Giants. My whole family grew up Brooklyn Dodger fans and there was never any way I was going to be a Yankee fan, family made sure of that. I don’t hate the Yankees as much as I hate that segment of Yankee fans that are the most arrogant group of sports’ fans this side of the “Rio Grande” I know, it runs east & west, but you get the point that I am referencing Cowboys’ fans. You know who I am talking about that group of Yankees fans that will, with a straight face say, I have been a fan since the late 90s. Kind of like the Bulls fans of the 80s. Find a Bulls fan, now I dare you (outside of Chicago). I root for the Giants because of my father. When there was a time in his life that he started to not watch sports any more, he still watched the Giants. Every Sunday in the fall when he came to get my brother and I, it was breakfast at the diner, Bowery Boys at 1130 & the Giants at 1. Loved it. I was a Nets’ fan, because of the red white, & blue basketball. However I have not watched, even the equivalent of one NBA game since Drazen Petrovic was killed. The league is the poster child of all that has become wrong with sports. Not that the other leagues don’t have their same issues, but add to the fact the students I work with are so closed minded, and in part that is due to basketball, it has made me hate the game. As for the Islanders, I don’t know why. I have just always rooted for them. Dad was a Rangers’ fan and took us to games at m$g (always seemed as if they were playing the Maple Leafs) but I have always been an Isles’ fan. Even the year I lived in Tucson as a child, I sat in the back room of the family business watching game seven of the Isles-Pens on a small black and white set, as Chico Resch kisses the goal posts in a 1-0 win for only the second ever come back from 3-0 down. Heck the game, was an independent station, as the NBC affiliate chose not to carry the game. My dad even asked me once, how I became an Isles fan, and I can not even give him a stone cold answer. And yes, I still watch Islanders’ games. Bad as their record is, still great to watch hockey in HD.
I was born and raised in Philadelphia, and so my loyalties are as expected: Phillies/Flyers/Sixers/Eagles. Out market isn’t quite big enough for the two team deal, but I can imagine myself not hating some “other” Philly team if one existed (although the the thought of it is weird). However, I just gotta say, it annoys the heck out of me when people say I like team X because I did when I was 5, of because there logo was cool, etc. To each his own, and all that jazz, but it just bothers me. When I was six I had a brief affair with the Cowboys and the Braves, to be “different” but that only lasted a year or so before I realized that I was from Philly, and I owed Philly teams my loyalty. Just my opinion, and maybe I’m wrong, or maybe their is no right, but if you are from a certain city, you root for that team. If you’re from say, Omaha, you get a pass and can pick any baseball team you want to be your favorite. But if you’re from Philadelphia, you’re a phillies fan. That’s just the way it is. Like I said, maybe I’m a snob, but it’s just my philosophy. Either way, good discussion.
You don’t exactly get to choose where you’re born or where you grow up – but I think you should be able to choose what team you root for. I see absolutely nothing wrong with rooting for a team that isn’t local, for whatever reason you might have.
That’s what makes it so awesome. You don’t choose the team, the team chooses you. It’s fate, or whatever you want to call it. But like I said, I am not saying that my opinion is gospel, just that it’s how I see things.
Well, it works if you’re born in a major team’s back yard I guess. You’re born in Philly, you root for Philly teams. Fair enough.
It just doesn’t work for me when you’re from somewhere else. I really don’t feel a connection to Cleveland or Cincinnati just because they’re in the same state. A 2 hour drive (in low traffic, not NY/LA jam stuff) just isn’t what I call local. I guess for me the big issue is just remaining loyal once you pick a team. Jumping from team to team cheering for the front runners is lame.
Agreed on both fronts. There is no fate element if you’re not born within a market. I’m not sure what criteria are then appropriate for choosing, I guess people decide that on their own. I think I would choose the closest available market. That’s just me. And team jumping is lame, I think all will agree.
I don’t think you are a snob PM..what you are saying does make sense. To me it’s like when someone is from New York and has no connection to Texas or Pittsburgh, but is a Cowboy or Steeler fan because they were good in the 70s.
But sometimes it’s hard to determine where someone is “from”. I was born, raised and lived most of my life in the NY area and will be a fan of the Yankees / Giants / Devils / Nets for life.
However we have been living in the Charlotte NC area for sometime and my kids ( one was born here ) will probably be raised here. My kids do not root for the local teams ( although the Panthers, Bobcats and NASCAR people are really involved with the local schools to get children of us northeners involved! ).
So when my kids grow up, would they be considered as being from here?
An interesting question, and a common one I’m sure. I suppose if I had some sort of manifesto for my philosophy, your children would get to choose. They would have a rightful connection to Charlotte, being raised there, but also a connection to NY, because, as we’ve been discussing, sports should be something that parents and children can share. My real issue is with picking a team when there is no connection, i.e. because they were good, they had cool colors, etc.
Wow, I used “there” and “their” wrong twice. Note to self: read before you post.
it is also a lot easier for some people who were born into, and stayed in the same market their entire life, especially if that market has all 4 major sports. if someone is born into a market with none or maybe only one team, they have to choose somehow, although i would hope it isn’t just choosing the best team, that is sort of lame. i moved around a lot, but luckily they were always to cities that had major sports teams. besides, who among us does not have secondary teams that we sort of like for whatever reason. i have those and they tend to rotate. but as a kid i usually chose them because they were bad, and nobody else liked them,or because i liked the uniform. the buccaneers fit both of those qualities right proper for me as a youngin’. my point, it is easy for you to say you were born in phila, so obviously your teams chose you, and everyone should be that way. but not everybody grows up the same way, you have to consider that even though it may be a foreign concept to you.
oh, and join the i should have re-read that club, i feel that way after every other post, it’s frustrating, i feel for you.
Tex – thanks for posting all the cards, they are outstanding! Weird how the ‘bama guy looks so much like the Hoosier. I guess the artist didn’t care much for those teams. Also odd portrayal of the Sooner, but that makes sense coming from a Texan.
Before the Nordiques moved to Denver, I was a Canucks fan largely because of the skate-logo unis. I’m no longer a Canucks fan, but I don’t have the animosity to them that most Avs fans have.
Unlike most, my dad was never more than a very casual sports fan. He loved to hunt and fish. He also passed on when I was young (16).
I owe my love of sports to baseball cards (bought a nickel pack most every day) and some friends in Maryland when I lived there. They were big baseball card fans and we swapped a bunch.
As I played pick up games with the neighbor kids, I enjoyed watching sports on TV. I was almost instantly turned on by what the players wore. So, at the age of 8, I was an immediate unigeek. As an example, in 1967, I remember being disheartened by the Reds leaving their white pinstripe/gray caps for a rather blah red cap.
A few year later I became a hockey fan and was even more enthralled with the uniforms there than with the “ball” sports.
My dad somewhat dismissed my sports obsession. My mom (still around) didn’t mind. I remember her telling my dad, “George, he’s not hurting anybody! It’s OK!!”
I’ve never ever worked in the sports biz, and I have no “connections” in terms of tickets, players, front office personnel, etc. It is simple a hobby of pure joy.
I have an equal obsession with the history of sports on TV/radio, namely commentator information.
Discovering UW was a major change point for me. I have learned so much about what I love that I can’t thank all of you enough for enriching my knowledge and love of this wonderful hobby.
God Bless UW!!!
Tigers have announced they will a #11 patch, fly a flag and retire #11 in honor of Sparky Anderson.
Here is a picture of the patch
What about Bill Freehan, 11x All-Star? The Tigers should retire # 11 twice for Anderson and Freehan. They should also retire # 1 for Lou Whitaker and # 3 twice for Alan Trammell and Mickey Cochrane.
Freehan is not in the Hall of Fame. All the numbers retired by the Tigers plus Cobb and Harwell are in the Hall of Fame. I am a huge Freehan fan but I would hate to see the Tigers break from this tradition.
I have been corrected Horton’s number retired but not in the Hall. Still think you need to be in the Hall to have your number retired.
Players should get their numbers retired for their contributions to the team, whether it is a HOF career or not. Freehan has done a lot for the Tigers. One of the best catchers they ever had. Played from 1961-1976, and made the All-Star team 11 times. They retired # 23 for Horton, why not # 1 for Whitaker, # 3 for Trammell and Cochrane, and # 11 for Anderson and Freehan?
There are alot of Vikings and Rams fans in Oklahoma now due to the success of Adrian Peterson and Sam Bradford.
My family goes like this:
My grandpa moved out to the San Francisco Bay Area from Northern Minnesota in the 1940s. Ever since then, he’s rooted for all the Northern California teams, in fact he gets shit from people who see the back of his truck window featuring the logos of the 49ers and Raiders and the A’s and Giants as well as the Sacramento Kings (he lives in the Sacramento area now), but he’ll root for the Warriors, as well as the Sharks and both Cal and Stanford.
He also roots for me and my dad’s teams, who aren’t always from this area.
My dad taught me that “Uniform is sacred.” As a young child, he saw the Michigan Wolverines winged helmet on tv and has said that it is the greatest sight in all of sport. He’s been obsessed with Michigan athletics, mostly football, ever since, and he has lived in Northern California his entire life. His favorite color being blue, his other two favorite teams, picked because of uniform designs, are the Dallas Cowboys and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He hates the 49ers and Giants.
I’m like my dad, except that I don’t like blue, so I didn’t hang on to my Cowboys jacket during my pre school days and instead asked for the gold 49ers jacket for Christmas. I like red. And uniqueness. My teams are the Florida State Seminoles (who look similar to the 49ers, only a tad be cooler), the Oakland A’s (unique), and the Los Angeles Kings (unique). As far as my other local teams, I hate the Raiders, hate the Giants, and really, really hate the Gator chomping Sharks.
So there you have it, my grandpa is all local (He also roots for all the Minnesota teams as well), my dad is all uniform, and I guess I’m kind of a combination of the two.
