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Thursday, April 09, 2020

Baseball Question of the Day: Have you ever permanently changed your rooting interests?

Oscar Wilde once wrote, on the subject of loyalty, “My dear boy, the people who only love once in their lives are really the shallow people. What they call their loyalty, and their fidelity, I call either the lethargy of custom or their lack of imagination.”

He was talking about young love, but I think the concept applies to broader conceptions of loyalty. A concept that, while noble and respectable, is often mistakenly considered irrevocable. There’s this notion out there that loyalty must be blind and never-ending. Which, frankly, is bullcrap.

Loyalty is earned — or at least it should be — and loyalty that is taken for granted or even abused is misguided in the extreme. When the facts and circumstances which gave rise to that loyalty change, it’s entirely reasonable to question the very basis for that loyalty.

I won’t get into matters of love, but I will apply it to sports.

I’ve been following the same team for over a quarter of a century now, and my loyalties are pretty set- how are they for the rest of you?

 

QLE Posted: April 09, 2020 at 01:08 AM | 63 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: fans, loyalty, questions

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   1. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: April 09, 2020 at 11:31 AM (#5937822)
They've changed to the extent that I've added the Astros and Rangers to my beloved Red Sox over the years, but no team inside my Circle of Trust has ever been booted out.... although the Red Sox sure tried to escape with this past off-season.
   2. dlf Posted: April 09, 2020 at 11:40 AM (#5937825)
At age 13 I moved from the Twins television market to that of the Braves. As it was 1980, there was almost no way to really keep up with the doings in Bloomington and TBS allowed me to watch the Braves all the time. I have some slight vestigial rooting interest for the Twins, but my allegiance nearly completely changed and there was zero conflict in 1991.

I have spent time elsewhere since 1980 including briefly in the TV markets of the Padres, Orioles, and Red Sox. Those became secondary teams during my sojourns but never moved beyond summer flings, not long standing relationships.
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: April 09, 2020 at 11:41 AM (#5937826)
when you're 8 and your Mets win the World Series in 1969, there's no walking that back.

as a kid, I also rooted for the NY Rangers - the only hockey game in town!

then along come the Islanders in 1972-73.

the two rivals met two years later in a best-of-3 (!) first-round playoff series.

Game 3 went into OT, and JP Parise scored the winning goal for the Isles maybe 10 seconds into the overtime period.

I jumped on the NYI bandwagon - sorry, Rangers. those Cups in 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1983 were nice. the NJ Devils arrived in 1981, but they were a "Mickey Mouse Organization."

by the end of the Islanders dynasty I was getting out of college, and all of my hockey (and basketball) loyalties faded away (for good).
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 09, 2020 at 11:50 AM (#5937830)
They've changed to the extent that I've added the Astros and Rangers to my beloved Red Sox over the years, but no team inside my Circle of Trust has ever been booted out.... although the Red Sox sure tried to escape with this past off-season.
And the Astros...?
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: April 09, 2020 at 11:52 AM (#5937833)
My dad hauled me home from the New York area hospital where I was born in a Red Sox T-shirt. I had no choice in the matter.

The closest I've ever come to seeking out a new club (or just giving up on MLB entirely) was this offseason. I don't know if the coronavirus spared my Sox fandom, but it can't be ruled out.
   6. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: April 09, 2020 at 11:58 AM (#5937837)
And the Astros...?

Hah. Well, my loyalties aren't strained by cheating scandals, although yeah this group of Astros seems particularly unlikable. But for a team like Boston to intentionally cheap out on a season by dealing a homegrown scandal-free superstar for table scraps? If the front office doesn't care about winning, why should the fans?
   7. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: April 09, 2020 at 12:01 PM (#5937840)
I dropped the Angels as a second team when they changed their name to "Los Angeles." But that was back when I was like 16 years old. Now I don't really care about them taking the Los Angeles name anymore, but I don't have time to follow a second team.
   8. Itchy Row Posted: April 09, 2020 at 12:02 PM (#5937842)
Not in baseball, but I was originally a Dallas Cowboy fan because, when my grandpa took me to buy a winter coat when I was about five, I liked the pretty blue and silver of the Cowboys coats. This was outside of Chicago, and 90% of the coats were in Bears colors. My grandpa told me my Packer fan dad wouldn't let me wear one of those, so I got the Cowboy one. By the time I outgrew that coat, I was ready to wear a green and gold coat.
   9. PreservedFish Posted: April 09, 2020 at 12:06 PM (#5937844)
After the Kazmir trade I decided I wasn't a Mets fan anymore. Didn't take. It's hard-coded. I also tried to make the A's my #2 team when I lived in the Bay Area. I was there for a decade, and I attended many A's games, and had some A's gear and such, but that also didn't take. I couldn't actually bring myself to care. The losses didn't hurt, the wins didn't matter. They're still my #2 team, I guess, but there's an emotional detachment that can't be bridged.

But with every year, I care less about the Mets. Encroaching emotional detachment there too.

I also never cared about my college teams in the slightest.

Tried to fall in love with a soccer team two or three times, but didn't take.

For me at least, there was a brief window early in life (age 6-13 or so) where I really, really cared about wins and losses and laundry and could forge lifelong bonds with teams. That window is closed.
   10. Tin Angel Posted: April 09, 2020 at 12:21 PM (#5937848)
A few times. I don't really believe you have to choose one team to root for, usually the one 1) closest to you and/or 2) the one you choose when you start watching baseball.

