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Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
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BLarsen Offline
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Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
I was reading the comment section on an article about an American Football team that hasn't won consistently for decades. Fans of the team were swapping war stories about who had been through the most losing seasons and heartbreaking moments. I thought to myself, "why do people put up with this?" And better yet, "does being a fan of a loser negatively affect your own self-identity?"

I'm thinking Cleveland Browns, Chicago Cubs, los Angeles Clippers, Boston Red Sox (before they won the World Series).

If these teams were people you wouldn't want to associate with them. They never amount to much. They waste money. They talk about self-improvement, but they never follow through. You keep giving your time, mental energy and MONEY to these teams.

If these teams were people, and worse YOUR FRIENDS, you'd be considered a loser by association.

I'm not advocating swapping favorite teams. I'm advocating that you not root for loser franchises and enjoy the game on its own merits. Mets fans don't become Yankee fans, just enjoy baseball as a game.

I think that the same reasons we don't hang out with loser humans should be the same reasons we're shouldn't associate with loser sports teams.

Thoughts?
09-24-2013 03:54 PM
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iop890 Offline
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RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
I saw a study somewhere showing that playing in a team sport and being on the losing team lowers testosterone, kind of obvious. But it also showed that just rooting for a team that loses hits your testosterone almost as hard.
(This post was last modified: 09-24-2013 04:02 PM by iop890.)
09-24-2013 04:01 PM
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liveandlearn7 Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
We route for them because they are our city's team. IF nobody rooted for them because they always lost, they'd move to another city and we'd lose a ton of economic benefits. I'm a Mets fan because I grew up watching them and my parents took me to games. After school me and my friends could go to Shea Stadium, sneak in a few pint bottles and buy $3 tickets in the nosebleeds. I grew up in Queens, this is my team. Win or lose.
09-24-2013 04:02 PM
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2Wycked Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
Cubs fan here.

Love the Cubs, but you can't it too seriously.

Too many guys live vicariously through their sports teams, like women with TV shows or friend's lives.

A big loss hurts, like the Celts losing in 2010, but it should be a fleeting feeling.

It might different for Cleveland fans...

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09-24-2013 04:08 PM
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OGNorCal707
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Post: #5
RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
I don't think you should get any emotions or self identity too wrapped up in your favorite sports team, I understand being happy/sad when your team wins or loses, but people take it way too far. Apparently Candlestick park for 49ers games is a virtual warzone now a days, every week someone gets sent to the hospital for a stabbing or beating.

Personally I really give two shits about following professional sports teams, I used to be a huge Redskins fan and still appreciate when they win (which apparently is never), but at the end of the day I'm not going to let it bother me and feel angry, frustrated, depressed, etc. I watch my brother get angry, punch the wall, act all moppy and moody when the lose and all I can think of is, why? What's the fucking point.

Obsessed sports fans are some of the stupidest people in my opinion, it's kind of a loser mentality to worship other men and let your ego, identity, and self worth get wrapped up with your team. Sorry to break it to them, but if the 49ers win the Super Bowl, it's the players who win not you, you aren't doing jack shit other than watching them as a spectator. Yet somehow people live vicariously through their team and let it become part of their self identity.

It's fun to watch sports for entertainment, but that's all it is. It sucks when your team is doing shitty, if they really suck that bad and you want to follow another team, then go for it. However, that's where the term "fair weather fan" comes from, usually these types of people can also be "fair weather friends" too though from my experience, there is something to be said for loyalty and standing by something through the ups and downs. That said, if it effects your happiness, then it's probably not worth it. Fortunately, I am most interested in boxing and MMA these days, which eliminates a lot of the group dynamic.
09-24-2013 04:09 PM
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TheSlayer Offline
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RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
I root for certain players and teams but it is only a distraction. It is important to know that at the end of the day it is entertainment and you have to realize the line between enjoying yourself, and rooting with some emotional stakes vs. completely losing yourself and taking this shit too seriously.

I like to debate sports and watch them but as OGNorCal pointed out, it's the players who really win or lose. Sure I am happy when a team I root for wins but it's not a personal achievement for me.

I am not sure about comparing "fair weather fans" with "fair weather friends though". I don't think you should jump teams season to season but I can understand rooting for other teams if you live in a city with perennial losers.