Im raising my son to be a Texas A&M fan and to hate the Longhorns. Just this past Thanksgiving I took him to the A&M game in Austin. As people were coming by and giving the horns up, he gave the horns down and would tell them “im sorry you like the Longhorns, I like A&M”. It was great.
He spotted this t-shirt in college station and decided that he wants to wear it. I must say that he his only 8 years old.
I actually chose my favorite NFL team because of their uniforms. When they came in the league at 1995, I fell in love with their non-standard color, teal. I’ve been a Jaguar through and through. The other leagues, I followed a player until I stuck. Dominik Hasek -> Red Wings, Michael Jordan -> Wizards, Mark McGwire -> Cardinals. Of course, growing up in Southwestern VA, there was only one team I was required to be a fan of: VT.
Grew up in rural Minnesota an unflinching, unwavering Twins fan (even in the early ’80’s when they were truly awful, hard to look at, and played in that hideous new dome).
For reasons I’ve never discerned my two older brothers shunned the Vikings–my dad’s team– and were Cowboys and Packers fans, respectively–powerhouse teams at the time. I followed suit as a lad, and chose the Bengals. Not for their prowess, or lack of, on the field–of which I knew nothing about–but because in the Sears Christmas catalogue the helmet and jersey stood out for its simplicity and obscurity. 40 years later, still a fan…though very, very casual.
When the North Stars left, I became a hockey fan nomad…and have still never latched onto a team, though I love the sport.
I have little recollection of the ABA Pipers and Muskies and there was no NBA team when I lived in Minnesota. I adopted the Sonics when I moved to Seattle in the mid-’80’s and now, of course, I am left with nothing and the NBA has become virtually invisible to me–though I loved it as a kid, even without a team…I loved the uniforms. I followed the uniforms. I favored the better looking uniform in any match-up. Now I could care less.
I live in North Carolina so not many teams to choose from, the NFL its the Panthers, yeah still a Panther fan, i hate people that leave their team because of a bad season. The NBA its the Bobcats. College its the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Theirs no baseball team in Charlotte besides minor league teams so im a fan of the Boston Red Sox. I became a fan after watching them in the 2004 Playoffs and winning the world series. I love teams that people say they cant do it, but they do. Thats why I cheer for Boise State in college football, but the Heels are my main team
Grew up in Florida when the Dolphins were the only game in town, except for the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL (whose uni is the template for my UW membership card). So the Dolphins are permanently imprinted as my favorite team no matter what. First NFL game was when Dad took me to the Orange Bowl to see the Phins get manhandled by the Super Bowl-bound Vikings in ’76. But in the other major sports I was free to adopt any team as a rooting favorite and yes, I absolutely did it on the basis of uniforms. In baseball it was Charlie Finley’s Oakland A’s with their eye-popping kelly & gold mix-and-match. (It was purely coincidental that they were three-peat World champs). Also the Mets, because the orange & blue combo appealed to me. Even as a kid, something rubbed me the wrong way about the Yankees, although I appreciated individual players like Reggie Jackson. I remember liking the Bullets and Warriors and Jazz in basketball (again uni-related). In hockey, the Oilers & Islanders (orange & blue)… really a lot of NHL teams had great unis back then.
As a New Yorker I’ve adopted all the local teams except for the Yanks. I’m split on Jets/Giants but will still root for the Dolphins against either of them – that’s just something I can’t help. Oh, and also, I’ll not root for the Nets when they come to Brooklyn because of all the dirty business that got them here.
Having said that, I wouldn’t want to downplay how individual athletes, by virtue of their style & panache alone, could generate enthusiasm that transcended team loyalties. Seemed liked there were a lot of “characters” in the ’70s – off the top of my head people like Billy “White Shoes” Johnson or most of the Oakland Raiders in football, Dock Ellis, Al Hrabosky in baseball, Mavarich & Dr. J in hoops, and so on.
Maravich, I meant.
Great read today. I live in southwest Connecticut, so I root for the Yanks (and hate the Sawks), but I’m also a Pats fan (hate the Jets); love the Celts and the Rangers, so I guess my geography gives me divided loyalties.
But more importantly – BRING BACK BENCHIES!
hey everyone — im both surprised (and grateful) by the great comments today — thanks to all for “playing” and it’s really great to get to “know” some of you better via your rooting interests
just wanted to echo a few of you who hope ricko brings benchies back — hope that didn’t get lost in all of the fandom posts!
one last bit about my pop — in his late 20’s to 30’s, he lived in chicago, so he’s also had a soft spot for the cubs (though not the sox) and the bears; in fact he saw a whole mess of cubbie & bear games in wrigley … that’s ONE bit of fandom he didn’t pass down to me, although now i know why he never rooted as strongly for the mets when they were playing the cubs or dodgers as he did when they played the other teams
I forgot to mention that my Grandpa on my Mom’s side, in terms of football, is an old-schooler. He roots for the Bears and Packers (kinda like an earlier commenter that said he roots for the Yankees and “Patwiots”). I wonder how he’s gonna handle tomorrow…
Agreed Benchies is awesome and I hope Ricko brings it back.
Mets, Jets, and Knicks for me. I can never root for the Yankees, but I have nothing against the Giants or Nets.
It depends on the sport for me. My Dad never was a sports fan so I had various reasons for liking a team. As a little kid I switched baseball teams ever year depending on who won the world series. I am 41 so from the late 70’s to early 80’s my teams were the Yankees, Pirates, Phillies, Orioles, Tigers. When we finally got cable I watched TBS and became a fan of the Braves and was a huge Dale Murphy fan. Then in 86 my Uncle took me and my cousins to a Mets game and I have been a Mets fan ever since.
My Uncle was a Cowboys fan and I remember having Cowboys PJ’s and rooting for them against the Steelers in the first Superbowl I remember watching. I think it also had do something with playing Cowboys and Indians as a kid. They are the one team I have been a fan of the longest. Growing up near Syracuse I am naturally a Syracuse fan but also like Michigan. I think it is because I really like Michigan’s uni’s and their fight song.
I never was much of a hockey fan. I mean I loved routing for the 1980 mens Olympic team and the “Miracle on Ice” is still one of my fondest sports memories. A few years ago I was bored and went to a local minor league hockey game and was hooked and since they are a farm team for the Senators I root for Ottawa.
I was never that much of a basketball fan either and still don’t like the NBA too much. Then one night in middle school I flipped through the channels and an Orangeman game was on and they had this guy that I thought was amazing. His name was Dwayne “Pearl” Washington. I started watching the ‘Cuse and have been a huge fan ever since. They have been the once constant in my sports world. All the other teams I mentioned have not been the greatest as of late so having a team that goes to the tournament every year makes the long upstate winters somewhat enjoyable. Well that and my love of skiing.
I am enjoying the other posts and why people are fans of other teams. Keep up the good work the team at Uniwatch.
The Cavaliers finally wore their Andre Miller-era/LeBron James-era combo CavFanatic uniforms last night. They actually look pretty good when worn.
They deserved to lose for wearing those. Sure, let’s remind everyone of the worst uni in their history…and the LeGone era…all tidily wrapped up in one fauxback. Severe dislike.
Growing up in LA in the 1990s/2000s, most of the decisions were pretty easy: Lakers, Dodgers, Trojans. Generally good teams but I haven’t wavered on those since I was little. But when it came to football…not so obvious for a kid in LA. I couldn’t support the Raiders/Rams after they ditched us, and I felt no real connection for the Chargers. My dad is from Chicago, so the Bears have always been my #1 NFL team.
But right around 2005, when the Bears were just starting to come out of a slump, and I was tired of rooting for a bad team from a different city. I bought a Madden game that year in which the Jacksonville Jaguars (I kid you not) were actually pretty solid, and I liked the teal and black thing (why, I have no idea). After a couple of years I switched over to the Bears, but I definitely have picked a team based partially on a uni.
i think it is easiest, or at least was in the pre-net/sports centre days, to pick a football team that wasn’t local, because unlike the other three “majors”, you got more league wide info as opposed to local coverage from irv cross, brent musburger, and jimmy the greek. without a doubt my link non local link was the link link. but they are dead to me now.
hey trax, phil must have stopped picking split-beet soup from his beard and halted training his squirrel militia long enough to put together a weekend post that kept the great week going. who figured? i kid, i kid, good one phil.
i for one wouldn’t mind seeing a benchies if he wants to do it every week. but even just every now and again, it doesn’t have to be every week even, just when rick has a take on something topical. i say c’mon back benchies in whatever form he wants.
Grew up in western Pennsylvania, so I was originally a Browns and Indians fan. Not having any teams in common with my father (Broncos and White Sox), I switched to being a Denver Broncos fan around the age of 9. I live in Columbus, Ohio now, so I am an Ohio State fan (mostly after they hired Tressel … I wasn’t much of a John Cooper fan.)
I take a passing interest in the Blue Jackets, although over a decade there’s been really little to get excited about. The NBA’s never been my thing, but I’ve been a sporadic Spurs fan over the years (I liked George Gervin growing up.)
I adopted the Indiana Hoosiers circa-1984 as my favorite college basketball team, and I’m sticking with them even though Kelvin Sampson single-handedly destroyed the program.
I should add my dad became a Broncos fan because of their vertically-striped socks.
Born and raised in Queens, my loyalties are Mets/Jets/Rangers/Knicks. I became a Met fan after my dad bought me a mini-mylar balloon from the Store 24 around the block from our house after they won the World Series. But being an immigrant from Korea, he didn’t have any rooting interest and grew to support all New York teams.
I think it’s interesting how loyalties can be formed at an early age. A kid I went to junior high school with is a Celtics fan because of Bird, Bears fan because of Ditka and Devils fan because, I don’t know. And at the height of the Knicks/Bulls rivalry, I felt like there were as many Bulls fans at school as there were Knicks fans, which was maddening.
