Jump to content

What justifies fandom?


BlueSky

Recommended Posts

OK, I confess. At one time I followed the Chargers for no other reason than that I liked their uniforms. That's usually a female thing, right? But then Fouts & Co. came along and how can you not root for a guy like that? Dropping back, he looked like Herman Munster with his shoestrings tied together (kind of like Big Ben avoiding the rush), but the man could play and that offense was a perfect match for the bolts on their uniforms.

But while I 'followed' the Chargers, I wouldn't call myself a 'fan' per se and lost interest after Air Coryell ran its course. My current 'other than the Saints' team is the Steelers. Like the coach, the QB, Hines Ward, and their style of play. Unis aren't bad, either. B) But I don't own Steelers gear and don't live or die with whether they win. The Saints are the only ones with that level of commitment from me.

In the college ranks, I followed Texas only because I was born there and lived there for a while but didn't feel a real connection. When I married a Sooner who bleeds crimson and cream, that was enough for me to go lock, stock and barrel for OU.

So here's my question: what is enough to justify being a fan of a given team? Do you have to live, or have lived, in the team's city? Have family who attended the school? Just like their unis, coach, or one or more players? Or what other tie is strong enough to justify being a fan? Does fandom even need to be justified?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 44
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Does fandom even need to be justified?

That's the main point you're wondering, and no it doesn't.

Who is anyone to say what qualifies as being a fan or not? Everyone is different. It's your life, whatever makes you happy go for it.

Of course in my own experience it's the fact that my teams all suck that ends up making me more miserable year in year out, but that's another story.

Unless you're strictly a frontrunner. Then you just suck as a person. Like all these people who just happen to be Yankee, Laker, Cowboys, Duke Basketball, etc. I wonder how that happened...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, I confess. At one time I followed the Chargers for no other reason than that I liked their uniforms. That's usually a female thing, right? But then Fouts & Co. came along and how can you not root for a guy like that? Dropping back, he looked like Herman Munster with his shoestrings tied together (kind of like Big Ben avoiding the rush), but the man could play and that offense was a perfect match for the bolts on their uniforms.

No, I wouldn't say so. When I was 10 I liked the Bengals because they had cool tiger stripes on their helmets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, I confess. At one time I followed the Chargers for no other reason than that I liked their uniforms. That's usually a female thing, right? But then Fouts & Co. came along and how can you not root for a guy like that? Dropping back, he looked like Herman Munster with his shoestrings tied together (kind of like Big Ben avoiding the rush), but the man could play and that offense was a perfect match for the bolts on their uniforms.

No, I wouldn't say so. When I was 10 I liked the Bengals because they had cool tiger stripes on their helmets.

Agreed, especially around these parts. I know I was a big fan of the San Jose Sharks when they entered the NHL because I dug the hell out of their logo and colour scheme. And I got on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' bandwagon because I loved the redesign they did when they went to the pewter and red.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honestly I like way to many teams in this day and age. I always like having a rooting interest in almost every game out there on a given day. There are probably 20 NFL teams I root for on different occasions. It's more like I root for anyone I don't strongly dislike.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, I confess. At one time I followed the Chargers for no other reason than that I liked their uniforms.

Things such as this are part of the reason this community even exists, Russell. ^_^ Hell, that's part of how I became a Jaguars fan...loved the colors, the uniforms, the logos...and the fact that they were a Florida team helped matters. Of course, they are but my team B, and my fandom's done already dropped a good bit because I like not a single piece of their current identity other than the color teal. If they end up relocating...oh well, see ya.

Actually, the uniform thing is how I came to be a Buccaneer fanatic in the first place...I was attracted to the bright orange as a tike. Been with them ever since.

Florida State? It's a family thing. My cuz went there...but I've also had several other relatives go to school there. The only reason I didn't go there myself is because I was attracted to the graphic design program at FAM. But I'm still a 'Nole at heart.

(And no...this ain't the best of times for this particular football fan. :D )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does fandom even need to be justified?

That's the main point you're wondering, and no it doesn't.

Who is anyone to say what qualifies as being a fan or not? Everyone is different. It's your life, whatever makes you happy go for it.

Of course in my own experience it's the fact that my teams all suck that ends up making me more miserable year in year out, but that's another story.

