The Short Porch – Post #2

Posted: June 15, 2013 by waltmtaylor in Uncategorized


While watching the NBA finals recently, rooting against Miami and for San Antonio, I started thinking about why I have chosen sides in a series where I have absolutely no rooting interest.  That thought got me thinking even more about why fans root for certain teams, against others teams, and how casual sports fans pick sides when they are really not fans of either team in a game.

The two most obvious factors are geography and affiliation.  People root for their hometown teams and the college teams to which they have some sort of connection.  I’m sure if I had lived my entire life in Boston, I’d be a fan of the Patriots and Celtics no different than I am fan of the Colts and Pacers today.  There is nothing that the Colts or Pacers ever did to “win” me as I fan.  I was here, they were here, I like sports, I like I Indy, so I like them.  And, as a result of favoring the Colts, I hate the Patriots and enjoy it very much when they lose.  Besides winning over and over again, and for the most part having the Colts number, the Patriots never did anything that should have caused me to have the level of disdain that I have for them.  But, as is the case for nearly every fan, I am programmed to loathe my team’s rival.

The situations that are more interesting to me are those where a fan is moved from neutrality to hatred by other not so obvious factors.  The first thing that comes to mind from my experience is that the fans of a team are capable of turning me against their team.  I once had a neighbor who drove me to root against Ohio State when before I looked at them as just another Big 10 team.  IU fans are also an unusually annoying bunch, but my perception could impacted by my required hatred for that school as a person with Purdue ties.  However, I bet the folks from around the rest of the league think that fans who wear the candy cane pants are stupid, and have heard enough of “we’re back” when it comes to IU basketball.  Yes, IU fan, your program is no longer a joke, but enough already.

Turning to baseball, IU and Ohio State fans though pale in comparison to Boston Red Sox fans. Long after I had heard way too much about the “Sawks,” I went to a Reds-Nats game in Cincy only to sit down next to a guy in his kelly green Sox hat and jersey.  Yes, I said I was a Reds-Nats game in Cincy when I encountered this guy.  He was arrogant, entitled, loud, whiny, and really didn’t know his baseball.  Typical.  Take the annoying fans and add them to the over saturation on ESPN, and I’ve grown to the point where I can’t stand what should be viewed as a pretty cool, historic MLB franchise in Boston.

Speaking of ESPN, they have pretty much turned me against the entire ACC all by themselves.  I won’t even watch Duke and North Carolina basketball, again great programs with great history, only because I can’t stand how the analysts blather on and on about these programs.  People who think the Big 10 was the first conference with a network to promote its product are dead wrong.  The ACC has had one since 1980, and it is called ESPN.  ESPN’s Baseball Tonight gang has made the Yankees all the more hateable, leading off every single night talking about a mid-May game in Baltimore as if it were the 6th game of the 1975 World Series, and covering their tabloid drama as if it were real sports news.

Lastly, I think the thing that will turn me sour toward a team or franchise is arrogance.  Back to the beginning with the Miami Heat, clearly that is my issue with them.  The LaBron James signing show (of course on ESPN) just fired me up to root against them, even though I’m not even really into the NBA.  When they lost to Dallas 2 years ago, I was literally laughing out loud.  After last year’s Finals, I avoided sports media so I didn’t have to listen to all the NBA talk about how much “adversity” the Heat had overcome to win.

So, best of luck to the Spurs, whoever is playing the Red Sox and Yankees, and whoever Ohio State opens up the football season with.  Even though I probably don’t follow you and will never care about you, I might be rooting harder for you than I do for the teams that I am supposedly a fan of.

  1. jmklee says:

    See I’m not the only one that thinks the candy stripe pants are stupid.


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