Personally, I feel like when choosing sides, you should always go for a local team, but I understand the impression certain athletes or teams can have on kids.
I was born and raised in Brooklyn and became a fan of sports as a kid during the later 1960’s.
Dad was a Brooklyn Dodger fan and Mom was a Yankee fan. When the Dodgers moved to LA, he became a Yankee fan too. He always felt that, even though the Yankees always beat the Dodgers (except for 1955, when he was stationed on Guam in the USAF), he always respected them and didn’t hate them. The Giants, on the other hand, he absolutely detested. When Bobby Thompson hit “The Shot Heard ‘Round The World”, he said he was depressed for weeks afterwards. His feeling was that the Giants were the enemy and there was no way he could ever root for them.
As for me, I inherited being a Yankee fan from my parents. Unfortunately, in the late 1960’s/early 1970’s, the Yankees stunk and the Mets were the best team in town. Brooklyn itself was a big National League town and most of the people there were now Mets fans. Worse yet, living in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, there were several Mets players and coaches who lived in the area. As a kid, it was tough having to take all of the insults and teasing from my friends about being a Yankee fan. As a result, to this day, I HATE the Mets.
For football, I inherited being a Giants fan from Dad too. Mom’s a Jets fan (probably because of Namath). I’ve never hated the Jets and will root for them except when they play the Giants. Also, my cousins have been Jets season ticket holders since the Shea Stadium days, so I’ve actually been to many more Jets games than Giants games. I’m rooting for them now too on this playoff run.
Hockey and basketball are the Rangers and Knicks. Never liked the Isles (especially when they were winning four Stanley Cups and their fans were chanting “1940!” to us Rangers fans) but have nothing against the Devils (I also now live in NJ). As for the Nets, I have nothing against them either.
I started watching football in 1969, so my favorite team (probably because as SB III champ they were on TV a lot) became the Jets.
I tried to abandon them when OJ was running wild, but come season kick-off, I said, “Uh-uh, good or bad, I’m a Jets guy.”
I’ve never been to NY and live in Nashville, Tennessee. In fact, my only live Jets game was the 1998 Oilers game at Vanderbilt Stadium.
My dad was in the Air Force while I was growing up, I lived in Germany, Idaho and England (twice) because of it, and our family’s from Utah originally, so the only US sports teams I had any local connection to are the Jazz and (if you count them) the London Monarchs and Rhein Fire.
It’s interesting that even in Idaho while the Jazz were winning in the Nineties, it wasn’t easy to be a Jazz fan, though geography was on our side. But I guess it also meant being a fan of a team other than the Bulls.
The Bucs were the first team I really liked that wasn’t based on a wave of popularity. While they still had the creamsicle unis I had a soft spot for them. They also had the lovable loser vibe that briefly endeared me to the Cubs. They switched to the pewter pants right as my zeal for the Packers was waning (the Packers rising in esteem after the 49ers started to lose their luster) I decided they were the team for me. A lot of it had to do with the uniform, but Mike Alstott and Warren Sapp played a big role. Those were the first jerseys I owned.
I think this is a wonderful topic of discussion! Let me say up front that I have no loyalties when it comes to basketball or hockey.
I was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. It’s only 40 minutes north of Cincinnati so naturally Cincy sports teams dominate much of the market. My loyalties will always live and (up until last year) die with the Cincinnati Reds. My Redlegs have been my team ever since I was a little boy sitting on the front porch of my grandfather’s house and listening to tales about watching a young Pete Rose going head first into a base and Johnny Bench shooting down runners attempting to steal at Crosley Field. My grandfather passed away in 2002 and I wept for him when the Reds won the NL Central last year because I knew he would have loved this team. (I also knew which colorful expletives he would have used when they were no-hit in Game One!)
Being from Ohio, I’m supposed to be an automatic Buckeye fan but I just can’t do it. I despise Ohio State fans. I don’t mind the team and respect what they’ve done under Jim Tressle but their fans are some of the most obnoxious, in-your-face, loudmouth turds around. They celebrate a 3rd quarter field goal as if it was a quadruple overtime game winner that cemented the national title. Being passionate is one thing. Screaming “O! H!” in my face after a seven yard pass completion is something entirely different.
Oddly enough, when it comes to college football I’m a Michigan fan. That is because (again) of my childhood and Square One TV on PBS. They had a segment that showed U of M and they did mathematical games, like how many footballs it would take to fill Michigan Stadium, the angle of a punt, and so on. (Wikipedia – link)
When it comes to pro football, I’m torn in many directions. I simply like to watch the games. I don’t hate the Bengals but I don’t necessarily root for them either. My fiance is a Packers fan. Her ex is an Eagles fan. We’re all on good terms and watch football together on Sundays and I just enjoy flipping channels to different games. (The house was kind of tense during the Packers-Eagles playoff game a few weeks back, though!) They both tell me I need to pick a team and I just can’t do it. If I had to, I would pick the Chargers. Why? Because I want to spend the winter in San Diego.
Here is the patch the Tigers will wear this season to honor Sparky Anderson. link Also they will retire his number.
Missed the Benchies! Great one this week too!!!
what a great conversation starter. Born and raised in Baltimore, the Colts were a certified religion in my youth, then the Orioles, Bullets and AHL Clippers. Didn’t go to Maryland, but Terps basketball took over for the Bullets when they went down the parkway to DC.
As a Colts fan, hated the Packers first, then the Dolphins – division rivals.
My big fan confession is that when the Colts went into the shitter in Irsay’s early years, I got behind the previously hapless Steelers in 1972 (Immaculate Reception sealed it). A couple Super Bowls later, the Colts got back in the playoffs and lo and behold it was now the Steelers blocking Bert Jones’s Super Bowl aspirations. Learned to hate the Black and Gold.
Now as a Ravens fan, Steeler-hatin’ comes easy. And no, I will not EVER, EVER, EVER – root for the Division, Conference, etc? Who are these people?
As for Baseball. My generation of Baltimoreans grew up in more of a baseball city than a football town – O’s were a day-by-day, sitting by the radio and actually going to the games – cheap!
The Yankees were so bad when I was young, they weren’t even on our radar. By the Steinbrenner years the Yankees were our number one rival and the O’s actually won a fair share of battles in those days. The basic NY hate was born in Super Bowl III and the 1969 WS, so no love for the Mets and Jets. In the 70’s and early 80’s the Red Sox wished they were the Yankees’ big rivals, but Baltimore-NY had much more consisent success in the AL East.
I always root for whoever is playing the Yanks, and whoever is playing the Bosox. When they play each other, it’s always on national TV and I can be counted on to not watch.
Cardinals are my NL team. Loved Gibson, Brock and friends in the 60’s and they also have the best home uni in sports. Still an StL fan today.
I did enjoy the Mets and Braves games on the Superstations throughout the 80’s and 90’s. I hated the Mets a little less in those years, but never became a fan.
Terps basketball. Duke has only been the most-hated since the late 80’s or so. In the 70’s NC State and Carolina were the big rivals. The Duke hating is now so ingrained that I really can’t stand to even watch their games at all.
Louisville Cardinals were my second favorite for years, but I’m not really in the Pitino fan club. I also miss their classic uniforms from the 70’s and 80’s.
My dad grew up in Mexico, and as such, viewing options for American football were limited. They got one game a week on TV, on tape delay. Since the Vikings of that era were good, they were on TV a lot, and my dad fell in love with the horned helmet. Somehow, it stuck and I’m a Vikings fan today becaue of it
Red Wings are wearing white at home today. The way it should be. Wings are 2-0-0 while wearing white at home this season.
I am a homer. Born and raised in Brooklyn, I am a fan of the Yankees, Jets, Giants, Rangers, and Knicks, and have been since 1991. Even though I am a Yankee fan, I am also a fan of the Cyclones, since they play in Brooklyn. My dad got me into those teams, with the exception of the Rangers, since he wasn’t a hockey fan. We would go to as well as watch a lot of games together. My dad considers himself only a Jets fan these days, even though we went to the Giants parade together, and the Jets Kickoff event last year. My cousin also tried out for the Jets, and my aunt knew many of the Jets players from the 1980’s. Aside from my dad, here were the players that got me into the teams that I am a fan of today:
Yankees: Don Mattingly (All time favorite baseball player and athlete. I will always remember the HR in the 1995 A.L.D.S.)
Jets: Ken O’Brien (One of my favorite QBs. The Jets didn’t have good players around him, or we would have won a SB or two.)
Giants: LT (One of the greatest LB to play the game. One of the first games that I watched was SB XXV.)
Knicks: Patrick Ewing (All time favorite basketball player. The 1990s Knicks, when they were good.)
Rangers: Mark Messier (Guaranteed a victory against the devils in 1994. The Rangers would go on to win the Cup that year. I was 8, and I saw all of the playoff games that year. My dad let me watch, even though he wasn’t a fan.)
I am also a fan of the uniforms of my favorite teams as well.
I was also a fan of the NY teams in the XFL (Hitmen), Arena Football (CityHawks, and Dragons) and the UFL (Sentinels).
Grew up in Queens, a short 7 train ride from Shea. Was a Jet fan until 1983 when they said they were going to Jersey to be with the Giants. I’ve HATED the Jets ever since, especially after saying no to NYC again and building the new Giants Stadium with the Giants. That, more than anything else,makes me a Giants fan today. But i must say that Times Square rally Thursday looked kinda awesome. It’s like the city is doing their damndest to tell the whole world New Jersey doesn’t even exist!
Have always been a Mets and Rangers fan and while I still root for the Knicks, I can’t wait till the Nets come to Brooklyn, where I now live
Keep the Nets in Jersey. NY should be a Knicks city.
TEX: great job on the Sabres tweaks! I’m loving the blue one – contrasting shoulder bars are big winners in my book!!!
Blackhawks wearing red on the road at the Red Wings today, on WGN!
oh glory day!
