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Team Loyalties


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I've asked this question in other forums and I'm interested to get the answer at this one (especially with all the flags and colorful signatures).

How many teams can you cheer for in one sport? Does it matter what the sport is? (MLB, NFL, NBA, NCAA, NHL, etc.)

For example, my favorite MLB team is the Reds. Always has been. Always will be. But I'm a huge baseball fan and like other teams as well. I would never cheer for any of them over the Reds if it came to it, but I cheer or "root" for multiple teams.

My "loyality" setup is below (you see my signature) and there aren't any teams in the same division. Would that be a rule in selecting teams you cheer for? Do you just follow good stories? Do you cheer for certain teams every year to make the playoffs, but if your favorite team makes it also, all bets are off? Does it matter how big of a fan of that sport you are? Do you just cheer for who's close to you geographically?

I think it's an interesting question to ask--whether we should or not, we don't all root for just 1 team, I think. How do you divide your loyalties?

How many teams is too many teams? How many teams is enough?

Thanks in advance.

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I cheer for the Toronto Maple Leafs! I don't cheer for any other team in the whole league (unless I have a pro line ticket, in which case i only want them to win so i can win). the only other sports teams i cheer for are the Argonauts, jays and rock. thats it.

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Interesting topic....

Teams I say I'm a fan of (basically, teams I go out of my way to root for)

MLB--NY Mets

NHL--NY Rangers

NFL--NY Jets





NCAA--UConn, York College (PA) (I'm an alum..and they're D-3..they ain't playin the Huskies anytime soon, so I'm safe :lol: )



Other UEFA teams--Bayern Munich, PSV Eindhoven

Teams I've grown to like over the years (not my #1s, but I will root for them more often than not (unless they're playing any of the teams listed in the above list)..)

MLB--Detroit, Minnesota (only b/c of their AA team being in New Britain and seeing 95% of the Twins roster make their way up to the pros from Hard Hittin' New Britain :lol: )

NHL--LA Kings

NFL--Detroit, Pittsburgh

NBA--If I had to choose, I'd probably say Seattle (b/c of Ray Allen)

AHL--Hartford (only b/c they're the Rangers affiliate)

ECHL--Charlotte (see above)

UHL--Motor City

NCAA--Michigan State, Maryland (hoops only)



Other UEFA teams--Barcelona

Other times, it'll be a good storyline that'll get me rooting for a team that certain year....even at the expense of the "adopted" teams...however, if they run into the "set in stones"..well, sorry Cinderelly, but that clock just hit 12:00 :lol:

Then there's the "Will NEVER Root For Under ANY Circumstances" list...


NHL--NY Islanders

NFL--Miami, New England

NBA--LA Lakers, Indiana


ECHL--Don't know enough to hate any teams there

UHL--Adirondack, Kalamazoo

NCAA--Duke, Boston College, Arizona (hoops only, and this is only b/c they've fluffed me HARDCORE on a few March Madness pools in the past), Franklin & Marshall


EPL--Man U.

Other UEFA teams--Real Madrid

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Usually, one per pro league. Occasionally a 2nd team with minimal conflicts to my primary. But that's it.

I'm a Phillies fan first, but I follow the Twins closely. They were kind/smart/foolish enough to give me a tryout in high school. Had they (and I) known I'd grow to be 6'2"/205, and had I had professional coaching to get just a little more speed (about 5 mph) on my fastball... well, I daydream about the idea that had I made The Show, I'd do it for the Twins. So it's where my alter ago resides. However, if the Twins and Phillies ever made it to the World Series and faced each other, daydreams subside and I root for the Phils. I was a huge Indians fan growing up, but they dumped my favorite player. So the Giants jersey is on its way, #13 on the back.

I don't know how you can call what you've got there "loyalties". Loyalty is sticking with one thing, come hell or high water. You're rooting for 20% of MLB according to your sig. Looks more like playing the field IMO, but you do what you want.

College is different. I root for the school that gave me my diploma, and I never had a college team before I went to school, though I watched college sports intensely. I root for my wife's school, and my sister's (and father's and grandfather's and brother-in-law's) school, but they're on their own if they play UNC.

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Everyone certainly has their own stories.

I don't think there's anything wrong with liking more than one team. See, I grew up a Kentucky fan because everyone I knew was. But then I graduated from Louisville, and now they're my team. I really like watching college sports, but I can really only deep down cheer for Louisville. I guess I see college different than you.

With the Reds, I wouldn't cheer for anyone above them, but I've liked some of those other teams since I was a kid. I married a Braves fan, so there you go with that. And like Hat City mentioned earlier, I kinda "adopted" liking the Giants, even though I'm not a Bonds fan in the least.

I can see what you mean with loyalties. Maybe that was the wrong word.

