Because I have come across this situation on two occasions, this will lump the two individuals into one study.
Subjects: One 25 y/o woman, one almost 25 y/o women.
Problem: Changing their alleged allegiance.
Background: Both of these women grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia. They went to middle school and high school here. Their immediate families are here. The majority of their friends are here. On weekends, they partied in Old City, University City, Rittenhouse, and various other awesome places downtown. Neither was a big sports fan; but when the major teams were doing well, they rooted the teams on. They had t-shirts, they watched a few games here and there, and maybe went to a few. These girls were Philly faithful and Philly proud. In 2007, situations changed. Long story short, New York is a big part of their lives now. And according to Facebook, one cheers for the Yankees, and the other seems to have converted to a Giants and Rangers fan. One of these girls dated a hardcore Flyers fan, and each day asked me for something interesting about the team so she could impress him. Now, the words Go Rangers are on her status. Brutal.
Interpretation: Alright, realistically, neither was a sports fan. Neither was hardcore into the teams. But that’s the small picture. The big picture is loyalty. Bandwagon fans are hated by real sports fans because they are fake. But this goes deeper. This is a blatant changing of one’s colors. Frank, who covers the Panthers for the Rat Trick, is from Chicago. He loves the Blackhawks, and that will be his team until he’s 6 feet under. But, life’s path has taken him to Florida. And so he watches that team and has adopted them because he’s a hockey fan, and he loves it. But he didn’t switch teams. The girls I’m talking about have completely shunned the place that they come from, and just gave their upbringing the Stone Cold Steve Austin salute.
Final Say: It’s complete bullshit. You wanna go to the games, join some friends because that’s where you live now, fine. But these teams are massive rivals. All of a sudden you’re cheering for them. The one that cheers for the Yankees was talking shit when they played the Phillies in the World Series last year. Yes, this isn’t the most important thing in life; but when it comes to life as it applies to sports, it’s a pretty damn big deal. Sports aren’t silly games. Sports are a billion dollar business. Sports matter. If sports were personified and had an apartment, it would smell of rich mahogany and own many leather-bound books. So while this might seem trivial, it’s boils down to betrayal. Go ahead, cheer for your new teams, pretend that you have a deep bond with them, make up excuses for why you’ve crossed the fence. But remember, “Betrayal is the willful slaughter of hope.” (Steven Dietz)