Saturday, January 04, 2014

Sport Allegiance Ranking

I grew up in South Jersey, went to college in St. Louis and lived in that area until last year, then moved out here to the Seattle area a year ago.  With those moves, my rooting interests have shifted some, but my excitement at the Eagles' current playoff run has led me to reflect a bit on why some rooting interests are stronger than others.

So below are the sports teams I consider myself to have a rooting interest in, in order of passion.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) No other team causes me to yell at the TV like the Eagles, and that will probably always be the case.  A bit odd, since they were probably the last of the 4 major sports I picked up.  But I started to get football during the Buddy Ryan / Randall Cunningham era, which was entertaining if not terribly successful, then suffered through ups and downs over the next 25 years. The long-suffering sports fan is bit of an insufferable narrative, but I do think following the team through a variety of disappointments had bonded me to the team, even though I've never seen a game in person. Also, probably one of the 5 easiest teams to follow from out of town.
  2. Philadelphia Phillies (MLB) 1980 World Series Championship is my first sporting memory, and 2008 championship may be my happiest.  First game I ever went to, most memorable in-person game (Terry Mulholland's no-hitter), most memorable season (1993).
  3. St. Louis University (NCAA basketball) Only basketball team in town in the sport I have played the most and probably know best.  Enjoyed last year's A-10 title run.
  4. St. Louis Cardinals (MLB)  Difficult to spend much time in St. Louis without picking up.  Probably easier to get news on Cardinals here than it is to get Mariners news.
  5. Northwestern (NCAA football) Wife's alma mater
  6. Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) Several runs to the finals, no championships.  Harder to keep in touch with NHL teams.
  7. Seattle Sounders (MLS) Picked up when I moved out here, and fun to follow, though the Sounders do have some unlikable players.
  8. St. Louis Blues (NHL) Will follow them if they make a playoff run, hard to follow otherwise.
  9. Philadelphia 76ers (NBA) Probably the team I followed most closely growing up.  Really turned off by the current tanking.
  10. Seattle Seahawks (NFL) Fun to get on the bandwagon; few more enjoyable than Russell Wilson.  Defense good, but talks a bit more than I'd prefer.
  11. Villanova (NCAA basketball)
  12. Missouri (NCAA football)
  13. St. Louis Rams (NFL) 1999 Super Bowl Championship team was first championship team I actively followed and a lot of fun, but they've done a lot to drive away fans the past few years.  Trading them in for Seahawks was not a difficult choice
Honorable Mention (will watch and support if they reach playoffs): Seattle Mariners, Rutgers football, remaining big 5 basketball, Missouri basketball, Illinois football and basketball, Washington football and basketball, University of Seattle basketball.
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