- Category: Volume 86 (Fall 2014 - Spring 2015)
- Published: 22 October 2014
When it comes to deciding on a sports team to pull for, most people tend to make their decision based on the area they live in. In this part of Jersey, that tends to mean seeing a lot of "Big Blue" decals on cars or fans decked out in green pulling for the "J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!"
Yes, many people root for teams that play in or around the state they are from. But there are quite a few fans, myself included, who believe "location, location, location" is best served for real estate investors. We rely on other factors when choosing what team to pull for.
When it comes to baseball, embarrassing as it might be, I'm a Mets fan. Yes the "Amazin' Mets" have not lived up to that nickname in quite some time, but you have to stand by your team. While it may seem like I made this decision based on the fact that the Mets are a local team, that's not the case. My grandmother was a die-hard fan of the New York Metropolitans. Because of that my dad and the rest of his family are Mets fans and because of that, my brother and I have been fans of the team since we were kids. Whether they're "amazin'" or not, win or lose, we both bleed orange and blue.
That's how it is with the NHL too. My dad has always been a New York Islanders fans because when he was following hockey, there was no New Jersey Devils franchise. Back then, when you hated the Rangers, the Flyers and the Penguins, the only logical choice was to pull for the Isles. While I don't really mind the Devils, when it comes to teams like the Mets and the Islanders, I feel almost like it's a family tradition to take up a rooting interest in these local underdogs.
But when it comes to football, I've noticed this is where people's loyalties tend to transcend state lines. I'm a Kansas City Chiefs fan because just like my baseball and hockey selections, my father is a fan. Plus, the team is among the biggest underdogs in the league. Seeing them go to the playoffs last year after winning just two games the previous season was beyond exciting. You don't get that kind of thrill from the Patriots or the Broncos; teams that seemingly always make the playoffs as of late. I know this seems like a strange argument but when your team hasn't made it to the playoffs in a while, it makes it much more special when they do make it back.
My brother Matt is a fan of the Washington Redskins because, as he put it, "I hate the Cowboys, I hate the Giants and I hate Philly." Rather blunt, but when you hate three of the four teams in the NFC East, why not pull for the fourth one? Also, the team has become a lightning rod for controversy, but he doesn't mind being politically incorrect and wears his burgundy jacket, emblazoned with "Redskins" in big gold letters, with pride.
At the Burger King where I work, I became friends with a co-worker who's an Oakland Raiders fan. A senior at Freehold Boro High School, he's been a fan of the team since he was young. He's aware Oakland is currently 0-5 and it's been some time since his team has been close to relevant, but he still follows the Raiders on NFL Mobile at work when we aren't busy.
My girlfriend is a Giants fan because her mother was one, but her dad has been a Dallas Cowboys fan since childhood. Growing up in a house full of Giants and Jets fans, his brother's love for "America's Team" rubbed off. It's hard to argue with five Lombardi Trophies and 30 playoff appearances since 1966. Conversely, her sister is a Dolphins fan simply because their logo is a giant dolphin. She wouldn't know Dan Marino if she fell over him.
So when it comes to sports, people might choose local teams simply because they are local. Meanwhile, other people factor in other elements like what team their family and friends root for, who the biggest underdog is, who the most dominant team is, or who has the prettiest logo.
"Location, location, location" might work great when shopping for a house, but it doesn't necessarily work for everybody when shopping for a favorite team.