Unless you're strictly a frontrunner. Then you just suck as a person. Like all these people who just happen to be Yankee, Laker, Cowboys, Duke Basketball, etc. I wonder how that happened...

Agreed. Like who you like for whatever reason you like them. Period.

I don't sweat frontrunners because they aren't really fans to begin with. They're more worried about being "in style" than they are about being fans. Back when I was in radio I used to have a co-host on my old sports talk show. In 1996 my co-host was a "diehard fan" of, The New York Yankees, The Dallas Cowboys, and The Nebraska Cornhuskers. Needless to say, I didn't have a lot of respect for him and neither did the listeners. I think he thought that being a "fan" of those teams made him seem more legit or knowledgeable. All it did was expose him for the frontrunner he was. It was working well for him until I had to start bailing him out. For example, how could a lifelong Huskers fan have no idea who Johnny Rodgers was? He didn't last long. I knew our on-air partnership was over when we had a three segment argument over whether or not The Houston Rockets were the greatest NBA team of all time because they won back to back titles. He insisted that they were hands down part of any discussion of greatest ever NBA teams. I think he was the perfect example of most frontrunners.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does fandom even need to be justified?

That's the main point you're wondering, and no it doesn't.

Who is anyone to say what qualifies as being a fan or not? Everyone is different. It's your life, whatever makes you happy go for it.

Of course in my own experience it's the fact that my teams all suck that ends up making me more miserable year in year out, but that's another story.

Unless you're strictly a frontrunner. Then you just suck as a person. Like all these people who just happen to be Yankee, Laker, Cowboys, Duke Basketball, etc. I wonder how that happened...

Agreed. Like who you like for whatever reason you like them. Period.

I don't sweat frontrunners because they aren't really fans to begin with. They're more worried about being "in style" than they are about being fans.

Agreed on both parts. I've gotten so used to frontrunners in Atlanta that now it's basically apart of the culture here. If the flavor of the month is coming to town, they'll pack the place in their newly bought stuff. No big, just makes them easier targets to heckle. :P

As far as defining fandom, you really can't. Once again, you like them because you like them. Hell, the main reason why I was a Calgary Flames fan back when I knew nothing about hockey was because their city name was cool (you can't tell me that Calgary Flames isn't a cool sounding phrase), their unis were cool, & their place looked cool during the playoffs. That's it. You can like a team for the stupidest reasons, but the sports police won't come & take you just because you're willy-nilly about how you became a fan. :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does fandom even need to be justified?

That's the main point you're wondering, and no it doesn't.

Who is anyone to say what qualifies as being a fan or not? Everyone is different. It's your life, whatever makes you happy go for it.

Of course in my own experience it's the fact that my teams all suck that ends up making me more miserable year in year out, but that's another story.

Unless you're strictly a frontrunner. Then you just suck as a person. Like all these people who just happen to be Yankee, Laker, Cowboys, Duke Basketball, etc. I wonder how that happened...

I'll bet if everyone listed why they like a particular team, you'd find a plethora of different answers. Try it:

Miami Dolphins

Florida Marlins

Miami Heat

Florida Panthers

Because I lived in South Florida for a long time, and these are the teams I watched.

Florida Gators - Because I always wanted to, and did end up attending school here

Green Bay Packers

Milwaukee Brewers

Milwaukee Bucks

Because my entire family is from Milwaukee, WI. You're raised to be a fan of these teams.

Wisconsin Badgers - Because this is where my parents, cousins, grandparents, etc. all went to college

Pittsburgh Penguins - Because before the Florida Panthers existed, I loved Mario Lemieux. So here's proof of a being a fan of something random.

I've also made it a point to semi-pull for teams that any girl I date is rooting for. I've just found it to be...umm...safer that way B) .

I also have what I call 2nd level teams, which are teams that I don't go all out rooting for, but I do pull for them a little more than half-heartedly:

Phoenix Suns - I have some family in Phoenix, and used to be a big Charles Barkley fan

Oakland A's - Loved Rickey Henderson, and I have some family and friends in California

Atlanta Braves - Loved David Justice, and they used to be in Milwaukee...so I knew this is who my dad cheered for when he was a kid.