On the other hand, winning teams/players will always have more fans than anybody else. People like winners. There is a reason why Jordan has millions of fans and most of them aren't from Chicago. Are those fair weather fans? I don't know.

Whatever, just enjoy yourself and don't take this shit too seriously.
09-24-2013 04:18 PM
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teh_skeeze Offline
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RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
Let's go Mets!

Baseball is a bad example to use (especially Mets/Yankees) because the two leagues have two sets of rules (Designated Hitter). Personally I refuse to watch anything that has a DH. I especially refuse to have anything to do with the Yankees.

As for the OP, I have thought about this a lot in the past. It's possible that there are some people out there that do get effected by sporting events personality wise. However, these people probably have very little going for them in their lives. I had nightmares for a month after the 2006 NLCS. It was the first time since I had a memory that the Mets were the odds on favorite to win the World Series. The way Game 7 went was like a sucker punch in the gut. The most disgusting part of the whole situation was the last nightmare I had it wasn't the Cardinals but the Marlins driving the dagger into the heart of Flushing. The next two years I was sitting in the stands at Shea as the Marlins celebrated as they spoiled the Mets postseason dreams. The one thing it didn't do was effect the way I did business. Sure, I had clients that were Mets fans and we shared that knowing glare of sadness and we talked about the game, but we move on.

I was also 23 at the time. Since then, I have been through hell and high water so I don't get so wrapped up emotionally into sporting events. Yeah I'll still yell at the TV when someone makes the 3rd out at 3rd base, but I wasn't one of the multitudes of people lamenting Matt Harvey's injury the day after the news on WFAN. You can bet your ass that I'm going to cry when the Mets finally do win the World Series though. You can't truly appreciate the sunshine until it rains.

@TheSlayer They aren't fair weather fans, they are frontrunners (i.e. People who will root for anyone as long as they are successful). I don't know about you, but I've noticed a lot more Baltimore Ravens shit in North Jersey since February. Nothing annoys the shit out of me more than frontrunners. I remember in 4th or 5th grade when the Cowpies were winning the Super Bowl every year. All the girls in class said they liked the Cowpies. So the boys asked the girls to name the quarterback. In unison they said "Duh, Emmit Smith!" All the boys and the one girl who truly was a Cowpie fan all busted out laughing.

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09-24-2013 06:03 PM
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JohnKreese Offline
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RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
I've found that the older I get, the less I really care about sports. I still love watching college football, but I don't live and die with my favorite teams like I used to. Like many have said, you just discover better/more important things to do with your time/to be emotionally invested in.

I also am really starting to despise the mob mentality, "us vs. them" thought process that I experience when attending sporting events. Had I entered your town three days prior, you wouldn't have given me a second look. Today, wearing opposing team colors, I get cussed at, spit at, people try to start fights, throw things, etc. As much as I respect people being loyal to their (oftentimes shitty) favorite teams, I think that the ugliness that it brings out in many and the useless aggression that it spawns vastly outweigh the espirit de corps that sports can create amongst fans.

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09-24-2013 07:04 PM
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RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
(09-24-2013 07:04 PM)JohnKreese Wrote:  Had I entered your town three days prior, you wouldn't have given me a second look. Today, wearing opposing team colors, I get cussed at, spit at, people try to start fights, throw things, etc. As much as I respect people being loyal to their (oftentimes shitty) favorite teams, I think that the ugliness that it brings out in many and the useless aggression that it spawns vastly outweigh the espirit de corps that sports can create amongst fans.

Fans who fight other people because of sports or harass people at the arena/stadium because they are rooting for the other team are bona fide losers.

I can never understand physically fighting someone over fucking sports when you are not the player.

If you wear the jersey of the opposing team at NFL/NBA/NHL games, do you get a lot of negative attention and aggression from other fans?
09-24-2013 07:10 PM
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JohnKreese Offline
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RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
(09-24-2013 07:10 PM)TheSlayer Wrote:  
(09-24-2013 07:04 PM)JohnKreese Wrote:  Had I entered your town three days prior, you wouldn't have given me a second look. Today, wearing opposing team colors, I get cussed at, spit at, people try to start fights, throw things, etc. As much as I respect people being loyal to their (oftentimes shitty) favorite teams, I think that the ugliness that it brings out in many and the useless aggression that it spawns vastly outweigh the espirit de corps that sports can create amongst fans.

