Being a fan of multiple sports teams is OK

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I firmly assert that it is totally acceptable for one to like multiple sports teams in the same leagues. I can already hear the angry howls of diehard fans of all manner of teams from the New England Patriots, to the Chicago Blackhawks, to even my beloved St. Louis Cardinals. In many ways, rabid sports fans are analogous to nerds; sometimes people can be both. Both rabid sports fans and nerds can be fanatically devoted to the source of their obsession, recall nearly every piece of information — no matter how trivial — about it and display a flagrant disregard for civility when confronted by a member of a rival fandom. Of course, this is not true for all rabid sports fans and nerds, but there are some bad apples who may spoil the whole bunch if we are not careful.

For my own part, my favorite baseball teams by division are the Toronto Blue Jays (AL East), Kansas City Royals (AL Central), Seattle Mariners (AL West), Washington Nationals (NL East), St. Louis Cardinals — of course — (NL Central) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (NL West). My favorite hockey teams can be broken into the Toronto Maple Leafs (Atlantic Division), Washington Capitals (Metropolitan Division), St. Louis Blues — obviously (Central Division) and the Anaheim Ducks (Pacific Division). My football loyalties lie with the Miami Dolphins (AFC East), Kansas City Chiefs (AFC West), Baltimore Ravens (AFC North), Indianapolis Colts (AFC South), New York Giants (NFC East), Seattle Seahawks (NFC West), Chicago Bears (NFC North) and the Atlanta Falcons (NFC South). Finally, for basketball, my support lies with the Chicago Bulls (Eastern Conference) and the Memphis Grizzlies (Western Conference). I would choose more for the NBA, but I can never remember the divisions and who’s in them.

While my following, the actions of, and cheering on such divergent sports teams may seem like a disloyal and sell-out sort of behavior, I see no problem with not over-investing myself in one particular sports franchise. Granted, I will not stop cheering on the Cardinals and the Blues, but there is an appeal for me to follow multiple sports teams throughout their respective seasons. Because sports are a past time, I feel they should be treated with a grain of salt and enjoyed as a pleasurable leisure activity that knows no specific ties. There’s no sense in getting bent out of shape when one’s favorite team doesn’t make it to the playoffs or when one feels the world’s about to end; there are much better things to do in life than that. Having a wealth of teams to cheer on, or at least follow, throughout their playoff journeys ensures that one can enjoy them for what they are: leisurely temporary diversions from the hustle and bustle of life.

Of course, there is the problem of what occurs when two of one’s favorite teams have to face each other during playoff games, or even during the regular season, a problem that I’m running into this year with the Capitals and the Maple Leafs facing each other in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I think it would just be fun to say “may the best team win” and watch them duke it out, thus taking a casual and more detached approach to something that should have its own place in a fully balanced life. If any readers are looking to take my advice and are wondering how to pick their favorite multiple sports teams, I leave that up to them. I personally pick from either geographic closeness, or the teams of cities I have been to and enjoyed. Or, if I enjoyed watching the career of a certain player on one of my primary teams and am eager to see how they continue with another team to whom they have been traded, I will take more of an interest in seeing that team succeed, as to bring glory to that player. I have already adopted that attitude with Brandon Moss, who was traded to the Royals, and T.J. Oshie, who was traded to the Capitals.

Finally, if you really just despise one team over all others, I freely will tell you to support any team that plays them, even if it’s just for one day or a series of games. I already take that approach with the Blackhawks, Cubs and Patriots. So if you want to remain as carefree as possible when watching TV and just enjoy a good show, let all your team flags fly. It’s not a problem if you don’t look up.