Los Angeles Kings - Loved Gretz, and again...family/friends in CA

Florida Atlantic University - I got my MBA here

So, like I said, maybe if we all show why we like our teams, we'll prove there's no rhyme or reason.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The main reason I like my teams is I grew up in the Washington area, so I grew up on the Redskins and the Caps, I never grew an attachment to an NBA team, but I like Maryland Terps basketball. I became a DC United fan a couple years ago actually because of this board, I took an interest in soccer and of course, like the hometown team. Because I grew an interest in soccer I took a European team, I watched Barcelona vs Seattle Sounders and I love their style of play and the flair they play with (as well as their jerseys) so now I like Barcelona.

I also grew up as an Orioles fan since that was the only baseball around town, but as I got more disenchanted with the Angelos ownership and the Nationals moved into town, I became a Nats fan (and no, I dont regret it).

My wife is a Colorado Avalanche fan and a Colorado Rockies fan since shes from Denver, so since I dont absolutely hate them, I root for those teams as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My fandom revolves around UNC, the Panthers, and the Hurricanes. As a guy who has lived in North Carolina my whole life, it seems pretty simple that I would root for the local teams, right? But threads like this always remind me of the two great shames of my sports-fan past. As a kid, the only two teams I seriously rooted for were Duke basketball and the Dallas Cowboys.

My first switch came when the Panthers came to town. Having a local NFL team was a dream come true, and my school notebooks were filled with drawings of the Panthers' goofy logo (which to me was the most beautiful thing ever.)

My switch to UNC came when my brother went there for college. After spending time hanging out at UNC on weekends during high school, I fell in love with the place, and when it came time for me to apply for colleges, Chapel Hill was the place for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My "big five" teams as far as fandom goes are shown in my sig below. For the Swarm and Wild, I'm a fan simply because they're my hometown team. If I followed the NBA with any degree of regularity, the T'Wolves would be on there too for the same reason.

Once upon a time I used to be a Vikings fan. This was until the early '90s when the team started making veiled threats about following the North Stars (and nearly the T'Wolves) out of town unless the city and/or state built them a new stadium. Having already been burned by the North Stars, I wasn't about to take that same :censored: from the Queens, and since I went to college in Wisconsin and had several Packer fans as relatives, switching to the Packers was a no-brainer. The emergence of a certain record-breaking, future HOF QB in Green Bay at about the same time was just an added bonus. ;)

The Twins are a special case. If not for the baseball strike of '94 which drove me away from MLB in general for several years, I might have abandoned the Twins for the same reason I abandoned the Vikings, probably in favor of the Dodgers or Cubs (again, teams many of my relatives favor). But by the time I ended my "fan strike" against MLB, Target Field's construction was already well underway, so I just didn't have the same anger toward them as I did toward the Vikings.

Finally there are the Gunners. When I first started following English football in earnest back in '06, I needed a side to adopt. It just so happened that at about the same time (1) I met my London-born brother-in-law's parents for the first time, and his dad's a Gooner, and (2) Arsenal had just moved from Highbury into Emirates Stadium, so it seemed like an apt time to start following the team at the start of its new era.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What justifies my fandom? Loyality.

Namely, loyality to where I'm originally from. I may live in Iowa, but my loyality lives in Washington State. I support the M's, Seahawks and Huskies because they're the teams that I like when I grew up and I shall never turn my back on them. Yes, there have been some bad seasons, but a loyal fan stays through thick and thin, forever remaining loyal to their team.

Basketball and Hockey are two different beasts and therefore, I take those sports differently. With the Supersonics gone, there isn't really anyone I root for in the NBA. But, to me there are two enemies of the state in my mind: The Trail Blazers and those treacherous bastards who are parading themselves around as the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In the NHL, I grew to despise the Detroit Red Wings largely because of their success. To me, if one team wins all the time, it's no fun to watch. You already know what's going to happen. So, to piss off the Dead Thing faithful, I just root for whoever is playing them that night.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My thinking on fandom is this. Pick a team and stick with them through thick and thin. Can you enjoy other teams and enjoy other players and the game in general? Absolutely. To me fandom, is enjoying the game, the atmosphere, and all that goes on with the game in a civil way. You can disagree, but do it in a civil way. Heck, if you're civil about it, you don't have to pick a team, just enjoy the sport.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My thinking on fandom is this. Pick a team and stick with them through thick and thin. Can you enjoy other teams and enjoy other players and the game in general? Absolutely. To me fandom, is enjoying the game, the atmosphere, and all that goes on with the game in a civil way. You can disagree, but do it in a civil way. Heck, if you're civil about it, you don't have to pick a team, just enjoy the sport.