Nearly all my favorite teams are based on where I lived, and when I became a fan of a certain sport. As a Florida native, I like all the FL pro teams, with Marlins, Panthers, Dolphins being my favorites. I’m right between the Heat and Magic, and like both, but pick Orlando over Miami in that one. The Florida teams are very enjoyable to me, and if I ever move, I’ll really need to find a way to watch them from afar.
Over the years, I also lived in Ohio and Georgia for a time, so adopted the Reds, Bengals, Braves as teams I like, plus Buckeyes, Georgia Tech, and Georgia Southern as my college teams (along with the Gators and FAU).
I’m happy when any of those teams win. I am also equally happy when the rivals of these teams lose! Noles, Bama, Kentucky, Michigan, Browns, Steelers, Georgia, Hurricanes. And of the teams I just plain hate for various reasons, those are Yankees, Jets, Patriots, Penguins, Devils, Mets, and Phillies. May they never win again!
It is interesting to see how people become fans of certain teams. Mine are essentially geographic, and won’t ever change. I like it that way.
Geography, combined with the years growing up watching your teams seem to make to longest lasting bond in terms of a favorite team. Obviously, a family connection plays a role, although that connection can waver if the person themselves starts a connection with a different team in a new location.
Persons without a nearby team can certainly like a team because of a player or uniform, although the percentage of a diehard fans won’t be as high as compared with the hometown fan. Sometimes, fans who like a particular team do so because of that club’s success, more than any other reason. We see this with the Yankeees, and the Chicago Bulls were this way when during the Jordan era.
Myself, I happened to leave Pennsylvania for another state, where the home city didn’t have any pro sports teams at the time. Later, my new city did adopt professional sports teams, but it never crossed my mind to switch over, especially with the lack of tradition with these newer teams. Loyalty is one of the personal characteristics I value highly, so that may play a role in this subject.
Being from the UK geography was never a factor in choosing my North American sports teams, who for the most part I latched on to in the early-to-mid-90s:
NFL – Vikings (can’t remember the reason but I do remember it came down to a choice between them and the Saints…oh well).
MLB – Orioles (out of respect for Cal Ripken Jr.)
NHL – originally Nordiques (can’t remember reason), now Predators (as the chance to be a fan from the get-go was something I couldn’t pass up on)
Then later at the turn of the century as I started to get interested in the CFL I adopted Saskatchewan, so 2007 is the only time any of my teams have celebrated a championship, and I’d be stunned if that ever changed in my lifetime. :(
Oh BTW, as I read the article and the mention of white at home, I look up and lo and behold the Wings are doing just that!
I think each fan could draw a diagram plotting the teams on their like/hate matrix.
When my home teams are not in the game, I usually go Other League vs my teams’s league >> Underdog over favorite >> Good uniform over bad >> Faraway, unobnoxious city over familiar nearby city….
I don’t really think it through that much, but in retrospect I hink that is how I roll.
Also, as an old Bsltimore Colts fan -it’s natural o hate the Indianapolis Irsays. But most of us are over that one. The other bad part about our Football Dark Age (1984-1986) was that the Redskins were shoved down our throats. We still have to have every sold out home game on our loacla channels. But we never liked them – grew to hate them.
Bu now it’s just – meh – to Washingon and Indy. Indifference. We have our own team and the best rivalry in sports now : Ravens -Steelers.
the best rivalry in sports is the one you are a part of, or feel a part of. so for you it is yinz-baltos, for others it is the iron bowl, or sawks-yanks, cowboys-skins, lebron-cleveland, sox-cubs, bears-pack, calgary-edmonton, whatever. everyone has a rival to get heated about, and you get heated about the steelers, but that doesn’t make it the best. sure it is hot right now betwixt them, but there is no best rivalry, just the one that means the most to any of us individually. for me it is the buckeyes and wolverines, but i would never argue that it is the best or most enduring or whatever, and i hate when people do say that about that game, it’s BS.
Well said. I would say that to be real, right now the hot one is Bears-Pack. Until that game is over tomorrow, then we move on to the next one.
there is always another one around the bend:) but you are right the yinz-balto games are great theatre.
As a preschooler, I was enamored with Snoopy from Peanuts, a beagle. I thought the tv announcers were talking about the Cincinnati “Beagles” football team, when I was old enough to figure out the difference it was too late…I was a Bengals fan.
For college bowl games I cheer for the OSU Beavers first and foremost, then whomever is playing the 0regon Ducks, then Christian schools, then Land Grant (Agriculture) schools, then by uniforms…. With so many games you have to have a system!
Born in California, I stay true with my local ties as a huge Angels and GS Warriors fan; I even wore a GS cap during my HS graduation(but then the NBA went to crap in the mid 90’s, now I can hardly watch an NBA game, and the GS uniform “murder” didn’t help)
Alas, my west coast life doesn’t allow me much hockey background… but the Devils and Red Wings have the best logos in all of sport, so I cheer for them. (bonus points to the Hartford Whalers on their logo/ uni’s)
I love this topic.
How do you feel about the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks? Were you considering adopting one as your favorite NHL team when they entered the league, or did you feel too invested in the Wings/Devils to switch over? Or is it more accurate to say hockey isn’t up there with baseball and basketball, so the Wings/Devils are in the “like” category?
I like the Devils/Wings….but, I don’t “like-like” them, because I am barely a casual hockey fan. I am not a sports slut, I don’t think I could ever change my teams. If I could Lord knows the Bengals would have been dropped long ago!
My dad was a Browns fan at first–he said he thinks he was because my Grandpa was a Cards fan.
Now, my dad, me, my whole family–are Cardinal fans, and have been for a ton of years.
Paul, hope your Dad is doing better–I know how it is taking care of elderly parents who aren’t doing the best.
Best wishes, prayers and all of God’s blessings on you and your Dad.
I grew up in extreme southeastern Kansas, just a couple miles from the Missouri line and a 20-minute drive from Oklahoma.
With Kansas City just a two-hour drive to the north, I’ve always been a loyal KC fan, which is obviously rather discouraging.
What always annoys me around the Four-State Area (Kan., Okla., Mo., and Ark.) are the people who are die-hard Chiefs fans, but in the summer they cheer for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Most of the people are relatively young like me, so they simply chose the lesser of two evils. The Chiefs have been this area’s best NFL team as of late and the Cardinals have been the area’s best MLB team, so that’s who they root for.
That’s always hacked me off.
I’m such an oddball. I grew up in northeastern North Carolina – deep in Tar Heel/Wolfpack/Blue Devil country. As a kid in the early 80s when everyone raved about the near local teams, I was rooting for the Oklahoma Sooners. My mom grew up in Norman and went to OU for a few years. I remember being mad as all get out at Miami for beating them in the Orange Bowl, or Nebraska for being Nebraska. I also grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan and a mild Braves fan. Over the years I started rooting for BYU because siblings of my friends went out west to school (and I attended a satellite school) and I added East Carolina because my mom graduated from there (plus it was an hour away from where I live and the 92 Peach Bowl will always be memorable).
I now live in Idaho where loyalties seemed to have switched from either Utah or BYU to Boise State after that win over Oklahoma. I’ve also added Carolina Panthers and the Cincinnati Bengals to faves (I feel like Brian Reegan when he says I love Grape, but Cherry’s a favorite too). I used to love the Charlotte Hornets, but since they moved to New Orleans I’m not much of a fan. I’m still trying to figure out whom to root for in the Association. To add to my identity crisis in the NHL I have a local affiliation – The Carolina Hurricanes, as well as the Penguins (Lemieux!!!). The reason why I like the Bengals and Penguins is because they were favorite animals of mine when I was younger.
I will root for the Utes sometimes (which in some circles is a no no), the Eagles and Giants at others, and my medication for Multiple Personality Disorder tends to get pricey.
To add to my tangled loyalties – my dad graduated from UGA.
Neither my mother nor my father had any interest whatsoever in sports so I didn’t inherit any teams, but I didn’t inherit any hatreds, either. I was born and raised in Brooklyn and grew up watching sports on local New York over-the-air TV. So, I became a New York fan. Mets, Yankees, Jets, Giants and Rangers. (Not really a basketball fan.) I loved them all and was not surrounded by people who felt like you couldn’t be a Met fan unless you also hated the Yankees. Besides, when I first became a fan of theirs, (1967), they both sucked, so all I wanted to see was a winning New York team and I didn’t care which one. (Of course, I could have never dreamed that I’d see the Mets, Jets and Knicks all beat Baltimore for championships a scant 2-3 years later.)
I saw no problem rooting for the Mets/Yankees and Jets/Giants. I’m greedy. Essentially I root for a Subway Series and an Jets/Giants Super Bowl every year. When I finally did experience a Subway Series, I slightly favored the Mets because the Yankees had won a championship more recently.
I became an Islander fan about halfway through their 1st year. I guess grew tired of Ranger playoff underachievement and figured that since I was born a few years too late to understand the appeal of the 1962 Mets, the Islanders were an opportunity to adopt a historically bad team and hope for the best. Now, I never hated the Rangers, but little did I know how richly rewarding the Islanders would be from about 1975 through 1986. When the Devils came along I had moved to Jersey and adopted them as well. Almost every year since then there has been a clear first, second and third best team so being a fan of all three has rarely involved feeling conflicted.
While many fans of one who are haters of the other may claim a certain “purity” of fanhood, I can assure them that I get just as high and just as low when any of my teams win or lose. Besides, since becoming a sports fan in 1968, my teams have won 9 of 14 World Series, 4 of 5 Super Bowls, 8 of 11 Stanley Cup Finals, 2 of 4 NBA Finals and even 2 of 2 ABA Finals. That’s 25 championships in 38 finals in 43 years.
I can’t imagine that it would have been more fun if I had been a fan of one and a hater of the other.