I grew up surrounded by Cubs and Cardinals fans in the 80's. Wrigley was a few hours away, but I decided my favorite team was the Mets because Strawberry and Gooden were my favorite players. After college I moved to Chicago and followed the White Sox mostly. Then I moved to SF and became a Giants fan. Now I'm probably more of an A's fan.

Just never got the obsession of the idea of a team being "my" team, especially when I got a bit older and realized these are teams run by billionaires and the players go wherever they get the most money. I tend to watch the local team I guess, but if they suck I have no problem moving on.
   11. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 09, 2020 at 12:26 PM (#5937850)
when the Indians traded my boy Rocky, I immediately became a Tigers fan
   12. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 09, 2020 at 12:27 PM (#5937851)
Have you ever permanently changed your rooting interests?


Yes. The first MLB team I followed was the Seattle Pilots, simply because I live in that area, when I was 11 years old. When they left for Milwaukee after one season, I felt betrayed, and didn't want to root for them any more. A major league pitcher, Ray Washburn, lived in our neighborhood, so I decided to root for the team he played for. He'd played his entire career with the Cardinals, but between the 1969 and 1970 seasons, he was traded to the Reds. So I became a Reds fan, and in the first season I rooted for them, they went to the World Series. Washburn only pitched one year for the Reds (very badly, it turned out), and then retired, but the Reds became my team. When the Mariners came into existence in 1977, I was happy to have a local team again, so I adopted them as my AL team, and I've followed them since. But they've always been #2 to the Reds, and when the Mariners have played the Reds, I've always rooted for Cincinnati. It's not close. But if the Pilots had stayed in Seattle, that detour never would have happened, I'm sure.
   13. Kiko Sakata Posted: April 09, 2020 at 12:30 PM (#5937852)
I grew up in Maryland as an Orioles fan. I moved to Chicago for graduate school, moved to the North Side in my mid-20's and lived there for about a quarter-century. I first moved to the North Side of Chicago in 1992, so there was no conflict between being an Orioles (AL) and Cubs (NL) fan. Somewhere along the line I became more of a Cubs fan than Orioles fan, so that I rooted for the Cubs when they played each other in inter-league games. But I'd still root for the Orioles over anybody other than the Cubs. I found that my childhood team hatreds (Yankees, Cowboys) have been more permanent than my childhood team loves (Orioles, Redskins).

I just moved to New England last summer (Maine) and can't really see myself becoming a Red Sox fan. But if I stay for another 20 years, who knows; the Red Sox AA team plays in my town; if I start going to more Sea Dogs games (if/when they ever start playing again), maybe I'll develop some rooting interests in players that I'll follow to Boston.
   14. Baldrick Posted: April 09, 2020 at 12:33 PM (#5937854)
As a Mariners fan who hasn't lived in the northwest for almost two decades, I've definitely adopted other teams. The Red Sox were always my second team even as a kid (my family is from New England going back many generations), and I moved out there just in time for the 2003/2004 rollercoaster. And then I moved to the Bay Area just in time for the Giants to make their runs. So those were definitely fun experiences.

But really, I've never really been into FANDOM in a serious way. I have teams I root for, and would like to see do well. But it's not really a huge emotional investment. I like the feeling of a tense event, but the tension doesn't really get to me personally. And it certainly doesn't get wrapped up in any single team rising or falling.

If the Mariners ever actually become decent again, that might be tested. But that's pretty unlikely so I won't dwell on it too much.
   15. TomH Posted: April 09, 2020 at 12:39 PM (#5937858)
I was 6 when Yaz won the triple crown. As a numbers-fixated little guy, I saw his name at the top of each batting category in the Sunday papers.

The Sawx broke my heart multiple times, of course, until 2004. And 2007. And soon it seemed they were becoming more like the Yankees.

When Theo left for the Cubbies, I also changed to root for Chicago. I celebrated in 2016. Theo for Mt Rushmore :)
   16. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 09, 2020 at 12:41 PM (#5937859)
I grew up in Chicagoland as a Cubs fan, but when I got married (to a non-baseball fan), I decided I needed to husband my resources and not invest so much of myself into one team. So for about 15 years, I was more of a fan of the game, without any strong attachment to a team. I lived in the New York area for much of that time, and I certainly wasn't going to adopt the Mets or that other team.

In 2004, I moved to Colorado, and without making any sort of decision about it, I found myself becoming invested in the Rockies. There's something kind of fun about feeling like you're the only person who knows anything about a team.

During the 2016 World Series, I was a little surprised to realize that I was not rooting for the Cubs at all. If anything, I was hoping the Indians would win. Probably because Joe Maddon is so freaking annoying.
   17. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 09, 2020 at 12:48 PM (#5937861)
In 2004, I moved to Colorado, and without making any sort of decision about it, I found myself becoming invested in the Rockies. There's something kind of fun about feeling like you're the only person who knows anything about a team.
And that includes their front office!
   18. Perry Posted: April 09, 2020 at 01:18 PM (#5937876)
Sure have. Grew up in Central Ohio as a rabid Reds fan in the late 60s-early 70s. Moved to St. Louis for undergrad, the first time I’d actually lived in a major league city, went to many Cardinals games and really got into the baseball culture there, and adopted them as a second team. (They were in the NL East while the Reds were in the West, so I had a team in each division.)

Moved to Austin for grad school in 1978 and was out of Reds’ media reach, other than box scores in the paper. But Jack Buck and KMOX came in loud and clear most nights, so I could still properly follow the Cards. Add in the great Cardinals teams of the 80s, the odious Marge Schott taking over the Reds, and my Reds-fan parents passing away, and the switch to the Cardinals was complete.