Couldn't have said it better Oddball.

As for my fandom i pay attention to all sports but my main three are baseball football and soccer. My team in baseball has and will always be the Rockies. They cam into the worl about the same time I did (Me 1991 and Rockies 1993). I went to their first game ever at Mile High, their first game at Coors Field and their first playoff game to name a few. My first hat was a rockies one, still have it in my room somewhere. Also my grnadpa wouldn't let me even think of another baseballl team. I've been rooting for them ever since I was able to understand the game and they will always be my team. And it doesn't hurt that they use (now they do a horrible job at it but it's still in the scheme of their identity) my favorite color, purple. Now as for soccer, I only started pay attention to the game when I got into the 7th grade when some of my firends started talking about the international side of the game. And I have no idea why (maybe it's because of my heritage or the fact that I have red hair) but I have been a HUGE fan of Celtic FC. Any chance I get to watch them I take. Now lately that's meant having to skip some classes but hey, you have to what you have to do. I own some merchandise of theirs, including a Celtic FC towel that hangs on my wall. The next team would be the Denver Broncos. Just like the Rockies I've grown up on them since I was able to talk. My grandpa (same one as mentioned earlier) has had season tickets to the Broncos since 1961, and now those tickets have been passed onto me. I have been to at least one Broncos game every year since 1994 and will continue to keep passing these season tickets onto my grandkids. The Broncos, Celtic FC and the Rockies will always be my top teams.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My level 1 teams - Teams I love, and care if they win or lose:

MLB - Boston Red Sox - Grew up loving the team.

NFL - New England Patriots - As a kid I thought Pat the Patriot was the best.

NBA - Boston Celtics - I'm part Irish so, as a kid, I felt somewhat connected.

NHL - New York Rangers - I became a fan just because of Mike Richter and his Liberty Head logo.

EPL - Manchester United - First team I saw win when we got Fox Soccer Channel.

NCAA - UConn Huskies - My mom, aunt, and brother went there.

Level 2 teams - Teams I like, but don't care if they win or lose:

MLB - New York Mets - Two of my uncles are big fans, so I follow them too.

NFL - Green Bay Packers - My aunt is from there, and I like that the town owns the team.

NBA - Don't have one

NHL - Carolina Hurricanes - They used to be the Hartford Whalers.

EPL - Liverpool - The team Manchester United beat.

NCAA - UNC Tar Heels- My my best friends is from around there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me, although I have never lived there, Southampton is where my family is from, so that has was ingrained into from a young age.

As for American sports, always had an affinity and a connection through relatives to Boston so the Celtics, Sox and Patriots in that order have always been teams I have followed, somehow though I have never been into the Bruins. Not sure who my favorite NHL team is, maybe the Wild? Dunno though am not very loyal in hockey lol. Though I will admit to my affinity with the Wild being down to a fondness for there uniforms.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does fandom even need to be justified?

That's the main point you're wondering, and no it doesn't.

Who is anyone to say what qualifies as being a fan or not? Everyone is different. It's your life, whatever makes you happy go for it.

Of course in my own experience it's the fact that my teams all suck that ends up making me more miserable year in year out, but that's another story.

Unless you're strictly a frontrunner. Then you just suck as a person. Like all these people who just happen to be Yankee, Laker, Cowboys, Duke Basketball, etc. I wonder how that happened...

Yea, I don't think it matters why you like a team. As long as you like them and stay loyal. I've always hated the "fan police" that try and tell people whether or not they can like a team or not. Unless you're a frontrunner you've got nothing to worry about.

For my teams:

MLB- Orioles- they're my #1 team, the first team I ever started to root for. It's been a tough 12 years but I it will all be worth it if/when we are successful again.

NFL- Ravens- alot of people my age in Baltimore have a different team because there wasn't a team after the Colts left. I used to like the Packers and Brett Favre al ot. For along time I switched between the two teams. I couldn't really decide who my number one was. But now it is the Ravens. When it comes down to it I was born and raised in the Baltimore area, so I've got to pull for the hometown team.