I think the topic of being a fan does get a little more complicated in the New York area, some people may move from one portion of the state to another, so that can change the equation. Not living in NY, I don’t how how unusual it is for people to automatically root for all New York teams, there is a large number when added together. It seems the proximity of teams brings the hate factor into the mix.
If the term “purity” is intended to mean rooting for your favorite team just as hard win or lose, I think the highs of winning are even greater when your team turns everything around.
For example, the Dallas Cowboy fan who first started following in the mid to late 80s, when Dallas began losing must have really enjoyed the Jimmy Johnson years. Obviously, the Cowboys have a tradition of success, so they would have a large segment of fans growing up accustomed to winning. Hence, most of those fans should
remain loyal during times like last season.
As a Penguins fan, having experienced the 3-0 playoff disaster to the Islanders, made the back to back Stanley Cups even sweeter. Watching your favorite team begin to improve and finally win is a tremendous feeling.
Can’t get a screengrab, but Kansas State’s Shane Southwell has his NOB spelled as SOUHTWELL. (It was shown around the 17-minute mark of the second half on ESPN.)
I grew up in west Texas but all we had were Dallas TV stations. So I grew up on the Cowboys and Rangers and, being raised in farm and ranch country, the Texas Longhorns. I was a Spurs fan because those games were televised and I loved the silver home uniforms they wore during the Gervin era. But along came the Mavericks and I went back to being a homer.
But there are two schools I remain fans of due to their uniforms. The first time I saw Michigan I just couldn’t believe those awesome helmets. Throw in a huge stadium, a greast fight song, and Bo, and I was hooked. The other is Penn State, whose plain unis looked so old school, like the black and white pictures I’d see in some of my “Classic Football Stories” books.
To this day it’s the Longhorns first, but I always root for Michigan and Penn State.
K State wearing sweatbacks vs. A&M and purple at that. Finally ditched the non school blacks. Shane Southwell fouled out and the announcers spent time showing and discussing his misspelled last name. “SOUHTWELL”
My dad and mom grew up in SW Pa near Brownsville,Pa. My dad was a huge sports fan and my brother and I enjoyed hearing about the famous sporting events he went to. He was at the Polo Grounds on 12/7/41 during the NFL game when they were making announcements for service members to leave. he saw Otto Graham get his jaw broke in Cleveland. He saw a Bob Feller no hitter. He was at the Browns 1st AAFC game vs Miami Seahawks.
He was a huge Pirates and Steelers fan. But when he moved to Ohio for work in the 40s would go to Cleveland for games.
So as kid I grew up liking the Pirates and yuk the Steelers. Later my Ohio pride kicked in and I now hate the Steelers. I even used to like the Dallas Cowboys for a period due to me seeing the shiny helmet with a star on it. I think it was when Bob Hayes chased down a guy who intercepted a pass. Saw it in b&w. I think I liked football helmets before uniforms. I know I did. The NFL gumballs from Shredded Wheat in the late 60’s.
Became a huge Buckeye fan as a teen and sorry to say I do not remember seeing those unique red padded helmets. I loved the 1968 uniforms and the silver helmet.
I used to get SI from about 1966 on for a while. Also the old Sport magazines and Life had some good football and sports pictures too. I still like the Pirates and even pull for the Indians. I had always liked the Pirates uniforms from the 1960 era. I remember the 60 world series.
I had posted this before but here is me and my Steeler replica helmet and jersey before they put the Steeler logo on it. I like the Steelers in a yellow helmet more so maybe because of my youth. I also like that the Browns do not have a logo on the helmet.
My later years I became very fascinated by Ohio State uniform and helmet history and other teams as well.
Grew up in the Detroit area and was taught to support the home team. Tigers, Red Wings, Piston, and Lions.
I got the message when I picked out a Chicago White Sox hat at Kohl’s when I was in 1st or 2nd grade. My dad came home from work and saw it. The next day when I got home from school, there was a brand new Detroit Tigers hat sitting on my bed.
Never saw that White Sox hat again. Thanks, Dad!
Much thanks to SWC Susan for those family mascot pictures. Even though some may not like certain teams choices. Those are just so darn cool.
Yes, those were awesome and reminded me of the conference when I was young.
Great topic Phil. I have always been envious of New Yorkers because they have so many teams to choose from. Are Giants fans pulling for the Jets to lose tomorrow? I find this hard to believe because the Jets are representing NY!
Being from just outside Philly (10 minute drive), I have to say I’ve been a Philly team fan through and through since I was old enough to really watch sports. College football is a little different – I never got that whole “you’re from Pennsylvania, root for Penn State” mentality – I don’t have any relatives that went there or anything. As such, I started liking Michigan primarily for their uniforms, but I wouldn’t consider myself a diehard. Likewise, my “second favorite” teams were all mostly a bandwagon thing (and always in a different league than my hometown teams) – Ravens, Orioles, and Suns (don’t have a second favorite hockey team).
I never really liked Penn State, since half of my entire high school is obsessed with Penn State. I personally like Temple for college football, but not a big college sports fan.
This has got me thinking about who to encourage my son to support. I’m a Southend United (football team based in a town about 40 miles from London) fan thanks to them being my Dad’s team and the team that I was local to when growing up. The ‘local’ aspect is very big over here in the UK.
However, I now live about 70 miles from Southend. If I encouraged my boy to support Southend then I’d be going away from that ‘local’ aspect but at the same time, I’m not going to let him support a big team like Chelsea or Man United just because they’re good.
The boy’s only three months old though, so plenty of time for me to make his mind up for him!
PS – I follow the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA. I was given a tip to bet them to win the NBA Championship in 2001 (they got the conference finals) and have stuck with them ever since. Not the best advice I’ve ever taken!
This is a pretty big concern for me – I’ve not got kids (yet), but it’s only a matter of time. If I had a son I’d naturally try and condition him to like Man. City, but living just outside Birmingham we have 4 EPL teams within 10 miles, and 99% of the people around here support one of those teams. I just don’t know how I’d cope if any offspring of mine decided they were going to support Wolves or Aston Villa…
I was born and raised in the SW burbs of Chicago, hard core White Sox country. But at the impressionable age of 7, during the ill-fated summer of 1969, I became a Cubs fan. They were winning, and all of their games were on channel 9, usually right after Bozo’s Circus. By August, I was hard core; by mid-September I was crushed. But the rest of my family, all Sox fans, were not going to let me forget what the Cubs did. So I’ve stuck with them, for better or worse (mostly worse!). And I’ve got no love for the Sox. I don’t know any Chicagoan that roots for both; you love one and hate the other.
For the other sports, it was pretty easy; Bears, Bulls, Hawks. I moved to SW Michigan 13 years ago, but never even considered switching to the Detroit teams.
This was fun to read the histories of many posters here. I read most of the comments and enjoyed learning.
Interesting to see a few NE Ohio or western Pa posters here today.
I follow Navy for two reasons. One, my dad was in the Navy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Two, I was in Navy JROTC in high school and received a congressional nomination to the Naval Academy, which I wound up missing out on due to unfortunate back surgery. They have been my #1 team for quite some time.
I follow Ohio State because of my wife and her family. Her parents lived in Columbus and my wife was born there so that mostly explains them. I adopted that team and am pleased I did. They play well and I definitely love the uniforms.
As for professional football, I follow the Steelers. When I was growing up (I am under 30) I remember “Slash” Stewart and I liked the way the team played. The footage I saw from their great years in the 70s made me like them even more. My wife and her family are diehard Steelers fans so I had no trouble adopting that team. I am originally from south Florida and was forced to watch way too much Miami Dolphins football and have grown sick of that color scheme.
Like most Floridians I did not really get into hockey until the Panthers made their playoff run in the 90s. After that I looked around the league to see what I liked. Hockey was still not televised much so I did not have much chance to make a decision. A few years ago I was able to get back into hockey again and wound up really liking the Penguins so they are my team. Good players and good uniforms again.
Baseball and basketball are not on my list of sports so I do not really care about any teams in that.
I guess that means I follow teams because I like them or because I have adopted them from family.
Phil, I am exactly the same as you. My Dad also brought me up to root for all of the NY teams. Why would I root for a team from Boston or Philly over a team from NY? Makes no sense. My main teams are the Mets, Giants, Knicks, and Islanders; but except for brief periods I never hated any of the other teams. I disliked the Rangers in the 80’s when they tussled with the Isles, I rooted against the Jets from 87-97 after the knocked the Giants out in the last game of the season that was meaningless to them, and I hated the Yankees during the 2000 World Series. Once the Rangers were no longer having any impact on the Islanders, I found it hard to hate them. Once Parcells took over the Jets (if you can remember how bland and identityless the Giants were in 1997-98) the Jets seemed more like the Giants than the Giants, and I started to like them again; and today I would say I like the 2 teams roughly evenly. As for the Yankees, by June of 2001 I was able to forgive them and now I am even a partial plan holder with my Dad!
I think it is a talk radio fabrication that you can’t root for more than one team. You can root foe whoever you like!
As a young boy growing up in Australia I started playing basketball because it was what my friends did on the weekend. No one in my family had any history with any American sports but basketball became a great bonding experience for my whole family with my little sister playing too, my Dad taking up coaching and my Mum running the score board.
With so much playing of basketball we naturally started watching basketball. First at a local level with the Australian NBL where my Dad would take me to all the local home games and then we started getting NBA games on TV just in time for the Bulls-Blazers finals.
Being a finals series you had to pick sides and something in my nature always makes me shy away from the favourites and so I chose the Blazers as my team and my Dad got on board. Soon I was getting Blazers gear at every birthday and Xmas even though being mid-nineties Australia my parents had to order everything in.
Once you pick a team though you get a favourite player as well and of course being a Blazer fan in the nineties it was all about Clyde Drexler, he was just so effortless and graceful with the ball. It didn’t hurt that he was also the guy just before the logo in the opening credits for NBA action.