I’ve lived in the Rockies’ region since the team began in 1993, and the Denver area for over 20 years, so I root for them too, but the Cardinals are my #1.

On the other hand, to the extent that I still care about the NFL (almost nil), the Browns are still my team.
   19. JJ1986 Posted: April 09, 2020 at 01:32 PM (#5937885)
My wife has become a Mets fan since we got together and watch them all the time (the announcing crew helps). She grew up a Red Sox fan and doesn't like the team at all now.

In basektball, I'm a Knicks fan by birth and have rooted for them at times, but their horrible ownership has made me permanently turn away from them (although I root for players instead of having adopted another team full time).
   20. Ron J Posted: April 09, 2020 at 01:37 PM (#5937889)
Hockey. Went from a life-long Leafs fan (I can still name the players on their last cup win) to a Senators fan. Not as soon as the Sens started up. But there was a time when the Sens were running a smart organisation and the Leafs were their normal selves and I changed.

I also simply didn't like the Leafs fans in Ottawa. As a group they're beyond annoying and didn't want to identify with them.
   21. Astroenteritis Posted: April 09, 2020 at 01:42 PM (#5937893)
I've never considered abandoning any of my teams, but the Houston Texans are seriously challenging that. So much about that organization is disgusting, from the incompetence of management to the hapless GM exploits of Bill O'Brien. Culturally, they are the Donald Trump of the NFL, with ignorance at the top and hints of racism throughout management. They seem to want to represent towns like Lufkin and Kountze, rather than Houston. Right now I don't like them at all.

Now, if Houston ever gets an NHL team (I've waited 45 years so far) then I would have to transfer my hockey allegiance from the Blues to the Houston club, but I'm beginning to think I won't live long enough to see that.
   22. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: April 09, 2020 at 01:44 PM (#5937894)
In baseball yes. I grew up in NC, an area that has only vague MLB leanings, with parents who were from Kansas. So I grew up with a vague split Royals/Braves loyalty. Then I moved to Boston and got a job a 10 minute walk from Fenway. Then I moved to the South Side of Chicago. Now I am pan-Soxual.
   23. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 09, 2020 at 01:53 PM (#5937898)

Nope. Believe me, if there was a way to quit the Knicks, I'd have done it already. But I just can't do it.

College sport loyalties have shifted, in part because NYC doesn't have any real college football teams and hasn't had a great college hoops program since St. John's in the 80s. I still root for them, but I had a brief flirtation with Michigan during the Fab Five era, and even my Ivy League school has won more tournament games than St. John's over the last 20 years, so my rooting interests have been more focused there.
   24. PreservedFish Posted: April 09, 2020 at 01:59 PM (#5937900)
The Knicks are still my team, in the sense that if they were ever good, they would again be my team. But in the meantime, they're nothing to me. I have no team.
   25. Hysterical & Useless Posted: April 09, 2020 at 02:04 PM (#5937904)
the odious Marge Schott taking over the Reds

She was good in the beginning...

I grew up as a Cubs fan in upstate New York. At the time I first started to understand baseball, the only NY team was the Yankees, and rooting for them, we all knew, was like rooting for General Motors. When the Mets came into existence, they became my #2 team; one of the local stations showed their games on Saturday & Sunday, so I got to see them quite a lot. 1969 was of course extremely difficult for me, with the devastating slo-mo collapse of the Cubbies, but when the Mets took the Orioles apart it salved the wounds a bit.

My wife & I moved to Brooklyn in 1980, so I was able to see the Mets more than ever. 1984 was another somewhat difficult year, but the Mets were still #2 for me, so when the Cubs took that big 4 game series at Shea in early August I was pumped.

And then they lost to the freakin' San Diego Garveys. Since then, the Mets have been #1 for me. Yes, I was pissed when the Cubs lost to the disgusting Marlins in '03, and I was thrilled when they finally broke the bit of a drought they'd been stuck in, but I don't follow them other than what I read here. Still love Wrigley though, beautiful park.
   26. bbmck Posted: April 09, 2020 at 02:10 PM (#5937908)
April 30, 1989: Jesse Barfield traded by the Toronto Blue Jays to the New York Yankees for Al Leiter.

Switched from rooting for the team "only" 250 miles away to rooting for players.
   27. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: April 09, 2020 at 02:27 PM (#5937922)
I haven't switched loyalty, but I have given it up. Kids care about their teams. But anymore, who wins and who loses doesn't really matter to me. Sure, I pretend to root against the Yankees, because they're evil and all, but I don't actually care about any teams anymore.
   28. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 09, 2020 at 02:34 PM (#5937925)

So you dropped the Blue Jays in '89? That's gotta have been a tough few years...
   29. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: April 09, 2020 at 02:44 PM (#5937929)
Was a Patriots fan as a kid, because I liked Drew Bledsoe for some reason. I stopped rooting for them after their braindead coach benched Bledsoe in favor of some punk kid with a fraction of the arm strength. Have been anti-Pats ever since.

