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EvilChameleon

Is it possible to be a fan of a league but not any of the teams in that league?

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Was thinking about this today. I suppose the best example would be the Premier League for people in the US. It's on all the time thanks to NBC, and it's fun to watch, but I don't consider myself a fan of any of the teams in said league.

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That's more or less my (and others') NBA fandom. I follow the league and root for individual players/coaches, but don't have any particular team I'm rooting for.

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Oh yeah.  Plenty of people do that.  

 

It definitely helps me to have a team.  When the North Stars moved, I was less of an NHL fan almost immediately...but come playoff time, I tended to get some interest, simply because the NHL playoffs are so much fun.

 

In fact, being from Minnesota, I rarely have a team alive deep into the playoffs in any sport...but I still follow since playoffs are so exciting.  So in a sense, I do it every postseason.

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35 minutes ago, Sec19Row53 said:

Yep - me and the NHL. I only want good playoff action, and don't care who wins.

That...or for me, I often prefer one team over another for some reason (player I like/hate, long-suffering fans, etc.) but keep pretty even-keeled vs. when my actual team is involved.  You can still have tiny horse in the race even if you don't have a horse in the race.

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Count me in as another for the NHL. I was more of a Mighty Ducks fan as a kid, but that faded out as I got older. Now I just sort of kick back and get super into the playoffs, and enjoy whatever happens (so long as it involves the Red Wings not winning, of course ;)).

 

To an extent, its beginning to happen that way for me in the MLB, too. Baseball is my absolute favorite sport in every way, but oddly enough, I've never truly settled on one favorite team. Due to various family connections all over the place I've grown up rooting in various degrees for the Mariners, Dodgers, Braves, and Astros, and at any time one may take a little precedence over the other, but it is never permanent. I kinda like to keep it this way though, because I feel like I enjoy more of the league altogether. 

 

Another thing with baseball too, with it being my favorite sport, is that I love the history very much and my grandpa is the same way. He luckily got to grow up during Mantle, Mays, Aaron, Robinson, Mathews, etc and has told me many stories of that wonderful time. Some of my fondest experiences with him have been talking baseball history with him. I'm thus purposely a big "players" guy as well and really love following the stars of the league so that I can tell stories to my kids and grandkids of what it was like to watch Trout, Harper, Jeter, Griffey, etc. So it leads me to be a little less partisan overall and just enjoy baseball altogether.

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Seems like with the Premier League, people tend to root against teams like Man U, Arsenal, and Chelsea.

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I'm like that with the Bundesliga. I watch almost any game on, but really don't have a team. 

Premier league, I just don't watch generally. 

 

Ligue 1, I'm an l'OM fan. Unquestionable. Love watching other games, but there's nothing else like my team. 

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I say it's better to just root for individual players rather than whole teams, especially now with free agency, salary caps, trades, etc.

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8 hours ago, OnWis97 said:

Oh yeah.  Plenty of people do that.  

 

It definitely helps me to have a team.  When the North Stars moved, I was less of an NHL fan almost immediately...but come playoff time, I tended to get some interest, simply because the NHL playoffs are so much fun.

 

In fact, being from Minnesota, I rarely have a team alive deep into the playoffs in any sport...but I still follow since playoffs are so exciting.  So in a sense, I do it every postseason.

 

Same here with the NHL, but I still watch the entire playoffs. Actually, I'm beginning to think that the Stanley Cup Playoffs are more fun when you don't have a team in the hunt. 

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3 hours ago, FinsUp1214 said:

To an extent, its beginning to happen that way for me in the MLB, too. Baseball is my absolute favorite sport in every way, but oddly enough, I've never truly settled on one favorite team. Due to various family connections all over the place I've grown up rooting in various degrees for the Mariners, Dodgers, Braves, and Astros, and at any time one may take a little precedence over the other, but it is never permanent. I kinda like to keep it this way though, because I feel like I enjoy more of the league altogether. 

 

Wow. That's exactly how I feel about baseball. For example: I've always liked the Indians because they're my local team. I like the Angels and Dodgers, because my old work schedule made it so I only got to watch West Coast teams and I kinda gravitated to the LA teams. About 10 years ago, I started following the Pirates because I felt sorry for them. I've always liked the Mets just because they aren't the Yankees. Other teams have bounced in and out over time, but in all my years of watching baseball, I've never fully settled on just one favorite team. The only constants have been that I've always hated the Red Sox and I don't like the Yankees or Phillies. And like you, I prefer it this way. 