And then they traded him to Houston. I guess on a smaller level it was like the LeBron thing. For a fan who wasn’t a local it made me choose between the player and the team, and I chose the player and gained a city.
Since then I have remained a Rockets fan and as I have gotten into other sports I always follow the Houston team as well. I didn’t have a football team until the Texans and as I started watching baseball I have to follow the Astros too (although I loathe the brick unis, the original 60s blue and orange with the Star H logo are my all time favourite).
As for my family Mum and Dad they moved to Las Vegas a while back and have embraced the Lakers as their team (Mum is especially rabid) and the Chargers in football, although Mum loves the Giants because of Eli Manning (?) so now we all follow different teams which just means we’ll watch anything that is on.
I’m from the Philly burbs, so it isn’t hard choosing a local team–I root for everyone Philly, not matter how good or bad they are doing. I do have “secondary” teams; other teams I like, and that is based on unis. I like the Jets (mostly because I followed them in the playoffs and I think Mark Sanchez will be great in the coming years) and the Lions, but as long as they aren’t playing the Eagles. Every other game I pick the underdog, just because I think they need all the love they can get. Whenever there’s a game on that isn’t the Eagles, I pick the “underdog” team. Also, I root against the Cowboys. It’s impossible for me to root for them.
I’ve lived in SW Washington state my whole life. I live about a half hour north of Portland, Oregon. Neither of my parents were really into sports. My grandma was a huge Portland Trail Blazers fan. So I became a huge Blazers fan. It was about the beginning of them challenging for a title era with Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter, Buck Williams, etc. She used to yell at the TV whenever the oppossing team was shooting free throws “Miss it! Miss It Sucker!” I have several friends who were Sonics fans because they were from Washington. When they left several of those friends had to switch allegiances but for the most part people are Blazers fans around here.
As for football, ai grew up liking the Niners. I came in around the end of the Montana and beginning of the Young era. My favorite player was Jerry Rice. The Seahawks stunk at the time so it was hard to root for them. However, over the years my allegiances have switched to the Seahawks. I also like the Steelers kind of but I have no real reason. I think it may be a subconscious thing because I have a Steelers newborn jackets that my parents supposedly brought me home from the hospital in. So how messed up is that when your favorite team is the Seahawks when they play in the same division(not when I was growing up though) as your childhood team and the other team beat you(with bad refs helping) in your one Super Bowl meeting.
I’m a huge soccer fan as well. This has been interesting for me. First off, my favorite team is Manchester United. Mostly because they win all the time. My national team allegiances are first and foremost to the US. However, I do enjoy watching England play mostly because I like the EPL. I also like Brazil for their style of play. Here is where it gets interesting. The MLS brought in the Sounders a few years ago and they’ve been the MLS team that I’ve supported up until now. Now that the Portland Timbers have become a team and I have picked up season tickets for next year I won’t be supporting the Sounders. There is a strong hatred for the Sounders around here so they will go from the team I supported to the biggest rival. I’ll probably never develop the hate level of others for them though.
I only follow baseball when the Mariners are winning so that’s definitely the local team for me.
I grew up in Jersey rooting for the Mets, Jets, and Devils. Now I live in New Orleans and all my wife’s family and friends are Saints/Hornets fans. So last year I found myself immersed in their Super Bowl run. I can even be seen wearing a Saints shirt in some photos. It was probably the first time I found myself rooting for another NFL team besides the Jets. My wife’s family thought they had converted me but to no avail I stayed true to Gang Green. My wife’s altimeter LSU is the only collegiate football team I find myself rooting for.
People here in New Orleans always ask me if I like the other NY teams such as the Yanks, Giants, Knicks, Nets, Islanders or the Rangers. I answer their simple question by telling them about the whole culture that is New York and New Jersey sporting lifestyle. I explained that growing up you basically had to choose (not in writing) one or the other. I also explain that it is not the case with everyone but for a good portion of people it is true.
My dad (Yanks fan) always threatens to accidentally set my Mets apparel on fire, and trust me sometimes after the season I maybe the one holding the match. He always rags me after the Yanks make the playoffs, and said he would be glad to purchase any Yankee apparel on his dime. Every time I come in town and get to catch a Mets game he always goes with me and is a good sport about it.
Last year I experienced the Saints run now it’s time for us patient Jets fans. Let’s go J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets!!!!!!!!!
Forgot to mention that my college sports allegiances lie with both the U of Washington, got into them about the time of their college football national championship runs, an the U of Oregon. I got into Oregon about the time Luke Ridnour was there. He played in the same classification as my high school and we’d see him at the state tournament so I kept up on him. However, I’ve become a total Oregon football fan as well. My wife graduated from Washington State, I don’t hate the Cougars but I root against them if they’re playing the Huskies or Ducks. I also root for Gonzaga in basketball. I’ve always like Duke as well but again probably mostly because they win.
While I am glad the Tigers are finally retiring Sparky Anderson’s number. I must vent at the fact the this should have been while he was alive. He either deserves to have his number retired or he doesn’t. His death should play no role in it being retired. End of rant.
Growing up in Pittsburgh, I adopted the local teams. I went a division 3 college outside Boston, and had no trouble rooting for the Celtics and Red Sox. Since the Patriots and Bruins competed with the Steelers and Penguins, though, I never really warmed to them, even when I’d go to non-Penguin Bruin games. When I moved back to Pittsburgh, I started going up to Cleveland occasionally to see the Cavaliers, and find myself rooting for them against the Celtics now.
If I’m watching something random, I will arbitrarily root for a team wearing black and gold. I really don’t care about Iowa football, but I have trouble rooting against their uniforms.
For all you “Long Distance Lovers” – I suppose the difference is that you don’t get the relected or shared glory/pain in your day-to-day life. If a guy in Maine roots for the Chargers, he might cry in his beer when they do their annual January exit from the playoffs. But his local TV outlets won’t get wrapped up in it; his co-workers won’t be wearing Bolts jerseys on Friday and long faces on Monday and he can get back to his life in short order.
As for front-running, my only sin was loving the 4-time champion Islanders as I watched them on cable over WOR. But Baltimore didn’t have NHL, and the Islanders were some awesome guys to watch.
Then my NHL allegiances shifted to – gasp- Pittsburgh! as the local Skipjacks AHL team was an affiliate of the Penguins in the early to mid-80’s.
I don’t have a favorite NHL team now, so I watch the Stanley Cup playoffs objectively. Which can be pretty cool if you just want to appreciate the game.
Until the Ravens and Steelers started trying to prove to each other who hit harder in the last decade, I don’t know how much rivalry there was between Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
Well, on the Baltimore end – much pain and suffering has been delivered by the Yinzers. 1971 World Series; 1979 We are Family Debacle; NFL playoff exits in 75,76,01,08 and then last Saturday’s second-half bed wetting.
Yeesh. It hurts just typing it.
Well, the Baltimore Blast did upset the Pittsburgh Spirit two games to one in the ’81-’82 MISL playoffs, so you got that going for you…
way back in 1967, my dad tuned into to a Jets vs Raiders game on TV because he wanted to watch Namath play. the Raiders won me over with the silver and black uniforms, eye patch wearing guy in a crossed-swords shield on the helmet. pretty cool stuff when you’re ten years old. been a fan for life. (didn’t hurt that the “mad bomber” Lamonica was sailing passes deep downfield.)
when baseball season rolled around, i latched on to the colorful team from the same town as the Raiders. i remain an A’s fan to this day.
Reading today’s posts has been so much fun! It’s so cool to see everyone sharing a personal story. I can’t remember who posted it, but I too was a big Seahawks fan as a kid (grew up in D.C.) because they had a kicker named Efron Herrera (#1, if I remember correctly). It seemed to me that every time he attempted a field goal it was a fake. Now living in Richmond, Va, we have the Flying Squirrels baseball team that is super-fun to watch, but they are a Giants affiliate and I love the Dodgers! I just root for the good players on the Flying Squirrels and hope that Brian Sabean will trade them to the Dodgers soon! I do love my Flying Squirrels hats though.
Wow, got on here late and was treated to everyone’s stories. Great stuff! Took me a long time to read, but it was fun.
1) For those who say the team chooses you…I thought this was America. Cheer for whomever you want. If it happens to be the home team, so be it.
2) When it comes to sports, I have teams I root against or can’t stand to watch, but I can’t say that I hate them.
Only downside to today is that the tweakers got no love…and they should get some. Kaleb, I like mixing red and blue, so your Rangers look good to me. Tex, your Penguins tweak is my favorite. Your all-star tweak intrigues me, too. Paul, love how the Kings logo pops with your color change. Don’t mind the purple they have now, but not with the black. And Sean, at first glance I didn’t think I’d like your Pats tweak, but with each proceeding glance I like it more and more.
Goalie Pad BFBS? link
When it comes to today’s topic, I’m all over the place (I know, Phil, BFS). Born and raised in NE Ohio, but the only local team I follow is the Cavs. When they were played in Richfield they were tied for my favorites with the Sixers (Dr. J) and the Sonics (unis). When the Cavs moved to Cleveland I dropped them until this season. The Nuggets were (mile) high on my list when they wore the 80s unis and played run ‘n gun basketball. But when they and the Sonics changed unis, I dropped them.
Baseball is the only sport where I’ve had one favorite team my whole life. Dad took the family to a Pirates game in 1970, I yelled hi to Willie Stargell and he waved back, then later hit a home run. From that day on, he was my favorite player and they were/are my favorite team. Also like the Nats and O’s (best friend lives in the DC-Balt. area), the Twins (Dad played some minor league ball for the Senators), the Cards and the A’s (those two because of unis).