Not a real fan of any football team now. Been rooting for the Ravens (Lamar Jackson) of late.
   30. SandyRiver Posted: April 09, 2020 at 02:46 PM (#5937931)
My baseball fandom started with the mid-50s Yankees and Mickey Mantle in particular. About half my peers in our NNJ town 30 miles west of NYC were Yankee fans and the other half liked the Dodgers - didn't seem to be any Giants fans. When the Yanks cratered after 1964 I didn't really have a team, though we were literally dancing on the rooftop when the Mets clinched the 1969 WS. (Was working with carpenters and we happened to be shingling a roof that afternoon.) Also rooted for the NFL Giants, and the Rangers - my younger brother was such a Rangers fan that he named his son NYR. Moved to Maine in 1973 but it was 1975 that actually switched my allegiance to the Red Sox. (And to a lesser extent the Patriots.)
   31. villageidiom Posted: April 09, 2020 at 02:56 PM (#5937934)
Grew up in Boston, so my primary rooting interests were the Boston-area teams. I've not permanently changed any of those primary rooting interests. I developed secondary interests in 3 teams, in 3 different sports.

1. Expos. I liked their logo. I liked that they were different - "retractable" roof stadium; stadium announcements in English and French; uniforms that looked different for reasons I can no longer articulate. I abandoned the Expos when they became the Nationals.

2. 49ers. The Patriots just sucked for so long, and I wasn't all that interested in the NFL. I'm not sure which is the cause and which is the effect there. I suspect the former caused the latter, with low attendance begetting blacked-out home games, and lack of access to telecasts leading to indifference. Anyway, the first Super Bowl I paid attention to was XVI, and I somewhat randomly chose a team to root for figuring that it's more fun if you have a rooting interest. I chose the 49ers. They won that year, so I kept following them. They won 3 of the next 8 after that, which reinforced my rooting interest. Today I pay them almost no attention, as the Patriots became a worthwhile team. I haven't permanently changed my rooting interest; but it's a secondary rooting interest in a sport I don't care much about. Permanently changing my interest in the 49ers would take more effort than it's worth.

3. Whalers. Perhaps I was the only person rooting for both the Bruins and the Whalers. It made no sense to Whalers fans I knew. The Bruins were to Whalers fans what the Canadiens used to be to Bruins fans. It was at least incongruous to root for both teams. But when I moved to Hartford they were the only local team, and I think life is generally better when you root for the home team. As with the Expos, I abandoned the franchise when they abandoned their home for warmer climes.
   32. Karl from NY Posted: April 09, 2020 at 02:59 PM (#5937937)
Not baseball (Mets forever), but hah, I'll join the crowd that gave up on the Knicks.

I was a fan of Ewing-Oakley-Starks as much as anyone. But somewhere around when they traded Ewing and made Latrell Sprewell the face of the franchise, I started to lose interest. Add the douchery of James Dolan on top of all that, and I think it's more entertaining when the team is pathetically screwed up. Haven't really replaced the Knicks with anyone else either. I was rooting for LeBron in his return to Cleveland, but only tangentially for Cleveland itself, and definitely not for him in LA. I guess the Mavericks because of Mark Cuban are the team I favor somewhat, though it's still not much interest. (Which is weird because I dislike all the other Dallas teams: the Cowboys obviously, the Stars for leaving Minnesota, and the 'Texas' Rangers for having a stupid state name.)
   33. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 09, 2020 at 03:20 PM (#5937947)
Ever since the demise of the Ditka-Singletary-McMahon Bears, my NFL fandom has gravitated toward whichever team was the most fun to watch. That makes a lot of sense to me: I rooted for the Greatest Show on Turf Rams to win their playoff games because that meant I'd get to watch them more.

From the first time I saw Patrick Mahomes play, I've been a dedicated Chieves fan.
   34. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 09, 2020 at 03:23 PM (#5937949)
Grew up in Upstate NY (Finger Lakes area), and followed the Yankees, who were the only team in the state at the time. Have memories of mostly older kids talking about the Yankees 1958 World Series win, but not the games themselves. My fandom never wavered, even during the awful CBS years, or when Steinbrenner kind of lost it from the late-1980s to early-1990s. I started law school in Washington, DC the year after the expansion Senators deserted them for Texas, and like a lot of people I stayed in the area working in government, thinking that the area got a bad deal and deserved a team. Sympathized with the locals, and was happy Washington got the Nationals, but the Yankees were my team. However, the logistics made it far easier to go to Nationals games, all the Yankees games were now available on Extra Innings™️, and I tired of giving my money to Peter Angelos, so I stopped going to Yankees @ Orioles games. I share a 22-game Nationals ticket plan with my now adult sons, but would probably drop it they weren’t interested in going to a few games with The Old Man. The Nationals may get my money, but the Yankees are my favorite team. Other than the Nationals, I don’t really have any secondary MLB rooting interest.

Other sports never had as strong a hold. I was a NY Giants football fan, but my move to the DC area overlapped their extended ineptitude, while George Allen’s ‘Over The Hill Gang’ Redskins were an appealing contrast. I rooted for the Redskins once the Giants were doomed, but as that became earlier and earlier in the season, I eventually switched over. I enjoyed the Joe Gibbs Era, but don’t care enough about football to pay much attention to the poor teams of late.