NCAA Basketball- UMBC- I used to be a huge Maryland Terps fan, but that changed once I got into college. Many of my friends went to Maryland and I started to hear stories about how bad the players where academically. It reminded me too much of my high school. Plus I started to see that the fans could really be jerks. I really like the small, mid major feel of the UMBC team, plus I get to see firsthand that none of the players receive academic privileges over regular students.

NCAA Football- Florida Gators- Again used to be a Terps fan, but couldn't bring myself to root for them anymore. Florida was always my second team, going back to their first national championship. I was a big Danny Wuerffel fan. Now I realize Florida is probably just as bad if not worse than Maryland regarding the players. But I'm far enough away from the school and I guess I'd prefer to be blissfully ignorant about it.

NBA and NFL- None- I've never been able to root for a team in either league. Probably because Baltimore doesn't have a team. If they got a team I'd pick them up. For now I like the Phoenix Suns, mostly because of Steve Nash, but I wouldn't really say I'm a Suns fan. I also like Alexander Ovechkin, but could never bring myself to root for a Washington team.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My thinking on fandom is this. Pick a team and stick with them through thick and thin. Can you enjoy other teams and enjoy other players and the game in general? Absolutely. To me fandom, is enjoying the game, the atmosphere, and all that goes on with the game in a civil way. You can disagree, but do it in a civil way. Heck, if you're civil about it, you don't have to pick a team, just enjoy the sport.

Well said. Everyone who has responded has made excellent points and I appreciate the interest in the topic.

The guy who talked about his allegiance to the Rockies kind of described my thing for the Saints. Once, years ago, when I was miserable over the Saints' latest idiocy, a former GF innocently asked, "If they make you so mad, why don't you just root for another team?"

I just said, "It doesn't work that way," but here's the long answer. We moved to N.O. in August 1969 and my first Saints game was the last one of that season, vs. Pittsburgh in Tulane Stadium. I was only 8 but remember it because the game ended in a bench-clearing brawl that featured two astounding moments: Saints DE Doug Atkins, playing his last game before retirement, punched a Steeler lineman so hard he crushed in the guy's facemask. :blink:

Then, a Steeler kicked Saints WR Danny Abramowicz right in the a** as Danny was standing on tiptoe at the edge of the fight trying to see what was going on. :wacko:

The next season I was there when Dempsey kicked his 63-yarder, and the season after that, the opener vs. the Rams which was Archie Manning's first game. That's one thing that makes games like yesterday surreal: How can that be his son playing QB against the Saints in New Orleans?? I'm not THAT old! (Yeah, I am.)

First game in the Superdome? There. Heartbreaking last second 26-24 season-ending loss to the Rams in '83 that denied the Saints a playoff spot AND their first winning season? First playoff win? First game back after Katrina, the Monday nighter against the Falcons? There, there, and there. So yeah, though I moved away from New Orleans in 1987, it all definitely built a tie that will never break.

I've warned my wife that if the Saints ever win the Super Bowl I will probably break down and cry like a little girl. Forty-plus years of "wait till next year" will do that to a guy. :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does fandom even need to be justified?

That's the main point you're wondering, and no it doesn't.

Who is anyone to say what qualifies as being a fan or not? Everyone is different. It's your life, whatever makes you happy go for it.

Of course in my own experience it's the fact that my teams all suck that ends up making me more miserable year in year out, but that's another story.

Unless you're strictly a frontrunner. Then you just suck as a person. Like all these people who just happen to be Yankee, Laker, Cowboys, Duke Basketball, etc. I wonder how that happened...

Yea, I don't think it matters why you like a team. As long as you like them and stay loyal. I've always hated the "fan police" that try and tell people whether or not they can like a team or not. Unless you're a frontrunner you've got nothing to worry about.

NCAA Football- Florida Gators- Again used to be a Terps fan, but couldn't bring myself to root for them anymore. Florida was always my second team, going back to their first national championship. I was a big Danny Wuerffel fan. Now I realize Florida is probably just as bad if not worse than Maryland regarding the players. But I'm far enough away from the school and I guess I'd prefer to be blissfully ignorant about it.

Oh man, I could tell you some stories ^_^

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.