Sports Loyalty Exists for Different Reasons, Irvine a Golden Example

One reason I wanted to go down south for college was because of the great sporting attractions Southern California had to offer. I envisioned coming to SoCal for college would mean that I would be only surrounded by people who were fans of Southern California teams. I assumed the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim would be the only baseball teams accepted. I took for granted that the Los Angeles Lakers would be the one and only basketball championship team that would be rooted for. Needless to say, I was very, very wrong.

I was amazed at how diverse UC Irvine was when it came to California’s sports teams. It’s like a great melting pot where some ingredients are drastically different from others. All California teams are well represented on campus. I have seen a lot of people with San Francisco Giants backpacks, Padres caps, Oakland A gear and even a Sacramento Kings jersey.

I remember my first year in Mesa Court during the NBA playoffs. Every few nights, there would be a large gathering of people to watch the Lakers play in the main room, which was normal. However, there would also be a gathering of people in a friend’s dorm room of people who were from the Bay Area and were watching the Golden State Warriors games. The weird thing was that there were just as many people watching the Warriors game as there were at the Lakers game.

This wasn’t the only occurrence I noticed of the NorCal vs. SoCal battle.

I have also learned that it doesn’t just stop at California teams. There are people from other states or even this state that have favorite teams from other places. Not everyone is a Dodgers or Giants fan. I have met a Philadelphia Phillies fan and a Minnesota Twins fan. I know an Armenian from Glendale who loves the Detroit Pistons and Rasheed Wallace. A sports team is more than we think it is. It is a type of identity. It can be the obvious identity, the one where the team is loved because it stands for the fan’s home city and reminds that person of where they came from.

It is amazing to think about the different reasons why people like certain sports teams. A fan’s loyalty to their teams is an insane concept to wrap one’s mind around. True fans know how to show their pride, even when faced with the opposition all around them. Our bond with our teams is one of the strongest beliefs and feelings that we have. It is a relationship that will be central to us for our entire existence.