Back in the day when seasons didn’t overlap so much, I followed the Rangers (NHL) & Knicks (NBA), but wasn’t much of a fan. However, I went to a college that played Division I Hockey, while remaining in Division III for all other sports, so hockey became my 2nd favorite sport, and I went to 10-15 Capitals games a season for a decade or two, but dropped that after others in the group were no longer available. If the Wizards ever became good, I’d probably pay some attention, but that appears unlikely.
   35. SandyRiver Posted: April 09, 2020 at 03:28 PM (#5937954)
Had a brief interest in the Knicks, my basketball interest minimal because I was so awful at that game. But when they had that marvelous starting 5 (Frazier, Bradley, Lucas, DeBussiere, Reed)in the late '60s they were fun to watch. The 68-69 NY/Balt wipeout was amazing - Knicks over Bullets (playoffs, not finals), Jets over Colts, Mets over Orioles. Too bad Baltimore had only the AHL Clippers.
   36. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 09, 2020 at 03:31 PM (#5937957)
I couldn't follow the 76ers anymore after they spent 4 years intentionally losing all their games. Just 1 year was enough really, with the knowledge it was guaranteed to be at least 2 more. I watched a few games of the Tony Wroten era but it was just pointless. They talk about some guy being young and fun to watch and improving and then he gets cut the next day because there's no room on the roster because they traded for a first round pick and it came along with some washed-up guy's contract and that guy has to be on the roster while actually sitting at home in Salt Lake City until his contract ends.

I mean, if I can't watch these games, I don't have any games to watch where I have a rooting interest. I got every 76ers game on cable and I had to ignore them and watch the occasional national game. You are still playing the games, the announcers are still announcing and at the same time you're telling people that only suckers would watch the games because smart people realize the team is intentionally losing.

It's not even like baseball where you can watch the prospects develop. All the players on the next good team were still in school and these were just random yahoos. Now that the next good team is here I have some solace that all the star players are unlikeable jerks.

I tried to adopt the Bulls because I was living there for a couple seasons, but they were hopeless. You'd have to be a sucker to follow them too. Remember when I was excited about Kris Dunn a couple years ago? Bulls management was extremely excited about Kris Dunn. Now I'm a Wizard Watcher. We'll see how that goes.
   37. Howie Menckel Posted: April 09, 2020 at 03:35 PM (#5937962)
Latrell Sprewell the face of the franchise

he's a fascinating guy, kinda complicated.

at the practice facility, first player there and last to leave - always.
the work ethic rubbed off on some teammates.

won - and earned - "Media Good Guy Award" his first year with the Knicks.
did not "no comment" to one question all year, and never ducked a post-practice or postgame session.
very calm demeanor.

grew up in absolutely rough conditions in Milwaukee and Flint.

one year of varsity basketball. won a regional award given to "an area senior who displays good character and respect."

still came back to visit local youths at Milwaukee detention centers even after making millions in the NBA.

AND

he has a very long fuse - but not infinitely long, as coach PJ Carlesimo famously found out.

he refused to abide by a Knicks team mandate that players had to arrive at MSG by 90 minutes before tipoff. and with media able to be in the locker room from 90 to 45 minutes before that tipoff, the team couldn't hide the fact that he refused to go along - which frustrated the hell out of management.

he has several Baby Mamas out there, can't guarantee you he pays full child support.

or full anything. has gone bankrupt, lost his million-dollar home and similar yacht.

has made some of the dumbest comments in NBA history.

has been arrested several times.

as I like to say, people are complicated.
   38. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 09, 2020 at 03:47 PM (#5937969)
my younger brother was such a Rangers fan that he named his son NYR
Wait...what? How is that pronounced? Near? Nirr? Neyer?
   39. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: April 09, 2020 at 04:17 PM (#5937990)
I think that while you can choose what team you root for, there is also a deeper fanhood that you can't control. I grew up near Seattle, so I was a big Mariners/Seahawks/SuperSonics/Huskies fan growing up. Moved away after high school in 1994, and while I spend time there, I haven't lived there permanently since.

I have adopted other teams as my home team. Lived in DC before the Nationals, so rooted for the Orioles, but never felt it. Never cared about the other teams. Lived in San Diego for 6 years, so rooted for the Padres and Chargers. I still do, but secondarily to Seattle teams. I agree with what others have said, you can't consciously change rooting interests - it's not a rational thing. I have a clear example of that.

The Mariners are my team, which sucks, because they suck, and almost always have. But the 1995 team - I just finished watching Game 5 of the 1995 ALDS against the Yankees. I still get tingly and emotional watching that game, I can't even stay in my seat. Granted, that may be the best baseball series in history, and the various backstories make it better still. But I am emotionally attached to the guys I grew up with - Griffey and Edgar and Buhner and Johnson - even now, 25 years later.

It hurt when Dave Niehaus died, and it hurt when Tony Gwynn died, even though I had never met either of them. None of this is rational, I will always feel something when the Mariners win, and there is nothing I can really do about it.
   40. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: April 09, 2020 at 04:34 PM (#5937996)
fun fact:

i was a braves fan up until...mumbles. i grew up watching maddux, glavine and smoltz tear #### up on TBS. then i kinda swapped over to the diamondbacks for a year or two because i bought a hat, i guess.



i think i would have eventually settled in as a phillies fan anyway at some point, but the actual point where i switched over (for good, i might add) was when the phillies traded curt schilling to arizona for travis lee, omar daal, vicente padilla and nelson figueroa (i'm not fact checking that, but i'm sure it's close) because something something travis lee.
Wait...what? How is that pronounced? Near? Nirr? Neyer?
pfarr. wherever you are.
   41. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 09, 2020 at 04:41 PM (#5937997)
i think i would have eventually settled in as a phillies fan anyway at some point, but the actual point where i switched over (for good, i might add) was when the phillies traded curt schilling to arizona for travis lee, omar daal, vicente padilla and nelson figueroa (i'm not fact checking that, but i'm sure it's close) because something something travis lee.