Football: started out as a Vikes fan (don’t know why), switched to the Bears (again, not sure), then when the Oilers switched back to blue helmets in ’72, they became my favorite team. link
Yep, just because of the unis. When they switched to white helmets, I hung on for a few years, mostly because of Billy White Shoes Johnson. But even though the Oilers got better, I switched to the Steelers because my family came from PA and I liked going there. Picked the USFL’s Stars because they were from PA (albeit the wrong side), but when the Pittsburgh Maulers came around, they became my favorite.
Then there’s college…
As a little kid, I didn’t have a clear-cut favorite. In football, I liked any team that ran the wishbone. Eventually, I picked Michigan because of the winged helmets and the colors. Then I realized I disliked Woody Hayes (even before the infamous Gator Bowl), so that solidified my choice. Then when I switched to the Steelers, I also switched to Pitt AND Penn State (even though that’s frowned upon). Once I realized how much I liked JoePa, PSU’s become my favorite. Oh yeah, I rooted for Akron in school, but my tuition’s paid off, so we’re even. I wish them well, but don’t have high expectations for them.
In basketball, I sorta liked UNC and Maryland as a kid, which is partly why I don’t like Duke. That, and the fact that devils and clowns freak me out, so I don’t root for any Devils or Demons or any similar teams. As for my favorite team, since 1982 it’s been Villanova. That’s a story for another time, though. I also like Duquesne, Pitt and La Salle.
And even though they have great unis, when it comes to college hoops I can’t root for the Hoosiers. Five words: Bobby Knight and Isiah Thomas. I know they’re not there anymore, but when I see those unis I still see them. Only player I disliked more was Bill Laimbeer, which is one reason I’m not a big ND fan.
Born and raised just outside of Baltimore, I’ve always been a huge Orioles and Ravens fan. Just in the past couple years, I’ve also begun following the Washington Capitals, but I’d never think about rooting for the ‘Skins or Nats. Since Baltimore doesn’t have an NBA franchise, the Wizards are the closest thing to where I’m from.
p.s. Did anybody happen to see the jersey disaster that the newly signed Wizard, Mustafa Shakur, was wearing tonight? Clearly the jersey was put together last minute, kinda funny actually.
Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Lansing Community College women’s basketball teams went color on color today. Kalamazoo wore pink in honor of their assistant coach Terry Gillette who passed away last March from cancer.
Growing up in Michigan is a long way from San Diego but in the late 70’s I became a Chargers fan solely because of the uni. Air Coryell was awesome: Fouts, Joiner, Winslow, et al. My interest in them has waned in the last decade or so but I still enjoy seeing those bolts!
As an aside, I always wondered why Detroit never had 2 MLB clubs. Philly, NY, Chicago, St. Louis…all major American cities that have (or had) two baseball teams. My guess is geography has something to do with it, no one drives through Michigan to get to another state.
My brother is a Bolts fan. He had the Charger Logo painted on the wall of his bedroom when he was young. He is still a Charger fan today.
I grew up in Seattle – so I have had the opportunity to grow up with the Seahawks and Mariners since they both started around the time I started to become conscious of sports.
I still remember sitting in the Kingdome in 1976 watching games that first Seahawks season with the cool new blue uniforms and the plain silver helmets. What a cool look and what great memories.
The Mariners have kind of lost me as I have moved around the country and they have continued to change their colors and uniforms. They don’t feel like the team I grew up with anymore.
Great stories everybody.
I don’t want to argue with you about this, but to say that the Mariners have continued to change their colors and uniforms is a bit of a stretch. They tinkered with their unis for the first 15 years of their existence or so, then they got the big makeover. But they’ve had essentially the same look for nearly two decades now.
yes, you should argue the “plain silver helmets” instead
It’s been a nice day on the boards, so I’ll continue that and simply post this:
Yeah, I figure the whole plain helmet thing has kinda gotten link, so it’s best to just pretend not to see it.
I was raised in San Diego. My dad growing in was a huge Celtic fan. Saw Larry Bird play against the Clippers when they were still in San Diego. My dad hated the Lakers, so I get that from him I’m a Suns fan since KJ, Chris Chambers and Thunder Dan was running the show.
Baseball and football, I follow the local teams, Padres and Chargers. The Padres is my first love. My first memory of the Padres was 1984. The epic fight with the Braves, Garvey’s homerun in Game 4 and the comeback in Game 5 to beat the Cubs in the NLCS. Been a Charger fan for a long time. I don’t get to hyped up on them anymore since now I am numbed by the choking in January.
College, it’s San Diego State or bust. Finally The Mesa is rocking.
For the past couple of years, I’ve been following The Barclay’s Premier League. I’m hooked on it actually. I’m an Everton supporter. Out here, there are so many tools that follow the big 4. I like Everton. They remond me of my teams that I follow.
One last thing. None of my teams have won a World title, in their respected leagues. I wouldn’t know what to do or how to react if any one of my teams won a title.
Long time reader (about 2 years now) first time poster. OK- so that’s not exactly a long time, but I’m only 20 years old, so it’s a long time for me! :P
I grew up on Long Island. My dad is from Virginia though. He moved to NY when he was about 25. Strangely enough, though, he was always a Mets fan. He’s from Portsmouth (Norfolk area), VA, where as a young kid he would always go and watch the Tidewater (now Norfolk) Tides play, and they became the Mets’ AAA affiliate when my dad was 9 years old. He was also a huge Redskins fan growing up, and after living on LI for a while, became a HUGE Islanders fan, which is the one team that I’ve stuck with throughout my life. My parents never cared much for college sports, because 1) it’s not a big thing where we lived and 2) neither of them went to schools with big sporting traditions. My dad went to Old Dominion (ODU) and my mom went to Virginia Commonwealth (VCU).
Because I’m a girl, it was always a little embarrassing for me to be a sports fan as a kid. I often got made fun of for being a “tomboy.” But everyone where I grew up was a hardcore Mets fan. So I was too. Soon, though, I became “best friends” with a girl who was a big Yankees fan. So at that young age, I was highly impressionable and wanted to follow my best friend. In 2000, when I was 9, the Mets and Yankees, as you all know, met in the World Series. That was huge for everyone where I grew up. Of course, when the Yanks won, I hopped on that bandwagon.
I was a homer pretty much my whole early sports life. I was a Knicks, Jets, and an Isles fan. My dad is a long-suffering fan of every team :P
As I grew older, I began caring less and less about sports. In 2005, when I was 14, my family moved to a suburb of Atlanta. I began becoming more interested in college sports, because it’s a huge thing here. I began studying football and found that when I learned to understand it, it was really interesting and fun. I always considered myself a bit of a “nerd” so I automatically gravitated toward Georgia Tech (also because I loved rooting for the underdogs). I immediately grew an immense hatred for the Georgia Dawgs, especially after seeing that red and black oval G everywhere. Because of my interest in college football, I also began enjoying NFL. I gravitated to the Eagles, for reasons that are still kind of unclear to me today, but I have stuck as a big fan of them. I never liked the Falcons because I always hated Vick. You can imagine the conflict I felt this year with Vick being an Eagle!
And finally we come to– the Braves. All of my friends were Bravos fans. I jumped on the bandwagon as well. But once I became a sports fan, I held them near and dear to my heart. I love the Braves, even if they’ve kind of sucked ever since I lived here!
BTW- my love of GT sports ended up sending me there. When it was time for me to apply to colleges, I applied to 11 of them. 10 small liberal arts colleges, and Georgia Tech. Tech was my third choice. I got rejected by my first choice, and my second didn’t give me enough financial aid. So I entered Tech in the Fall of ’09 and can honestly say I found my home. Our sports teams are disappointing, but where would I be without my Yellow Jackets!? :D
SO yeah, that’s my long, boring story. The reasons I came to like my favorite teams may be suspect, but now they each occupy a special place in my heart.
BTW- did anyone notice that the Yellow Jacket is not on any of those postcards? I had forgotten that Georgia Tech was a football independent for some time.
BTW most hated teams:
Georgia, Michigan, USC, any team from Boston, but mostly Georgia.
What’s the good word?!
Like most teams/schools and sports, success and failure come and go over time. I was at GT in the mid-90s, and hoops, baseball, and volleyball were king. Those teams did well and advanced in the playoffs. But GT Football went 1-10 just four years after being National Champs. Now, the tables are flipped, and football is a bit ahead of basketball. Both will enjoy success again though, and as fans, we’ll enjoy it when it arrives. Go Jackets!
Not boring at all, Lindsay. It’s been fun hearing all the different stories.
Currently a GT fan, by the way, but only as long as they run the triple option.
Although I’m basicaly a full-on homer, all of my true sports allegiances come from attending games in person. I guess just seeing them on TV and hearing them on radio doesn’t make enough of an impression on me.
Also, I’m living proof that it’s not true that you must root either for the Cubs or the White Sox. Yes, I’m a Cubs fan but I do like the Sox. Why? My dad’s a Cubs fan and my mom’s a Sox fan. I’ve been going to both ballparks since before I can even remember.
Growing up I gravitated more toward the Cubs for a variety of reasons. A big one was that they played all their home games in the afternoon, so I was able to catch the last few innings when I came home from school in the spring (when there was hope) and fall (when they were usually hopelessly out of contention).
But I always liked the Sox, too. I remember watching games with my mother. No disrespect to Jack Brickhouse, but Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall made the games much more entertaining, although we never were able to get a decent picture on Channel 44 no matter how we twisted the rabbit ears on top of the TV.
Baseball was really the only sport I watched until I was about 10, then my dad took me to a Bears game and from that point on, I’ve been a fan.
Basketball was next — DePaul. We used to get great seats to the games when Terry Cummings was on the team.
A year or so later came hockey. Again, my dad took me to see the Hawks at the Stadium. Before then, I had been a casual fan, but there was no true loyalty.
The NBA never even registered with me until my first game at the Stadium in 1988. Sure, I’d watch the occasional Bulls game every now and again and, hey this Jordan kid was something special but I could take it or leave it. It wasn’t even a proper Bulls game that introduced me to the league, it was the 1988 All-Star Game.
