Fan favorites

Professional sports fans rally behind their team, but why?

Fan favorites

People around the world love sports, but it goes beyond that. Some people play sports but don’t watch them, while some people watch sports but don’t play them.

A major part of this is your team. Whether that means a team you’re playing or rooting for, teams are beyond the sport. They are emotional and build connections. 

Since I can remember I have loved watching the NFL and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Led behind Ben Roethlisberger since I was born, I have loved watching them play and feel a part of the team as a fan. But some people may not have one team, or any team. Instead, they may root for players, or the most fun team to watch. Others may like certain players due to fantasy football.  All these things come together as emotional connections. 

Looking at high school sports, people almost always will cheer for their high school team. And many times it is the same for professional sports teams. If you live in Los Angeles you might love the Lakers. If you live in New York you might love the Jets. If you live in Chicago you might love the Bears, etc. But which fans are the most loyal?

Packing the stadium

Every year certain teams will fill up their stadiums, but which one fills the most changes? A famous team to look at is the Green Bay Packers of the NFL. To be a season ticket holder you will have to wait 30 years. In other words, being a season ticket holder to some teams is borderline impossible and shows how much fans love their team. However, a big part of the deal with the Packers is being a shareholder. Due to the team having no owner, the season ticket holders become shareholders of the team, almost like a stock. 

 Another thing to always remember is attendance. In 2019 the Dallas Cowboys had the highest total home attendance with a number of 727,432 fans and 90,929 per game throughout the season, while the stadium holds only 80,000 people. A big reason for the high attendance could be stadium capacity; however, another way to look at it is that teams with high capacity had many supporters to help afford that new stadium.  While a team like the Chargers had 25,393 fans per game, this could be in part due to them moving to Los Angeles which made fans of them mad that they left the hometown a long with a smaller stadium.  

A noticeable trend in all these teams is that they are either playing well or are in a big city. Looking at a team like the Giants, they have a record of 3-6, while a team like Green Bay has a record of 7-2. The difference between these teams is that the Giants are in a massive city, while the packers are a team with a good record and legendary stadium and fans. 

Many people support teams for various reasons. For me, I’ve been a lifelong Steeler fan due to relatives supporting them.

 However, I still have a very close connection with the team. When I went to a game this fall break, I felt in place as a person with a team. I believe that when around people with the same opinion as you, you definitely feel more in place, leading to an even more personal connection.

On the court

When it comes to basketball I have always liked the Pacers. I believe this is due to how close they are to us and being able to watch every game on TV. I think that the reason for liking the Steelers easier even with the farther distance is because we have the NFL Sunday Ticket, which allows for view of all games in the NFL.

In the NBA ticket sales, like the NFL, are key to look at when seeing the most cheered for and popular teams.

Like football, basketball ticket sales can vary by how they play for multiple reasons. The Bulls, who were second in ticket sales in 2019, had a record of 22-60, while a team like the 76ers had a record of 51-31 in 2019. While both these cities are very populous I think the 76ers took the one spot with having a way better record.

Another great example of fans and comparisons, is soccer. In the US, but even more so in the UK, fans go crazy, willing to get violent, with so much passion for their team. In 1989 tragedy struck with what is known as the Hillsborough disaster. In which, 97 people died, due to a crush in overcrowding. It happened due to Head Sheriff Dave Duckenfield opening Gate C to try to ease the overcrowding, but instead many civilians crowded in causes it to get worse. This just goes to show how crazy fans can get. 

Many teams in many sports have wild fans. And as the sport changes the city’s with the most supporters can change to, many people around the world love sports, and love their teams. But why do you love your team?