That was the same month the Phillies traded Andy Ashby to the Braves for Bruce Chen and a prospect. Admit it, you were still a Braves fan and followed your favorite player Bruce Chen to his new team.
   42. SandyRiver Posted: April 09, 2020 at 04:55 PM (#5938002)
Wait...what? How is that pronounced? Near? Nirr? Neyer?
   43. Perry Posted: April 09, 2020 at 05:06 PM (#5938007)
I think that while you can choose what team you root for, there is also a deeper fanhood that you can't control.


Very much this. After enjoying the 2006 World Cup, and really wanting a sport to follow between baseball seasons, I decided to give European soccer a try, in particular the English Premier League, then just becoming easily available on a weekly basis on US TV. I did a little research on the various teams and decided Tottenham was the one for me. Lots of history, London-based (my girlfriend’s from there so I visit periodically), no Russian mob owner or particular reputation for hooliganism, hadn’t won anything in forever so I wasn’t being a front-runner.

Okay, fine, Spurs it is. Then I started watching games every weekend, not just Tottenham but others around the league as well. Then I got my first look at Tottenham’s bitter rival – and that’s putting it mildly -- Arsenal, and in particular, Thierry Henry. Took one game for me to say “Screw it, that’s my team.”

I’ve never looked back. I'm actually a club member now, have been to several games. My girlfriend's very academic parents, who didn't really follow football at all and are well into their 70s, caught the passion too and now go to probably 10 Arsenal games a season and never miss one on TV.

As they say, you don’t pick your team, your team picks you.
   44. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: April 09, 2020 at 06:48 PM (#5938055)
Can't imagine abandoning the Brewers and I haven't lived in WI for 12 years. I never really rooted for an NFL team, I paid attention to the Packers, you don't want to be seen as a leper in WI, but even after 12 years in Indy, I almost never watch any Colts games, let alone attend any games. Just as pennants fly forever, so does intense college football allegiance to Alma mater (Nebraska). I was pissed at them and stopped any financial support when they ran off Solich and brought in the NFL donkey, but still a supporter of the teams, volleyball included.
   45. phredbird Posted: April 09, 2020 at 07:14 PM (#5938063)

Have you ever permanently changed your rooting interests?


you're kidding, right? i think the only guy here with a stronger attachment to the cardinals is CFB.

and it's completely illogical. i'm not from there. i've never even been to a game there. it's crazy.

what happened was, i had to do a book report in third or fourth grade, and i happened to pull a (sanitized) biography of dizzy dean at random out of a bookshelf at the school library. somehow i missed the 1964 season, obviously i wasn't paying attention. we lived overseas when i was a kid so there wasn't games on tv or anything. but in 1966, as i became a little more bookish, i noticed that there were these things in the newspapers called box scores in the international herald tribune, and further noticed that there was still a thing called the st. louis cardinals. i became a fan, and then when i was 12, they won the world series. i have worshipped bob gibson and followed the team ever since. i cried like a little baby in 1968 when they blew the series after having 3-1 lead. MLBTV had the 6th and 7th games on the other night in honor of al kaline. it was the first time i've ever seen the games in their entirety, and geez it hurt like a ##### all over again.

they've driven me nuts ever since.

the dodgers occupy a strong second place because i lived so long in L.A. and have been to so many games there. but there was never a conflict for me when the cards came to town, or if they met up in the playoffs.
   46. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 09, 2020 at 11:02 PM (#5938121)
Grew up a Cubs fan in Oklahoma, weirdly enough (Dad was originally from Chicago but didn't care about sports at all - I got it from his side of the family, though). Have stuck with them ever since.

To the extent that my loyalties have changed, it's been more between sports than between teams; I've given up on football and college sports in general, in exchange for tennis and a bit of the NBA.
   47. Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 09, 2020 at 11:16 PM (#5938124)
Moved from Mets to Yankees in college; DC was an AL town in the 70s. Stayed with the Rangers to this day, JP Parise's 11-second OT goal be damned. Living in Czechia in 94, I got up in the middle of the night to watch the cup finals on one of the CTV channels.
   48. chisoxcollector Posted: April 10, 2020 at 12:12 AM (#5938131)
I grew up in Orange County, but my mom was a die hard Dodgers fan, so I started out as a Dodgers fan. I also inherited her love of Steve Sax, though I drew the line at calling him “Sexy Saxie”.

Then I went to a White Sox @ Angels game in 1991, where I met Frank Thomas and got his autograph. I decided that day that I was a White Sox fan. Here it is almost 30 years later, and I’m still a die hard Sox fan, even though I’ve never lived anywhere remotely close to Chicago.
   49. Perry Posted: April 10, 2020 at 12:53 AM (#5938137)
Just want to say that (1) I love these stories, and (2) After reading these I no longer feel remotely guilty about having changed allegiances.
   50. Dr. Vaux Posted: April 10, 2020 at 02:28 AM (#5938158)
I've added allegiances, but all have so far proven to be temporary. The Tigers are just simply too firmly entrenched. I grew up talking with my grandmother about the 1930s teams and listening to Ernie Harwell every night. Tiger Stadium was where I saw the impossibly greenest green I will ever see.

The Blue Jays were my first affair. I had always listened when there were no conflicts, and watched the few games on CBC and CTV. But beginning in 1992, I started sometimes, then more frequently, choosing their broadcasts even when they were simultaneous with the Detroit games. (There's an obvious reason for that that many will know.) But while I liked that team very much, and cheered them on as they won their World Championships, when the players drifted away, so did I. It wasn't really laundry fandom, though I'll always have a soft spot.

