I was at the gym this morning, on an elliptical with my back to the TV on the wall, listening to a report on the NBA playoffs. I heard the Celtics won their first game and smiled. That got me thinking about being a fan.
I root for all teams from St. Louis, as indicated in the above photo. Since St. Louis does not currently have NBA or NFL teams, I do not follow professional basketball or football closely. Truth be told, I really do not have an alternative favorite football team. My husband is from Cincinnati so it is nice when the Bengals win, but that’s not really me. However, I am a fan of the Boston Celtics in the NBA. Have been for a long time.
So, how do we become fans of certain teams? The most obvious reason is that there is a team where you live. I lived most of my formative life in the St. Louis area; my rather large family of maternal relatives are from there. Supporting St. Louis sports is a natural thing, especially baseball.
But locale is not the only reason. Thinking about why I like the Celtics, I realized it dates back to Larry Bird. I don’t even remember why I liked him so much, but my family does not grow “sunshine fans”. Once we give our hearts to teams they are gone for as long as those teams are around. My son loves the Miami Dolphins. At age 5 he had a teacher who loved the Dolphins and Dan Marino, and my son really liked this teacher, so he also liked the Dolphins/Marino. This August he will be 30, and he still loves the Dolphins. I have never been in Boston and he has never been in Miami, but that makes no difference. Like I said, no sunshine fans in my family!
Then there’s my husband who has been known to like a football team based on how the helmet looks. I’m not even going to try to explain that.
Make no mistake, if St. Louis were to acquire NFL or NBA teams I would support them unconditionally. I would also remain a Celtics fan – that’s just the way I am. Yes, the world of fandom is a strange and wondrous place.