Zealotry in Sports II

Teams are still an interesting thing. Previously I opined a bit on why I do or don’t like certain teams. Some things with the NFL have changes and I forgot about the NHL last time.
With the Rams coming back to Los Angeles I may have a new favorite NFC team, sorry 49ers.
Raiders > Rams >>> 49es > Steelers > Chargers = Broncos = Chiefs >>> Everyone Else
This is the most conflicting for me; before the Ducks were a team I was a Sharks fan. I had a Sharks sweatshirt I wore everywhere, no matter the temperature. So, even though the Ducks are close by there’s part of me that’s still a Sharks fan. In keeping with the local team first I tend to route for the Ducks a bit more- but not by much. Now that the Ducks have a couple cups I wouldn’t mind the Sharks making a run and finally clinching The Cup…
Ducks >= Sharks >>> Everyone Else
The older I get, the less I like watching the NBA.
The older I get the more I like listening to baseball.

Sports Radio
A more interesting development for me had been listening to sports radio on SiriusXM- my commute to work is about 30 minutes each way, no real traffic, but still that’s at least an hour a day. I like music, but for my own safety I can’t always listen to it while driving. What has been decent and keeps me focused is: sports radio. Starting with NFL Network over the football season, and now on to NHL Network (and once the Stanley Cup is over on to MLB), it allows me to keep up to date on some things and have something going on that I don’t get that in to that it is distracting. The other sports stations are…interesting, but ultimately not entertaining or too distracting.

Zealotry in Sports

Around the world sports have almost become a religion for some people. From Soccer (football) to baseball, from rugby to eSports (like StarCraft II), people have certain sports they care about more than others. It’s usually not the spot itself that gets the fanatic, zealous following; it’s the teams playing them.

Here in the United States of America we have three major spots, 2 almost major sports, an extreme sports following, and many other types of recreational activities that are monitized and organized in to leagues. To leave myself room to focus on other sports down the road (rugby, eSports, soccer, MLS, NHL, etc) I’ll be focusing on the “big three” here in the USA: football, baseball, and basketball. Before delving in to the specific sports I’d like to start on more ethereal level as to why I route for certain teams and how that leads to me picking a team in a new sport (or variation of said sport, like minor leagues and NCAA).

Top priority goes to local teams; if there’s a local team in a championship of some kind I will cheer them on; doesn’t matter the sport or activity. The caveat for such things comes with teams I like because of: someone on the team or how the team plays. Brett Favre, Wally Joyner, and Charles Woodson are some of the first that come to mind. Then again there are some teams that I just can’t enjoy; like the Giants (SF or NY). Sometimes there’s not a local team, so I’ll go with the closest one I actually like (more on that when I hit the NHL in a future post). If a local team, my favorite team, or a team I generally like doesn’t make the playoffs for a sport I’ll go with another team in the conference; if they beat out my team then they should obviously be the best in the league, right?! Some complications do arise in that I tend to like one team from each league, conference, division, etc within an organized sport. There’s the AFC and NFC for football, American and National Leagues for baseball, etc. That said, I tend to follow the same logic for each conference, but one I care about more than the others.

Generic cheering priority: Favorite Team > Random Team = Local Team = Player’s Team > Conference Team


When it comes to football I’m a Raider’s fan. They were in LA when I was a kid, and when I got really in to football as an almost young adult they were one of the most exciting teams to watch. If the Raider’s aren’t in the playoffs I’ll first route for the 49ers (favorite NFC team) and then any team in the AFC West, so this year go Broncos! I should mention that my wife is a Charger’s fan, so at least twice a year we don’t sit on the couch watching football together…

Raiders >> 49ers >> Steelers = Chargers > Broncos = Chiefs > Everyone Else

…there’s a more “complicated” matrix in the “Everyone Else” category, but it’s greatly in flux these days, which I’m sure will spur a similar article ahead of next season.


In the past I’ve liked other teams as my favorite players moved on to other teams. At this point though, it’s all about the Los Angeles teams; even the one that isn’t in Los Angeles.

Angels > Dodgers > Everyone Else > Giants


My brother is the bigger basketball fan, I was in the early 90’s but then got in to Soccer and Rugby. I keep this one simple.

Lakers > Clippers > Everyone Else

College Sports

Since the college I went to isn’t in the NCAA it makes my list a little skewed. I’ve been a UCLA fan since I was a little kid and high school ruined any chance of me enjoying USC. Most football seasons I’m pretty neutral for the first couple weeks, then I start picking who I really like and want to win (besides UCLA) from there. Basketball and other sports I’m a little more stringent on…

UCLA > University of Arizona = Air Force > Everyone Else