6 may be too many, but it's an improvement that I can live with. I had every hat in the National League when I was growing up. When I got a little older, I got it down to 12 (both AL/NL) for a while. So mabye one day I'll be like everyone else, but I just enjoy watching a lot of different teams.

I know the Reds are first in my heart, though, if that counts for anything.

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when I was young and naive I liked both the Cubs and White Sox. The Cubs were always my #1 team, but I cheered for the Sox too since they were in the AL.

After some careful consideration (and the reading of Wrigleyville) I stopped liking the Sox...and then "stopped liking" became "began hating".

So I really only cheer for the Cubs now

In football it is a little different- I am a Vikings fan, but I don't mind for some other teams to do well (the Seahawks for example...and the Titans)

In college football, however- there is a strict code.

If you are a fan of say...Alabama (which I am) you are not allowed to like, root, cheer for or say anything positive about the following teams:

Tennessee (aka U-Thug, UCheaT or Tenersee)

Auburn (aka The Barn, Barners, Cow College, That other school across the state)

Notre Dame (getting more lenient here in recent years)

it is pretty strict.

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I just thought of this (or at least how to word it).

You know, because I've loved MLB since my dad put me in front of the TV for th 1985 World Series (age 7), I think maybe investing a little in more than just my favorite team keeps me involved throughout the league. I love baseball, and I love the Reds, but I want to watch more than just the Reds games. Over the course of doing that, I really started to like other teams as well.

I mean, I like the A's (back from the Bash Brothers days, which is a sad thing to have cheered for now), but I laughed and laughed in the '90 Series when the Reds put them away in 4 straight. Yet in '88 and '89 I cheered for them to win vehemently.

Hard to explain, I guess--I just love baseball. I guess it feels like if I don't care about the teams one way or the other besides the Reds that my love (and knowledge) of the league as a whole will decrease.

Make any sense?

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I have my true favorites.

Browns, Indians, New York Rangers

Then my "other conference/league" favorite teams.

Packers, St. Louis Cardinals, Blue Jackets

Then there is the rest.

Like them.

Baseball: The Angels, Dodgers, Mets, A's, Mariners, Pirates, Cubs and Devil Rays.

Football: The Jets, Giants, Chargers, Chiefs, Panthers, and Buccaneers.

Hockey: It's all Rangers and who ever is playing Philly. The Blue Jackets are more of a home town thing.

Won't root for them under any circumstances unless it somehow helps one of my true favorites and even then it's still difficult to root for them.

Baseball: Red Sox, Phillies, Braves, Giants (once Bonds is done we'll talk but not until then.)

Football: Eagles, Steelers, Falcons, Ravens.

Hockey: Flyers, Flyers, Flyers.

Everyone else falls somewhere in the middle. :D

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I am a Philly sports fan. That said, I do occasionally root Steelers because I spent a year at what was Steelers training camp at the time.

College basketball brings an interesting dilemma to me. While I will root for any Philly team to beat any non-Philly team, I root for Penn first (hey, no conference tournament losses in 13 years can't be wrong!), then Villanova (went to an Augustinian HS), then Drexel (knew a guy who played there), then St. Joe's (knew some guys that went there), then LaSalle (no feelings either way), then Temple (John Chaney, retire already!).

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I'm a homer all the way when it comes to professional baseball/football/basketball (Brewers/Packers/Bucks), but since Milwaukee doesn't have an NHL team, my loyalty is split among three different teams: the Avalanche (the team I started liking in high school), the Predators (because of their affiliation with the Milwaukee Admirals), and the Wild (since they're on FSN North, they're the team I follow the most closely). Usually, I'll root for the Preds in a head-to-head matchup of any of these teams.

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I think you can root for two teams. Mostly if they are in opposite conferences (for example, me with the Ravens and Packers). However I don't think you can be a true fan of two teams in the same division or that are geographical rivals. For example, I love the O's and hate the gnats. Also there are quite a few people around here who say they root for both (I'm sure I'll be seeing a ton during the interleague games). Those kind of people really annoy me because there is no way you can say you are a true fan of both.

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i will usually like 1 team from every sport, usually the most local

MLB- Mariners

NFL -Seahawks

NBA- Sonics

NHL- Canucks

NCAA (basketball, football) WSU cougs or the UW huskies

any other major sport i wont usually watch (soccer, etc.)

No, no, no, no, no, NO!

I came from Washington State myself. There is no fence straddling between U-Dub and Waz-Spew. You are on one side or the other. The same can be said between Iowa and Iowa State (Or UNI or Drake during Basketball season).

To me, the teams I like are there as part of a connection to my old home. Yeah, I like Iowa State, the Iowa Stars and the Omaha Knights right now. But, to me, I will always be a fan for the Sonics, the Mariners and the Seahawks.

