If you grow up in a city, chances are you’re a fan of the hometown teams. (Unless you’re in transplant-heavy DC, of course). Think of the lifelong Cubs fan or the long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.
But what makes someone a fan of a different team?
Sure, there are the cheerleaders, the bandwagonners, the wannabes, the guy who loves every winning team and then drops them the minute they hit a slide — the annoying colleague who’s *the biggest* fan of the Yankees, Lakers, Cowboys, Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls, the Boston Red Sox now that they’re good, etc. etc.
Of course there’s the genuine transplant — four generations from Boston, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, you fill in the blank. We have lots of those in this town. Go to any game, even the Redskins (sadly) and you’ll see the die-hard in a Giants jersey, taking abuse, in fact, wearing it with pride.
The ones harder to figure out are the random fan:
the 20-something Steelers fan (my parents and entire family were Cowboys fans)
the 30 something Red Sox fan – (I wish I were from Boston)
the 40 something lifelong Washingtonian who’s a Cowboys fan (my summer in Dallas changed my life) okay, don’t want to go there
Then there’s the kid decked out head to toe in his father’s team’s gear – just because. Well, Dad only likes talking about his team, so if you want to connect, it had better be over hoops. Or hockey. Dad, aren’t the Rangers great? Tell me about the time you saw them in the Stanley Cup parade.
A kid desperate to share something with her dad. Let’s watch the USC game on TV. What about the final minutes of the game, how many chances did the team have to make a 3 and we held them off!
Maybe that was me when I was 10 – my father liked football and I do, too.
At least we have different teams.