If you wear the jersey of the opposing team at NFL/NBA/NHL games, do you get a lot of negative attention and aggression from other fans?
I quit wearing jerseys when I quit playing sports and I don't really go to professional sporting events, but I see what wearing opposing colors does as college stadiums (can be pretty bad). I can only imagine that wearing an actual jersey at a pro event would be even worse.

"In America we don't worship government, we worship God." - President Donald J. Trump
(This post was last modified: 09-24-2013 07:12 PM by JohnKreese.)
09-24-2013 07:12 PM
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Tuthmosis Offline
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RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
Lakers till I die! There are only two types of Laker seasons: championship and non-championship.

Sure explains my mad confidence, steeze, and devastating raw-dogging abilities.

I'm also great at coming from behind:




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09-24-2013 07:15 PM
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Vaun Offline
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RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
I gave up on the Browns. Have been watching them lose my whole life and was born a few blocks from Muni stadium. Kind of feel guilty about it, but so did George Steinbrenner, Lebron, and most people who have left there. I am one of the only Clevelanders that doesn't fault Lebron, my life has been great since I left, I have made way more money and have had a great career than if I stuck around there. Before I left there I could have cared less for the Browns, its probably why I am not as into the NFL as I was when I was a kid. My adopted team is the Giants, and have liked them my entire life so I am not bandwagon, but its been great to root for a winning team. At times I think the only reason the Browns exist is to sell merchandise, as they are one of the top sellers in NFL merchandise.
09-24-2013 07:20 PM
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UrbanNerd
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RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
you picked bad examples as I think all of those teams have made the playoffs in the last 15 years or so or at least had winning seasons.

If you want to pick a bad team to root for, maybe pick the detroit lions(was so bad after barry sanders left) in the nfl, maybe kent state in ncaa football or indiana or illinois. Maybe the golden state warriors in basketball(tho they did win titles in the 1970s, and seem to have finally turned things around, that 37 years in the middle was riddled with mistakes (if you want to read an article on how not to run a basketball team, read that)

My point is, sure when you think 'chicago cubs' people instantly think 'losers' but if you look at their games(their home games at least), you get the impression the stadium is packed with babes. They now have theo epstein as GM and are on the right track. The Houston Astros are the only teams to never win a pennant, but even they had some good recent years with biggio and bagwell. The Astros are still far and away the worst run MLB franchise.

The Cubs have always attracted a more upscale fan, while the White Sox(from the south side of chicago) generally draw the blue collar fans of chicago.
09-24-2013 07:43 PM
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UrbanNerd Offline
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RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
(09-24-2013 07:20 PM)puckman Wrote:  I gave up on the Browns. Have been watching them lose my whole life and was born a few blocks from Muni stadium. Kind of feel guilty about it, but so did George Steinbrenner, Lebron, and most people who have left there. I am one of the only Clevelanders that doesn't fault Lebron, my life has been great since I left, I have made way more money and have had a great career than if I stuck around there. Before I left there I could have cared less for the Browns, its probably why I am not as into the NFL as I was when I was a kid. My adopted team is the Giants, and have liked them my entire life so I am not bandwagon, but its been great to root for a winning team. At times I think the only reason the Browns exist is to sell merchandise, as they are one of the top sellers in NFL merchandise.

I am Browns fan until death. The Browns losing ways do not bother me much because I live in the Washington DC area and it's not like the DC-area teams were any better. Besides, I had some good times during Lebron-Cavs years and a couple of shocking Cleveland Indians seasons. On top of that, my undergrad alma-mater, Michigan State, is always good in college basketball and the football team with give you a good season every now and then. I can even stretch it more with wearing my U-Wisconsin gear (grad school) because of their football program.

I ALSO did not fault Lebron for leaving the Cavs. The "table scraps" the organization gave him as teammates would make me leave too!

I do cheer for the New York Mets because growing up, they were televised on that WWOR "superstation cable channel", and I saw so many of their games.
(This post was last modified: 09-24-2013 07:56 PM by UrbanNerd.)
09-24-2013 07:53 PM
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BLarsen Offline
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RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
Sports is probably one of the only areas in which it seems ok for men to totally toss logic and reason out of the conversation and be completely emotional. What I've proposed may make logical sense, but makes zero emotional sense.

