The absurdity of sports fan loyalty

If there is one thing Americans are good at, it’s being loyal to their favorite sports teams.  Fanatical, absurd loyalty.  I can appreciate that, I have my favorite teams, and have had them for a while now.  I am a fan of the Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, Buffalo Bills, Texas Longhorns, and Texas Rangers.  However, my loyalty is waning.

fansI have decided to put the Bills on a two year probation while I search for a new team to support with my fandom.  If they do not make the playoffs this year or next, I will abandon them.  The Longhorns on the other hand I have already let them go.  Unfortunately my wife found a Longhorns t-shirt for my youngest daughter to wear as a night-shirt.  She loves to put it on and come show me that she’s wearing my favorite team.  I must now live a life of lies to not break her little heart until she outgrows the shirt, or until it gets “lost”.  However, I’ll be rooting for The Ohio State Buckeyes from this day on.

What I have done is anathema in the sports fan world.  When you are a fan you can’t just not be anymore.  “Some fan you are!”  But I see it like this, aren’t sports supposed to be entertaining?  Isn’t having a favorite team supposed to bring you some kind of joy?  When it doesn’t, shouldn’t you ‘fix’ that?  I think so.

Here’s what makes the whole sports team “lifetime loyalty” idea absurd.  The fact that this loyalty and die hard commitment manifests itself in sports but not real life is as absurd as it is disheartening.

If a person can commit themselves to a team who brings them joy as well as repeated disappointment and frustration, then surely they can transfer that ability to their life in other more important areas.  We don’t seem to apply this ability to ‘stick it out’ to our marriages or our friends, for example.

If friends let us down or frustrate us enough, we are able to distance ourselves or even dissolve lifetime friendships.  We allow ourselves to grow apart often with little regret or sorrow.

breakupEven worse, many people are willing to end their marriages for relatively petty reasons too.  They get bored, annoyed, or just fall out of love.  But what about the commitment???  The pledge we made to love one another through good times and bad?

Granted we don’t have to live in the same house with our teams.  I just find it absurd in the areas where people choose to stick to their guns.  Something as trivial as a sport team deserves their lifelong unwavering support, yet the important people in life can be replaced without looking back.


  1. Reblogged this on Renegade Expressions and commented:
    The writer might be what we call a ‘bandwagonist’, but he makes some interesting points.

  2. I can’t believe we have something in common….I am also a B’s fan. Unbelievable.

    • Ivr been a bruins fan ever since I can remember, I’m 34 now. I only wish some of the great ones could have won a cup.

      The bills? Honestly I’m only a bills fan because the first of four consecutive super bowl appearences I was at a party with my father when I was 12. I had $15 from my allowance and pool squares were $5 each. I won the 1stQ 3rdQ and the final. I was a Buffalo fan ever since.

      They havent made the playoffs since 99. I’m fed up.

      • I was born in Buffalo and lived for a long while in Boston. I am therefore a Sabre’s and Bruins fan. On the one hand we have a perpetual “almost” team and one in a bigger market that is mostly contending.

        Absolutely love playing and watching hockey, but not at the expense of human relationships.

  3. When people ask me “Are you a football fan?” My answer is “No, I’m a Buffalo Bills fan”

    Don’t try to understand, it’s a Buffalo thing

  4. As for the Bills, I made a lot of money in Buffalo back in the days of Kelly and their perpetual losing in the Superbowl. Paid for 2 years of school!


  1. […] Some people don’t understand what it really means to be a fan. I came across this post entitled the absurdity of sports fan loyalty. Although the writer makes some interesting points, I can see that he truly doesn’t […]

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