Living in New York City, my dad watched a lot of Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs baseball. My dad’s two favorite players, Ryne Sandberg and Dale Murphy had a lot to do with that. Also, their games were available via WGN and TBS.
For whatever reason, those awful Braves teams — and, boy were they awful — stuck with me. To this day, I am an Atlanta Braves fan.
When I moved from Anchorage, Alaska, to Worcester, Mass., I caught a lot of flack from the neighborhood kids, who didn’t know me from a whole in the wall, calling me a band-wagon fan — only liking the Braves because they were one of the best teams in the National League and in the playoffs.
Never bothered me one bit, really.
My dad moved to Miami Beach, and I got to visit him and his side of the family. They were all, naturally, University of Miami football fans. So, if I were visiting during bowl season (every Christmas), I was there rooting for the Hurricanes. When I went to elementary school (briefly) down there, my dad’s place was blocks away from the Orange Bowl — you can hear the roar of the crowd.
Through their National Championship in 2002, the awful pass interference call on Glen Sharpe in the end zone in overtime against Ohio State in the 2003 BCS Championship game in the Fiesta Bowl, and the awful years that happened under Larry Coker, I have been a fan. Watching the team rebuild under Al Golden has been a real treat. I wear my Orange and Green with pride, win or lose. I am a Hurricanes baseball fan, too.
Also while younger and living in New York City, my dad didn’t watch much football, but when he did, it was Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers.
When I moved to Alaska at 5-years-old, even though we were closer to the Seattle Seahawks, the local networks would air the 49ers games over the Seahawks games — unless, of course, the 9ers were playing in prime time. It was then my brother taught me the basics of football, slightly delving into the intricacies of the game.
A steady dose of 49ers football combined with my dad buying me a 49ers stuffed toy (it wasn’t a bear, because it was a guy dressed in the gold-rush era with a 49ers helmet on) and the rest, as they say is history.
While I am a New England Patriots fan, too, (Solely because of Tom Brady, mind you. The man is the best quarterback in the game, maybe ever. I was always a fan of his, even at Michigan when Lloyd Carr was too dumb to primarily use him rather than alternating between him and Drew Henson — how’d that work out?!) I was in my 49ers gear a couple of weeks ago at Gillette Stadium as the 9ers and Patriots squared off.
When I moved to Alaska, my neighbor — and classmate — had a rink in his back yard. He also had a giant Batman (the Michael Keaton version) on his front door. Naturally, we became instant friends.
After attending my first University of Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves hockey game that I fell in love with the sport. I root on my hometown New York Rangers (still can’t stomach the Bruins) and I still root on the Seawolves — even as they’ve long since been out of the national spotlight. I also root for BU hockey — it was the only team I was able to watch on television when I moved to Worcester, so it stuck.
How about you…how did you become a fan?