When you think about your favorite sports team what do you think of?
  • Wanting to be a play for your favorite team when you were a kid
  • Going to the stadium with your friends/family
  • Watching the game around the TV with friends family
  • The emotional buildup before a big game
  • Investing hours into studying statistics and thinking of moves your team could make to improve the team

People aren't emotionally invested in the team, they're invested in everything that goes into being a fan. Bonding with family, feeling like part of a community, sharing joys and sorrows. The problem with sports is that all that mental energy you put into being a fan has ZERO effect on the outcome.

Here are some things you can put a large amount of time and energy into, spend time with people and have control over the outcome:
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Skateboarding
  • Join a rec league

I don't even like any of the things in that list, I'm just thinking of alternatives. I'm not giving up football or any of my favorite sports, I just like to keep things in perspective and be aware of WHY I do things.
09-24-2013 10:59 PM
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teh_skeeze Offline
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RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
(09-24-2013 07:43 PM)master_thespian Wrote:  The Houston Astros are the only teams to never win a pennant, but even they had some good recent years with biggio and bagwell. The Astros are still far and away the worst run MLB franchise.

Not to derail the thread....but the Astros are under new ownership. This year was about stripping everything down to the bare minimum. The franchise is going to make a huge profit from revenue sharing. I'd say give it at least two more years before making any judgements on them. If the money is invested wisely, they could be a team to watch out for in 3 years time. Now if you had said the Marlins, nobody could argue with you. They do have two championships though.

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(This post was last modified: 09-24-2013 11:06 PM by teh_skeeze.)
09-24-2013 11:05 PM
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Mujeriego Offline
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RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
I never understood how guys could live and die by how their team(s) were doing. I have a few friends that are like this and it always struck me how sad their lives are; shuffle to work everyday and countdown the days until the next game while their b-team girlfriend babbles on about the new guy Vicky is dating.
(This post was last modified: 09-25-2013 12:28 AM by Mujeriego.)
09-25-2013 12:27 AM
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jariel Offline
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RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
Your favorite team doesn't give a damn about you...

Quote:I understand you love the Chargers. You root for them; you want them to win. It kills you when they lose. But let me tell you a little story. Back when I was practicing medicine in Oklahoma, there was a doc in obstetrics who used to like to go to titty bars. And there was this particular titty bar not too far from the hospital where he'd go every chance he got. And this was Oklahoma, which ain't exactly the big leagues of titty bars. I shouldn't say that, that's rude. Anyhow, this doc, he got real sweet on one of the strippers there. And he started coming back from lunch and telling everybody how he was sure this girl was sweet on him too, and that she was telling him he was different than the other guys, and blahbitty fuckin' blah. This goes on for a few months. Then, on Valentine's Day, he shows up at the titty bar with a bunch of flowers to ask this stripper to be his girl or whatever. Guess what happened."

"She said no."

"No. He never even asked her, 'cause when he walked in she was grinding her ass on some guy's hard-on. He took a swing at this fella and got a beer bottle to the head, like an asshole. Which, for future reference, is the only way you can get a beer bottle to the head: like an asshole," he said.

"Wow. That sucks."

"Not really, because he was a stupid sonofabitch. What he failed to recognize — that any sane human being would — is that a stripper is always gonna be just nice enough to you to keep you coming back, but at the end of the day, she doesn't give a fuck about you. You're just a hard-on she rubs up on for money. That's her job. And guess what? That's the same goddamn way the San Diego Chargers and any other team feels about you. So the next time you want to get up and kick something, remember this: Your favorite team don't give a fuck about you, so why the hell should you let them ruin your day? Or, more important, destroy a sacred bottle of bourbon?"

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09-25-2013 03:04 AM
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UrbanNerd Offline
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RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
(09-25-2013 03:04 AM)jariel Wrote:  Your favorite team doesn't give a damn about you...

Neither does your employer...
Or the mechanic who fixes your car...
Or the school that has their name on your degree...
Or that stripper...
Or that actor/actress/music entertainer
Or probably the chicks that we bang in these foreign countries...especially if the country is much poorer than the USA

Yet....

We pursue, root, brandish and give business to them.
(This post was last modified: 09-25-2013 08:26 AM by UrbanNerd.)
09-25-2013 08:25 AM
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Vaun Offline
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RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
(09-25-2013 08:25 AM)UrbanNerd Wrote:  
(09-25-2013 03:04 AM)jariel Wrote:  Your favorite team doesn't give a damn about you...