I thought for a time that the Cardinals would be a permanent second team, because we bonded so strongly over two rural Missouri summers, and they were in the other league. That affinity does admittedly remain, but severely damaged by 2006, when I could muster no feeling other than disgust. Although I did root for the Cardinals in, for example, their 2011 World Series, satisfaction isn't joy, and pleasure isn't elation.

I married into Mets fandom, which I suspect will one day gain some measure of increased prominence. But my wife has also adopted the Orioles as her American League team, and we've gone to more Orioles games than I could ever have envisioned. Nevertheless, while there's an Oriole bird stuffed animal perched on the sofa right above my shoulder, and while emotionally they're now undoubtedly my second team, when they swept the Tigers in the playoffs, I did not feel conflicted. It's not a close second.

But of course, some things are bigger than baseball.
   51. Tin Angel Posted: April 10, 2020 at 02:44 AM (#5938159)
Can #50 get a Primey and a gift basket?
   52. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: April 10, 2020 at 04:17 AM (#5938162)
I've never really changed teams I root for in any sport. I tried to root for Fulham in English football for a while - they were local and my employers had season tickets - but actually going to a game at Craven Cottage was pretty grim. My friend was an Arsenal fan, and having seen the caliber of football they were capable of playing, they would be the closest I have to a rooting interest in that sport. Yankees in baseball, Gloucestershire and England in cricket, my local deal in the German hockey league.

I did try to almost-randomly select an NHL team to support after my wife started watching her Avs again and settled on Winnipeg. But the timezones pretty much killed the ability to follow them, so it's only a mild preference. I would say that the teams I root against changes quite frequently, more than the teams I root for.
   53. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: April 10, 2020 at 05:17 AM (#5938164)
I grew up in NYC. As I had a soul, I naturally became a Mets fan instead of a Yankees fan.

Between 1998-2000, though, three things happened:

1) The Mets started acting like a big market team. The Piazza trade, signing some high-priced free agents, etc.. What I always found despicable about the Yankees was the way they tried to just buy championships, and here the Mets were, heading in that direction. Yuck.
2) I moved to the SF area for graduate school in math.
3) The A's started to get on the radar for the stuff that would become Moneyball -- actually using logic and math to build a baseball team instead of hackneyed conventional wisdom. Did I mention I was in math grad school?

At the end of this period I was well and truly an A's fan. The last vestige of my life as a Mets fan was rooting for them in the 2000 World Series, although my primary allegiance had already shifted and even that was to some significant degree rooting against the Yankees. By 2001 I was well and firmly 100% an A's fan and I haven't looked back (despite not living there anymore). I've never had any meaningful secondary rooting interest since (other than rooting against the Yankees and Red Sox).
   54. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: April 10, 2020 at 06:55 AM (#5938169)
I grew up in Cincinnati in the wake of the Big Red Machine. The Reds getting Rose back is really the first event I remember, although I went to a few games before then. They were respectable enough with four straight NLW 2nd place finishes from '85 to '88, and were pretty entertaining with Rose getting the hits record and the emergence of Davis and Larkin.

We then moved to Portland, and if things had been different I might have switched allegiances. But there was no consensus team that rallied Oregonians. There were a fair number of Mariner fans but also a lot of transplants from California who kept their teams, particuarly as the Dodgers, A's, and Giants were pretty good then. There were also a few Twins fans because Portland had their AAA team then.

But what really cemented my Reds fandom was the '90 World Series. I was pretty miserable in junior high and literally every other kid in my school liked those A's. The Reds' sweep was the sweetest sports vindication I've had and will ever have. I couldn't leave them after that.
   55. . . . . . . Posted: April 10, 2020 at 07:59 AM (#5938176)
I was a Mets fan from 1986-1990. Then they let Gooden and Straw go and soon after, Cone. I swore never to root for them again and switched to the Yankees, who had been the “bad” less popular team during my (then short) lifetime.

I have jersey-t-shirts from all of those guys during their later Yankee stints.
   56. Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight Posted: April 10, 2020 at 08:26 AM (#5938181)
I grew up in Virginia as a rabid Oakland A's fan, stuck with them through all the miserable mid 90's, loved the Moneyball A's, but started to feel a bit jealous of the communities of fans I met in Chicago and New York. When the great A's game chatters we used to have here in the Mid 2000's died, I was starting to feel pretty disconnected, and then I moved back to Washington in 2009 with lots of diposable income for the first time in my life, and I bought a cheap 20 game season ticket package to watch the awful Nats. I'd sit in the upper deck and then around the fifth just wander down and take any good seat I wanted. It was a ton of fun and the Nats gradually sucked me in, and then my children were born and my oldest started getting super into baseball and Bryce, and that was pretty much it. We are a full on Nats fandom now. I still love the A's, but in a bit of a distant way now.
   57. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 10, 2020 at 10:16 AM (#5938202)
Born in Cincinnati, rabid fan from the season I turned 6 -- actually my age 5 season ;).
The year I turned 10, 1961, the Reds surprisingly won the NL Pennant but were turned aside by the M&M boys in the WS. Later that week we moved to Philly, whose team had just finished 47-107. In 1962, helped by destroying the expansion Mets and Colt 45s, the Phils surprisingly finished 81-80. I started paying attention -- it was a team with some fun young players, such as Johnny Callison, Tony Gonzalez, Don Demeter and Art Mahaffey. As 1962 and 1963 rolled on, it became harder and harder to follow the Reds merely through the box scores and names I didn't know started finding their way into the Reds box score. By the beginning of 1964, with the acquisition of Jim Bunning and the promotion of Richie (as he was first known) Allen, the Phils won me over -- I was all in and the Reds became a secondary rooting interest.
That summer, I saw my favorite uncle Billy for the first time since we moved and he wanted to know if I was still a Reds fan. I told him my status and he got pissed and said that I should always traitor. He was serious. In the last 6 or 7 years, I mentioned my memory to him and he didn't remember that discussion. I suppose with the great collapse of the Phils that year, I got my just desserts for changing allegiance. I know that when the Reds swept the Phils during their 10 game losing streak, I was really mad at them. I hated Chico Ruiz for his steal of home to win one of the games.
   58. JL72 Posted: April 10, 2020 at 11:17 AM (#5938217)
I was born in Michigan, and lived there until 7th grade, so Detroit teams held my allegiance. I moved to Illinois, but was enough of a contrarian that I kept my Detroit teams and rooted against all things Chicago (it did not hurt that the Pistons were poised to win their titles in the late 80s).