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CHL hockey & U Sports football for me I guess.  I just want to see the best product, always hoping Canadian youth are sustaining competitive flair on home soil.

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Before I started following Hertha, which is something I only take somewhat seriously these days, I was very much this way with the Bundesliga. Hell, the first year I watched the BuLi, Hertha weren’t even in it — then got relegated, only for me to end up supporting them starting in 2. Bundesliga.*

 

*There’s an interesting alternate universe out there where Hertha play St. Pauli, instead of Fortuna, in the relegation/promotion play-off, a game I would’ve walked into saying I’d support whichever club won.

 

As noted, I’ve kind of started to fade on it a bit, partially as my desire to wake up early on weekend mornings has waned, and partially because Hertha are in the midst of pulling the second straight year of the annoying, “let’s get the results to be in the Champions League hunt until the final third of the season when we just tank” thing, all the while not playing particularly interesting football.

 

 

I’m the other way with Ligue 1, actually — I started out being really into PSG, then the oil money came in and I didn’t particularly care when they won the league. But in the midst of that, I fell in love with the league. Again, I don’t watch as much Ligue 1 as I used to, but I still follow it more than La Liga or Serie A, despite having no team I’m particularly drawn to now. I kinda like Marseille, just as the anti-PSG, but also have soft spots for Toulouse, Caen and Strasbourg. If Strasbourg go up, I might just have to follow them next year.

 

 

And, well, I guess I’m that way with the Premier League these days…

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Yep. I get up every Sunday at the crack of dawn to watch Premier League, but I can't organically build a fandom. I've always grown up cheering straight for home teams, so adopting at this point feels out of the question. I just really love watching it -- I HAVE to have it on in the morning, and if I don't wake up in time for the first match I'm mad at myself.

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I'd say I'm a fan of the NFL but not any of its teams, but... who am I kidding, the NFL is pure evil.

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11 hours ago, Jimmy Lethal said:

I'd say I'm a fan of the NFL but not any of its teams, but... who am I kidding, the NFL is pure evil.

 

C'mon. Things like the SS and the Khmer Rouge are "pure evil." The NFL is just a sports league. No one is forcing us to watch the NFL...well....maybe ESPN, but other than that. 

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Interesting thought. Only league I could say I was a fan of without being a fan of a team IS the Premier League. Years and years ago, I was a fan of Nottingham Forest (back when EPL games were aired tape-delayed mid-week in the afternoon as filler). It was mostly the name, didn't even know of their 70s successes. But, they've been relegated so much, I don't think they'll be back in the Premier League again.

 

So, I follow it every year, but without a team. I can't root for one of the 'big teams', so it's whoever is on the outside looking in. Leicester City last year was awesome to watch. With limited options, I think Tottenham is the team to cheer for this season. But, teams like Stoke City, Crystal Palace, West Ham, etc are ones I cheer for in any game they're playing. But, I'll watch as many games as I can.

 

It's the opposite for a lot of sports. NBA, I can't really watch anything other than maybe the finals. And even then if it's a possible clinching game unless it's a team I'm cheering for. For NFL, I used to be a huge NFL fan, even when the Browns were gone in the 90s, but as the NFL has progressed, my interest in the league is just gone. I cheer for the Browns. I'll watch the Super Bowl, and usually some of the playoffs. But, regular season Sunday afternoon games? MNF or the Thursday night games? Nope. Care very little about them. I'd rather watch a MACtion game than a random NFL game.

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One more American here checking in here feeling that way about the Premier League. I'm a casual fan of Barca and Dortmund in Spain and Germany respectively (though not as diehard as I am with local sports). In the EPL there are some teams I move toward rooting for, but that tends to shift around by year.

 

Honestly I'm moving that way in MLS as well -- I keep tabs on it leaguewide, despite its flaws, just because of the influence it has on the USMNT and CONCACAF in general. But my local team is the Revolution and they've done everything on- and off-pitch to drive me away. Plus, even though I jumped on MLS pretty early, I still haven't grown up with the Revs in my blood the way I have with Boston teams in the big four leagues.

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I've sort of been that way with the NLL after the Swarm left Minnesota. I did adopt Colorado as my new nominal "favorite" NLL team, but I don't really go out of my way to watch the Mammoth much more than any other team in that league.

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