Neither does your employer...
Or the mechanic who fixes your car...
Or the school that has their name on your degree...
Or that stripper...
Or that actor/actress/music entertainer
Or probably the chicks that we bang in these foreign countries...especially if the country is much poorer than the USA

Yet....

We pursue, root, brandish and give business to them.

but lets be perfectly honest, if the Browns organization, the Lerner family or whoever owns them now really gave a damn about Cleveland and not just selling jerseys, they would have put even a modestly better team on the field since 1999.
09-25-2013 08:38 AM
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UrbanNerd Offline
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Post: #21
RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
(09-25-2013 08:38 AM)puckman Wrote:  
(09-25-2013 08:25 AM)UrbanNerd Wrote:  
(09-25-2013 03:04 AM)jariel Wrote:  Your favorite team doesn't give a damn about you...

Neither does your employer...
Or the mechanic who fixes your car...
Or the school that has their name on your degree...
Or that stripper...
Or that actor/actress/music entertainer
Or probably the chicks that we bang in these foreign countries...especially if the country is much poorer than the USA

Yet....

We pursue, root, brandish and give business to them.

but lets be perfectly honest, if the Browns organization, the Lerner family or whoever owns them now really gave a damn about Cleveland and not just selling jerseys, they would have put even a modestly better team on the field since 1999.

I cannot disagree with that statement at all. The owners (and the NFL) is about making money first. That is why Cleveland only had to wait 3 years before getting a team again. The NFL KNEW they were getting 80,000 sold-out tickets (size of old stadium) and had a cash cow.

...but it is now limited to the Browns...

Jerry Jones knows how hard it will be to field a Super Bowl team, so he has "Plan B" in effect. That stadium can host big boxing matches, Super Bowls and you know Jerry is going to put in bids for the college football playoffs too.

Here in DC, Snyder doesn't care as much either. He KNOWS that there is a waiting list for Redskins season tickets.

The teams that really care are usually the winners....Steelers, Patriots, etc.
09-25-2013 08:52 AM
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The Beast1 Offline
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Post: #22
RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
Don't care for professional sports.

Now if I was betting money on these games, I would definitely be far more invested in them winning. I had friends who were big into sports betting and they would say the craziest things.

Being a die hard (Insert team here) fan is pathetic. Living in Boston makes me gag at the level of religious love for shitty sports teams. I'm from Pittsburgh and I only root for teams that win. Fair weather all the way.

If the Red Sox were to move out of Boston tomorrow and that stupid stadium demolished I'd be thrilled. It would make traveling in living in Fenway a lot more enjoyable.
09-25-2013 10:28 AM
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Cr33pin Offline
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Post: #23
RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
I always like a winning team a long with my regular teams... I like the Redskins but this year I also like the Broncos, they got Payton who some thought his career was over and the Colts gave him up. Hes a good QB I like to see him doing well so I can cheer for them as well as the Deadskins.

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09-25-2013 10:55 AM
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big poppa Offline
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RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
I've got my Rugby League team, the South Sydney Rabbitohs, playing in the grand final qualifying match in about 20 hours. The biggest game of my life as a supporter

We haven't won a premiership since 1971. I was born in 1991 and the first time I witnessed Souths in the playoffs was 2007. We made it again last year and now this year. We came pretty much last or 2nd last every year between 1990-2006, including being kicked out of the comp for 2 years in 2000-2001 before taking the league to court and being re-instated.

Pretty off topic but I'm bloody excited.

I'm also the kind of guy that can really enjoy a win but I can also block out a painful loss and put it to the back of my mind, I got well used to that up until last year. I know many that let a loss destroy their week though
09-26-2013 09:22 AM
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Post: #25
RE: Sports - does rooting for a loser affect self-identity?
San Francisco is getting dangerous for sports fans, reports of brawls and attacks all the time at 49ers games, now a Dodgers fan gets stabbed to death outside of a Giants game. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Do...845399.php

Fucking can't believe all the violence and killing over professional sports games. A huge problem is all the gangs that identify with their home teams in NorCal it's the "Nortenos" that identify with the 49ers, in LA it's "Surenos" with the Dodgers. Now not only are you seen as a fan of an opposing team, but a potential rival gang member. It's so fucking pointless and retarded it boggles the mind, these people really need something positive in their lives.
09-26-2013 04:01 PM
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