How do certain sports teams become our “favorites?” The obvious answer is: our favorite is the team from the area where we live, or an area in which we used to live. This doesn’t change for most people. If they grew up in Chicago, their favorite baseball team is the Cubs or the White Sox, and their favorite football team is da Bears. But, what happens when a Cubs fan moves to San Diego and goes to a few Padres games? Do they switch? Or, can they claim both teams as a favorite except when they play one another? [Dictionary reference: I looked it up, “favorite” is not an absolute. One can have multiple favorites.]
I moved from Wisconsin to Arizona. No team will ever replace the Badgers as my favorite college team in football and basketball. But, what about the AZ Wildcats? Well, I watch them with interest, but haven’t lived here long enough to consider them among my favorites. I think it also helps to get to know the team’s persona, its style, its coach. That takes time.
What? Like a team because of their uniforms? An independent study* shows that 33 percent of women who are football fans chose their favorite by their uniforms. The remainder chose them the traditional way, by where they live, used to live, or where their kids moved to. Kids will pick favorites by uniform, too. When I was a kid I liked the Los Angeles Rams, because of their cool helmets with the horns curling around.
Except for my loyalty to Wisconsin, I use the “bandwagon” approach. When the Cubs won the NLCS, I pointed out that “I grew up in Illinois.” But, when the Cubs lost, and eventually the Royals won the World Series, I now can say I’m a fan of the Royals – because I know a guy up the street who’s from there. What’s a bandwagon for anyway? If not to jump on.
*Independent study was done by me. I asked three women up the street. One said she like the Bengals because of their uniforms. She’s from Michigan…go figure.