I then moved to DC. I have kept the Tigers, Red Wings, Pistons, and even the Lions as my number one, and I don't see that ever changing. Following the Lions has become a painful, but weirdly satisfying, point of pride. But I have added the Capitals and Nationals as my number 2 teams. Nats are easiest, being in the NL. But the Detroit teams are still my favorite, and my greatest sports moment is seventh row seats to the Red Wings clinching the Stanley Cup in Washington DC against the Capitals.
   59. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: April 10, 2020 at 11:35 AM (#5938228)
When I was a real little kid, I remember rooting for the White Sox. My dad & older brother were Sox fans. My favorite player was Harold Baines.

Then '84 happened. Cubs ever since. The Cubs completedly overshadowed the afterglow of the '83 Winning Ugly Sox.

Alternate history: what if the Cubs win the division in '83 and then the Sox in '84? Probably not that big a ripple effect, as there were other factors causing the Cubs to take over the town. The biggest one: TV. I have plenty of memories of watching the Cubs on WGN. But we didn't get OnTV (did anyone?) My memories of the Sox in '83 are mostly hearing reporters about how Floyd Bannister won another one - he sure is on a tear since the All-Star break. Also: as a kid, I watched more TV during the day than at night.
   60. Karl from NY Posted: April 10, 2020 at 04:29 PM (#5938404)
when you're 8 and your Mets win the World Series in 1969, there's no walking that back.

Just noticed that upthread from Howie. I was 8 when the Mets won in 1986.
   61. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 10, 2020 at 06:03 PM (#5938441)
Born in NYC, and a lifelong Yankees fan who added the Orioles when I first started going to Memorial Stadium. Angelos turned me off for many years, but Manny and Schoop brought me back, and I still like the laundry.

Lifelong Redskins fan who switched to the Ravens after Snyder trashed the franchise. Always had the Lions as my backup team.

Philly basketball fan who hated the Celtics during the Russell-Chamberlain years, but switched to the Celtics once Bird arrived. Loved the Bullets in the 70's, but once the ticket prices went through the roof I lost all incentive to see them play.

Always rooted for Carolina in college basketball, even though I went to Duke.
   62. Howie Menckel Posted: April 10, 2020 at 11:55 PM (#5938542)
there was a Twitter meme today asking what was your most brutal fandom team loss.

a former colleague (who I professionally respect very much) replied, "Luis Gonzalez."

yes, those 2001 Yankees who were seeking that 5th WS win in 6 years - after winning two incredible comeback games at Yankee Stadium in the post-9-11 moment to reach Game 7 - had a one-run lead in that final game but lost.

and this poor snowflake still licks his wounds from not getting yet another title - and, presumably, from the torture of having to wait a long 8 years in the wilderness before his team collected yet another one.

the horror.
   63. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: April 11, 2020 at 02:01 AM (#5938550)
I was a Dodger fan growing up. We went to Dodger Stadium a very few times with my brothers and my Dad, it was not something we could do very often. I think we also went to Angels Stadium once, but I never managed to generate much more than a gentle affection for them.

So I have always been a Dodger fan, though it became harder when I moved away, and even harder when their ownership went through first the Fox and then the Frank McCourt years. Lately the ownership has been a lot better, so it has been a lot easier to be a fan. My brother and I were able to go to Game 2 of the 2017 World Series games at Dodger Stadium. That was fantastic!

Since I moved away I added the A's to the list, with a gentle affection for the Giants. I sat through many games when the A's were in their "wilderness years", when Mike Oquist, et. al. were the leaders of the pitching staff. It's easy to root for the A's, they have great fans and the stadium and atmosphere is friendly and the opposite of pompous. There have been so many disappointments! But it is an easy team to root for even with the disappointments.

In the Frank McCourt years the Giants almost seemed to "be the Dodgers", because they had/have a generally good ownership group (they built their own stadium, after all). So it's hard to completely root against them. I know that's split loyalties!

I have in recent years developed, almost by accident, an attachment to University of San Francisco basketball. The games are fun, the atmosphere is to my liking, as a mid-major school many of the players stay for the full 4 years so you can watch them develop. I went to a few games on a lark as I was/am a student of history (the college home of Bill Russell, the 1951 USF Dons football team that refused to go to the Orange Bowl because of the stipulation that they leave their black players home) and I was hooked.

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