Why a fan is a fan of a particular team is a question I’ve periodically pondered. For many it’s obvious—if you’re born and raised in Michigan, you’re probably a Tigers fan, for example. One of the main reasons I do not support public funding of stadiums is that teams are no municipal assets; however, people do identify with the team in their city. My home town is north of Tampa. When they finally got their own team in the Tampa Bay Area, it was just a natural thing to want them to succeed.
Many others are fans based on family tradition. For example, my mother was a life-long Cubbie (born and raised in Chicagoland). She taught me to love baseball. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Cubs even though I never lived in or near Chicago myself. However, they were terrible when I was a kid, so they were not my top team.
Many simply root for the best team. Of course, they often change allegiance if their team stops being good. When I was a kid, I lived in the DC area. One would have thought the Senators would be the favorite of most kids in the neighborhood…nope. Again, they were terrible, and they ended up moving to Texas anyway. Most kids there were Orioles fans. Who could blame them? They were great and had Jim Palmer, Mike Cuellar, Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Boog Powell, etc.
However, unlike most kids in my neighborhood, I did not latch onto the Orioles. Instead, my young baseball fan heart fell for #5 of the Cincinnati Reds…Johnny Bench. He was my favorite player, so the Reds were my favorite team.
So, how did you pick your team(s)? Location? Tradition? History of success? Favorite player? You liked the uniform? Fandom is a subjective thing, so any reason is acceptable.
One thought on “How Do Fans Pick their Team?”
I’m sure I’ve shared this before, but my mother’s family is from The MItt (Michigan) and my grandfather was drafted by the Tigers out of high school in the 30’s. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it to the bigs with the Tigers, but the family is loyal to their home team.
My father was from Indiana, so he didn’t really grow up with a dedicated team. He generally followed local teams wherever he lived, which means he rooted for the Tigers, Colt 45’s, the Cards, and Rangers in turn. But baseball wasn’t really his first love. He preferred car races (see Indiana) and football. He got into hockey more as he got older too but I think that was also a result of it being a local sport in Texas.
That said, the Tigers’ home white uni is perfecto! And, it has been great to watch Miggy play and be able to say I saw such a talent regularly on my team.
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