I love Los Doyer. I can’t help it. But I was at game five of the Dodgers-Phillies series, and have never felt so depressed. I hated every minute of my $90 experience and I know why: I love the Dodgers, I’m from Los Angeles and I identify with them and will always be on their side even when it kills me.
But that is the beauty in sports. No matter what happens to your favorite team, you stick with them. Like a bad habit, a pair of old kicks or Pogs, you just have faith that you will enjoy it sometime in the near future.
Teams have that same inherent nostalgia for a fan.
Unless of course, you are a “bandwagon-ing” pansy that is. Meaning, you are a person who just roots for whichever team is hot at the moment. In which case, I would suggest stop watching sports all-together because you will never know the real emotions associated with being a true fan. Feeling depressed after a big loss or hating the other team’s players (Shane Victorino, I hate you), or going obnoxiously nuts at a bar when something big happens are what it’s all about.
Someone that just bandwagons and has only invested him or herself on the surface is losing an entire element of sports – the emotional connection you have with your team. And if you think I am embellishing a little bit, think about the Olympics. Have you ever wanted someone to win more than the Americans? You want them to win with all of your heart, right? Well, that is what having a favorite team is like.
But let’s be honest, your team is not always going to be in the mix. And now that the lines of jumping on the bandwagon have become blurred, you have to make a clear and non-frontrunner-based decision.
Do not ever pick a team because they are the more popular team. It’s a bad choice all the way around, unless you have a good reason. For example: I want the Tampa Bay Rays to win the World Series. Why? Because I do not want Manny’s old Red Sox team to beat the Phillies. Plain and simple. There should be substance behind who you want to win, which will make watching the game a lot better.
But then there is the case of football. How is someone from L.A. supposed to have a favorite team? Most of the time, it stems from an early childhood hero or family preference and sticks with you for a long time. I have to be honest and say I do not have a favorite team. I wanted to like the Texans when they started their organization a few years ago, but I realized I did not like the state of Texas and I was stuck. So for football, I just enjoy it as much as possible and hope one day L.A. gets a team back. But by no means will I ever claim a team because they are on a hot streak.
If you do not come from or live in an area with a professional sports team, not jumping on the bandwagon can be very difficult. If that is the case, I have only one suggestion: pray. You must pray to the sports gods and whatever they tell you, run with it. I guarantee if someone asks you, “Why do you like that team?” and you respond with, “The sports gods told me to,” you will have no problems.
However, none of us need to pray to the sports gods. Anteater nation is alive and well, and you can definitely jump on that bandwagon. There is nothing better than pulling for your shcool. School pride is the easiest way into developing a love for a team. The best part about collegiate sports is you can cheer for multiple teams. We have a ridiculous amount of winning programs. So just let it happen.
Don’t believe the hype, believe the Hypothesis.