The Creation of a Chicago Sports Fan
I thought this was a great question posed on this thread at Ace of Spades HQ. Sent me down memory lane…
245 You raise an interesting psychological phenomenon: the reason why any given individual chooses the particular sports franchises/teams they favor. Some of it may indeed be territorial (the “home team” thing), but I’m always interested to know why people choose to support the teams they do. Locality? Coach? Players? History? Mascot? It can be quite complex.
Posted by: Curly Mustard at October 14, 2009 05:55 PM
You know, that would make a great thread. Why did you start rooting for X team (pro/college)?
I was just lucky that I was born and raised in Chicago. Grandma and mom were die-hard Cubs fans. Uncle was a HUGE White Sox and Blackhawks and Bears fan. So I had them get me started with sports.
I was born in 1976. Grew up a huge fan of Ryne Sandberg and ended up playing Little League from the age of 7. My position? 2nd Base, just like Ryno.
I remember the 1983 Winnin’ Ugly White Sox. The 1984 Cubs heartbreak to the Padres (still ‘hate’ Steve Garvey). Then the 1985 Bears. Then, of course, we had Michael Jordan on the Bulls starting in 1984. We had the 1989 Cubs losing to Will Clark and the SF Giants. 1990 Blackhawks and Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Belfour leading the ‘Hawks to the Stanley Cup (only to get swept by the damn Penguins). 1991-1993 Three-Peat Bulls, 1996-1998 Re-Peat Three-Peat Bulls.
So all throughout my formative years (1983-1998, I was 7-22 years old), I had my hometown sports teams, introduced to me by my sports fan family members, all doing well, in one sport or another. And I just became hooked. I was very lucky.
That said, in 1990, the KC Chiefs played my Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. They had Neil Smith and a young LB named Derrick Thomas wreaking havok on our offense. I SO enjoyed great defense and pass rushing, and I became an instant fan of Derrick Thomas and the KC Chiefs.
Side story… 7 years later in DEC 1997, my life was coming apart after a bad breakup and, as a result, I end up flunking half my engineering finals my Junior year at Purdue. I just happened across a classmate looking at the jobs board upon coming out of my last engineering class for the day and I asked if there was anything good. He said not much, but I perused the board and noticed a posting for an internship in Kansas City, Missouri with TWA at their engine overhaul base. I thought, COOL, I could be in the same city as the Chiefs football team! On that basis alone — nevermind what the job was all about and I had no interest at all in airplane engines or TWA — I applied for the internship, impressed my eventual boss in my interview, got the internship, moved out to KC for the 7 month internship and turned my entire life around. I still root for the Chiefs to do well to this day — and can’t stand the Broncos and John Elway and was crushed when Derrick Thomas got into the accident, was paralyzed and lost his life.
Posted by: Michael in MI at October 14, 2009 06:15 PM
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