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Usually go for the locals of my hometown, Melbourne, so that's St Kilda in the AFL, Melb. Tigers in NBL, Melb. Storm in the NRL, the Vics in the Cricket comps, and Melb. Victory in A-League soccer, and i may as well include the Melb. Phoenix in the Netball, and Melb. Ice in the Ice Hockey.....

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I came from Washington State myself. There is no fence straddling between U-Dub and Waz-Spew. You are on one side or the other. The same can be said between Iowa and Iowa State (Or UNI or Drake during Basketball season).

Seadragon's dead-on here, as a general rule.

There shouldn't be any fence-straddling on any rivalry at all. You grew up a UK fan but went to Louisville? The blue gear goes to Goodwill. What's your take on UK now? I can't see a UL grad even remotely supporting UK, and I'd guess you're not the only native Kentuckian in this situation.

A friend of my family was a big Duke alum, and for a while I thought I was going to Duke (getting into Duke from NJ is a helluva lot easier than getting into UNC as an out-of-stater; the odds aren't even close). I was lukewarm to Duke, and had I gone there, I'm sure I'd have loved it - I have a cousin who went there. But I got into both and went to Carolina, and Duke can go to hell. Had I chosen differently, I'd despise UNC with palpable bile. That's just the way it is.

Pro rivalries are a little different in that you don't have the same permanent connection you do to an alma mater, but still - what would you make of a Red Sox and Yankees fan? Or a Dodgers/Giants fan? My wife's a NY Giants and NJ Devils fan, which I am OK with... until they play the Eagles or Flyers, respectively. Then it gets testy, and that's the way it should be. She can root for her childhood teams, and it doesn't bother me at all. I don't want her to change, and I respect that fact she won't switch allegiances. But I'd never say I'm a Giants fan. Ever.

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Same here with UGA and Georgia Tech. Moving here from Mississippi back in the 8th grade, the first thing I was asked by 8th graders was "UGA or Tech?" I said Tech, and the guy shunned me whenever we talked about football the rest of the year. :P

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There shouldn't be any fence-straddling on any rivalry at all.  You grew up a UK fan but went to Louisville?  The blue gear goes to Goodwill.  What's your take on UK now?  I can't see a UL grad even remotely supporting UK, and I'd guess you're not the only native Kentuckian in this situation.

Yeah, all the blue gear goes to Goodwill. I will say that I don't hate the Cats--I guess it's ingrained or something. I think it's short-sighted to say that if you a fan of one team you have to hate another. When UK and UL play, I for Louisville by a million points. When UK is playing someone else, I find myself in different situations:

  • Sometimes I hope they win. Just like always.
  • Sometimes I'm kinda indifferent. Whatever.
  • Sometimes (usually when a win will make Louisville look bad), I quietly hope they lose.

The interesting thing about being in my situation (and I would imagine it's this way in a lot of rivalries)--it's not the teams that cause problems for me in this rivalry. If it were left up to me and the teams, I'd cheer for them both and cheer for Louisville when UK and U of L played. What makes me not want to cheer for UK sometimes are their fans (of which I used to one of). It's interesting to think that a team would have more fans if they wouldn't instinctively insult and/or degrade the rival's fans. Yeah, that's part of the "fun", but being in my situation (growing up UK, graduating U of L), the main thing keeping me from really liking both is the UK fans, not the team.

Pro rivalries are a little different in that you don't have the same permanent connection you do to an alma mater, but still - what would you make of a Red Sox and Yankees fan?  Or a Dodgers/Giants fan?

I agree with you that these are different, but you're describing divisional rivalries. I get that. I grew up liking the Cardinals (because they were in the first World Series I ever saw), but after realignment, I said bye-bye because they went from the East to the Central and that's the Reds division. I'm talking about teams who don't play each other as much, if at all (i.e. interleague). In that case, what's the problem? Most Dodgers and Royals fans could care less how good the other is doing. No ill will there probably.

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I'm with those that say you get one primary and one alt... Any more than two per (professional) sport, however, and you're just covering you arse. infrared41 - six teams? That's a cop-out... NCAA's the only exception. But even there, you should be able to break it down by sport, and go no more than one or two.

I'll also buy into the geography rule. For example, as a Cubs fan, it's easy to live in Minnesota. First of, I'm no threat to Twins fans, except this year, when the Cubbies play the Twins in interleague (and that'll end up being just three days out of the year), and I can enjoy watching the Twins recent success with-out worring about them hurting the Cubs play-off chances...

My teams:

MLB - Cubs, no alt

NFL - Bears, no alt

NHL - Wild, no alt

NBA - none

NCAA Hockey - Bemidji State, alt Northern Michigan

NCAA D-I Football - Notre Dame, alt Vanderbilt

NCAA D-II Football - Bemidji State, no alt

NCAA D-I Basketball - Vanderbilt, alt Illinois


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