I went to college at IU, so the Hoosiers have supplanted the Blue Demons, although I have done some postgraduate studies at DePaul. But that really doesn’t count.
You shoulda seen the ’87 All Star Game. Bill Simmons goes on about how he wants a copy of the original broadcast, it was that great. Well, I taped the game, and he’s right. It’s a keeper.
IU and DePaul? Well, at least they both had great unis. And yeah, IU still does.
“Also, I’m living proof that it’s not true that you must root either for the Cubs or the White Sox. Yes, I’m a Cubs fan but I do like the Sox.”
Yet why I included the “40+ crowd” exception for Chicago baseball. Hell I’m 32 and remember the baseball divide was well-known for me in the late 1980s. Baseball changed in the 1980s & 1990s for Chicago fans – the excuse for jumping on the bandwagon is deemed too New York-ish.
I know Cubs/Sox fans exist out there. It’s just an extremely rare antiquated idea. We all should have picked one or the other by now.
My dad had a framed poster-sized version of the Southwest Conference family photo picture. I wish I had it.
I’ve always told people I’m a “New York Fan”.. I root for the Mets and Yanks.. the Giants and Jets.. and I attended Rutgers. I don’t see why you can’t like them all.. they all represent where you’re from..
With that being said.. I do like the Yankees more when they’re playing the Mets.. and the Giants more when they’re playing the Jets.. but I’ll still be bleeding Green and White tomorrow.. and I don’t see a problem with that.
M.A.Fleury’s Steelers helmet post game on ice
Found it. If nobody’s posted it yet, the date the SI article about the White Sox uniform contest was June 6, 1981. Pages 24-25. Good information.
If this link doesn’t get it…
Try this one…
Well, here’s one more story. As a kiddo I liked the Texas Rangers. WBAP would broadcast serious wattage at night and I could pick it up on the radio after I was supposed to be in bed. Lived in Missouri but didn’t really catch on with the Cardinals till much later. Dad was from Northern KY so he liked the Reds, but just casually. He likes UK basketball like any good commonwealth man too. But my alleginces were always just mine. Football was strickly chosen by uniform until college when the Cardinals moved and the Chiefs were suddenly on TV. Go Chiefs. Hockey has always been the Blues. The NBA never had a team close by, Kings were 6 hours away in KC, and I still don’t really care. Tyler Hansbrough’s family are friends of ours, his grandfather actually lives next door. So I’d have to say the Pacers are the current team, but that will change the second he gets traded. I’m alum of Mo State and K State so they have to fit in there somewhere too. No parent bonds here, strickly my own decisions. Mostly homer.
But there is one thing that Dad and I are quite passionate about, Three Rivers College basketball. It is the local junior college. Two national titles and would have had a third last season had we not blown a 10 pt lead and lost in overtime of the title game. Have seen many stars come through here. The best was Sprewell. Those games have been,and continue to be a great bond with dear old pop.
BTW, what college basketball coach has the most all time wins at any level? Gene Bess – Three Rivers. Over 1,100 and still going strong.
When it comes to the pro teams I am mostly a homer- KC Chiefs and Royals are close but I also support the LA Dodgers, Anaheim Angels and Anaheim Ducks. The LA Dodgers is because of my grandfather who gave me my first jersey whereas the Angels and Ducks is from the movies when I was little (Angels in the Outfield and the Mighty Ducks trilogy.)
I always root for the the Tri Lams and the Moos when they go against the Alphas and the Pi’s.
I moved to Minneapolis from Chicago 27 years ago but I never drank the Kool Aid. I can never be a Minnesotan because I stop for red lights. Today in Chicago a sports fan can see the Hawks-Flyers at the UC and then the Bears-Packers at Soldier Field. Life is good.
Yes Ricko, thanks for the “Benchies”. They have been greatly missed. Please give us more.
Growing up in the giant corn field known as west-central Indiana, I have always been a Colts, Cubs, and Hoosiers fan. My dad was and still is a Bears fan. But I grew up with Peyton Manning, Edgerin James, and Marvin Harrison and fell in love with the Colts. I became a Cubs fan because they were always on tv. They may not have been good but they were always on and gave me a chance to watch baseball. As for IU, both my parents went there and I will be attending in the fall. But here lately a new team has been added to my list of favorite teams. THE OREGON DUCKS FOOTBALL TEAM. At first it was a love of the uniforms, always wanting to see what they would come up with next. But then it became more of wow these guys are really good. Last year when they played in the Rose Bowl, I broke away from tradition and instead of rooting for the Big Ten team, I rooted for the Ducks.
Today I asked my dad how he became a Raiders fan, and it’s mostly what I expected: Black and Silver. That and defensive lineman Otis Sistrunk.
Late to the party, but… lived in OKC suburbs for my entire life, minus 6 months here, 6 months there. This will be long. I’m sorry.
Baseball, I liked the Cubs bc of Sandberg, Hawk, and Harry Caray. Rangers and Royals because we went to a ton of games, there was BO, Of course with the Rangers, it was only a 3 hour drive, and our AAA team, the 89ers was their farm club until this past season. Latch onto players, that sort of thing. In 94, (11 years old), my family did our annual summer vacation based on ballgames, and we saw the Braves at Cards, then the Mariners at White Sox. Lots of great players. Anyway, my experience at Busch and the town of St. Louis stuck, and I’ve been a Cards fan above any other since. If I ever move to another city, it will be St. Louis. Just love that place to death. Can’t go there enough.
I’m a Sooner fan born and raised. Couldn’t count the number of games I’ve attended. I’m not a math major. It’s a ton though. Don’t care what sport, I love them. Still spend 90% of my free time in Norman. As a kid, the family went to a ton of football/basketball/baseball games there, but I remember I had about a year where I liked the OSU Cowboys (because it was different and i was like 7). Shh, don’t tell anyone. After high school, I knew it was wrong, but I followed my friends to OSU (you can get a teaching degree at this state school or that state school, it’s not the difference between this law school and Harvard). I never felt right, transferred quickly, and let’s just say I’m still an OU fan, and I haven’t spoken 20 words to any of those friends in almost a decade. I hope OSU loses, no matter the opponent. Yes, I feel guilty, but it’s a feeling that won’t go away. I also hope Texas loses in EVERYTHING. Not just a loss. A CRUSHING defeat. I don’t own an upside down Horns sticker though. I don’t need to pay them the royalty fees. Their colors are ugly, their coach should wear a helmet, the only thing the mascot is good for is a steak… Pretty much the only positive is their girls, but that’s just a result of one of the highest student enrollments in the nation. You’re a big state, you have a lot of people. You still didn’t go to a bowl game. I don’t get the people rooting for conference ties or any of that garbage. No I’m not chanting “Big TWELVE!” and if you hear me doing that, you can ask for breath, blood, or urine, because I’m on something. You Pac-12, SEC, Big Ten fans are in need of a therapist. I want my rivals to go DOWN, and HARD. As a Sooner fan, I bet you can guess the other teams I dislike the most: USC, Florida, and BOISE STATE! LSU gets a pass, almost, because the uniforms are so pretty… but Les Miles (who started at OSU the same year I did) brings them down so much in my mind, it’s a wash. I can say without any reservation, I love the academies. Even against the Sooners, I want them to lose, but lose really closely. I even want my team to win with respect and discipline, more than any other game. They’re like your grandparents, you want to honor them, and when you hear they’re coming to town, you get all nervous and warm and feel like you need to clean up your act a bit.
NFL, I was a Cowboys fan until Jimmie Johnson left. Surprisingly, started to despise them when Switzer got there. Everyone else in the family loves them, so I think that was the point. I root for the Broncos and the 49ers, because the 1st Super Bowl I really cared about was Montana v. Elway, and I still look back on both of them as the definition of glory (even if that game was TURRRRRRRRRRRRRIBLE), right or wrong. Kind of like I see them and get a semi-fatherly feeling. I look up to them that way, and it’s not a knock on my dad, who never has done anything but give his best in that role. You get what I’m saying. Fine, call them uncles. Don’t really care too much anymore, because I love college football. I do root for the former Sooners though, like a poster said earlier. Sam, Curtis Lofton, AD… It’s a lot easier to like players you’ve met before they were quite on the level they are now, even if they were rockstars in college too.
Basketball… liked the Bulls as a kid, obvious reasons. Faded in concern til the Thunder got here, now I’m a diehard fan. I go to as many games as I can, have the ridiculous flags on my car, have friends that work in the office, and I live and die with their wins and losses. I make people sick around me because I’m so obsessive about them. Tell me honestly though, if you know about the group of guys on the team, how could you not be a fan, regardless of who they played for? It’s easy to be a fan with such (by appearance) honorable people. Durant! He even went to TEXAS! That’s a leap for me. If any other teams are playing, I just want it to be a good game, and fast-paced. No Kelvin Sampson type ball. I like good defensive struggles… IN FOOTBALL.
Another thing… this is Oklahoma. What’s hockey? ;)
Growing up in Iowa, there isn’t a real “home” team, but we got WGN so that meant watching the Cubs in the summer for all of their day games either before the lights were installed at Wrigley or when they only played infrequent night games. For football, I drifted towards Minnesota, mostly because I grew up hearing about my Scandinavian heritage and they were the Vikings.
Later we moved to northern Illinois so I drifted towards the Chicago teams, preferring the Cubs over the Sox, but not hating the Sox. For a few years I lived withing walking distance of Wrigley but I would attend games at both parks and even had my 30th birthday in a luxury box at New Comiskey (or whatever it’s named these days). It was great just being in a place and point in my life where I could just decide to go to a MLB game if I wanted to.
Now I live in the DC area, and as a bit of a homer fan, will tend towards the local teams, but keeping the Chicago teams pretty high up in the complicated calculus that determines who I root for. DC is a bit of a hodge-podge anyway, attracting people from all over the country that come live here for a few years.