It should be abundantly clear at this point that nothing in this world is as important as professional sports. Subsequently, no love in life is more important than the love for your favorite sports team. What else will make grown men drink, cry, scream, paint their faces, stand outside in the freezing cold shirtless, spend exorbitant amounts of money, dress like a women (looking at you, Washington Redskins fans
), throw batteries at opposing players (looking at you, Philadelphia Phillies fans
), and maybe even kill a guy for scoring a goal in his own net (Colombia
So the question is, how does a person decide which team will become his obsession? Here we've outlined the Man Code behind why we love the teams we love. We'll use NFL football teams
for the humorous examples because football is simply the greatest sport or thing conceived by man and God together ever.
Code 1: Thou Shalt Root for the Home Team
Most fans fall into this category. It is easy to root for the home team. Logistically, you can go see them play, you get all their games on TV, and there's less chance of you getting beaten up wearing the home team's jersey than their rival's. Being able to wear your fandom on your sleeve without fear of fisticuffs is a rare treat in life. If you hadn't noticed, being a sports fan is serious business.
Code 2: Thou Shalt Honor Thy Father and Mother
Just like being predisposed to renal cancer, whom you root for can be inherited genetically. You're a Cincinnati Bengals fan because your dad is/was a Cincinnati Bengals fan because his dad is/was a Cincinnati Bengals fan ... which is why you're all depressed drunks, but at least you're depressed drunks together. The family that drinks together stays together. That is completely not statistically accurate.
Code 3: Thou Shalt Respect the Random Childhood Choice
As stupid as kids are, their decisions hold a lot of weight. If some kid decides he likes Dungeons & Dragons, he's also deciding he likes getting his ass kicked. This also applies to sports teams. People usually don't switch their favorite teams. So if at the age of 5 you decide on a whim you want to be a Dallas Cowboys fan, but you're from Vermont, it still sticks. For the rest of your life you'll talk in a fake Texas accent, wear leather chaps, ride horses and be a complete douchebag. How 'bout dem Cowboys?!
Code 4: Thou Shalt Not Be a Fair-Weather Fan
If you fall into this category just go jump off a bridge. A tall one. Switching from team to team depending on who is doing the best at that time is a worse travesty than the American internment of the Japanese during World War II. Yeah, it's that bad.
Code 5: X's and O's Rather Than the Billys and Joes
If you like defense, hard-nosed running backs, blue-collar toughness and twirling towels then you might be a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Picking a favorite team for literally "how" they play the game is rare, but it happens. It would be similar to liking a guitarist not necessarily for his music, but rather for his choosing not to use a pick to make it. Don't we all love Esteban and his creepy fingernails?
Code 6: But It's Still OK to Love the Billys and Joes
Developing a man-crush on a football player is about the easiest thing your typical passive, undersize and out-of-shape fan can do. Eventually one man-crush will get more serious than the others. He may become your fantasy man-boyfriend and, by default, you'll cheer for his team without any needed previous allegiance to them (looking at you, Peyton Manning). It's like having a crush on Whitney from "The City" and even though you hate the show, you watch it and you pray every night her debut fashion line does really well because you would like to see her succeed in life, right? Are we the only one?
Code 7: Some Colors Are Better Than Others
Liking a team because you like their colors sounds gay, but who says gays don't like football? Tight pants, bulging muscles, wrestling around in the grass, a firm open-hand slap on the ass when you do something right? Silver and black can look quite slimming, thank you, Oakland Raiders.
Code 8: The Wow Factor
Seriously, if you don't sort of love the Minnesota Vikings right now with Adrian "Purple Jesus" Peterson running it and Old Man Favre slingin' it then you're a bitter and joyless person. We're not saying you need to move to St. Paul; just root for them a little.
Now That You are Married to a Team, When Is It OK to Get a Divorce?
Never. Changing your favorite team is like breaking a blood oath with Satan. If your team won't stop losing and you are looking for a way out, then you're out of luck. You can't just switch teams because they suck. Imagine you end up having kids who watch "Entourage," listen to Nickelback, own all the "Saw" movies on DVD and love Glenn Beck. Even though you'll want to, you can't disown your kids because they suck. So if you're a Detroit Lions fan, then going 0-16 last year doesn't mean it is OK for you to give up on them. There's always next year.