My friend Sarah is a big basketball and football fan, but as long as I’ve known her she’s never been particularly interested in baseball. This year she’s decided to change that. We’ll check in on her every so often throughout the season and see how she’s doing with her newfound fandom. After the jump, Sarah explains her history of ambivalence with the sport and how she decided to become an Atlanta Braves fan while living in New York.
My dad said to me when I was younger that I leaned baseball from him and Harry Carey. Starting in elementary school I was a Cubs fan; growing up in Kansas and getting all the Cubs game on WGN, it seemed liked a natural thing. Plus, I loved Harry Carey. In 1989, every entry of my sixth grade journal had something about how the Cubbies were doing in their quest for the pennant up through their loss to the Giants in the NLCS. I was sad about the loss but sadder that Harry Carey wouldn’t be calling more games until the next season.
In high school I started following the Braves because all the games were on TBS and, yes, because they were winning. I was never a die-hard fan, though. As I got older I found it much harder to follow a team for all 162 games. It didn’t help that I didn’t really feel a strong allegiance to one team like I did in pro football (Eagles) and college basketball (Kansas). When I moved to NYC
over seven years ago, I thought I would become a Yankees fan, but my love for the city of New York could not overcome years of hating all New York teams. After a Mets fan broke my heart a few years ago, I tried again to be a Yankees fan; I tried even harder to cheer for the Yankees after a Mets season ticket holder broke my heart last summer, but it always felt unnatural that I was trying to be a fan of a team just to “get revenge” on a couple of boys.
I am an extremely passionate person so not having a team to cheer for made it very hard for me to want to follow baseball for an entire season. Over a month ago, I decided that I was going to find a team and make them my team for better or worse. One of my friends Geno (who is a Yankees fan) suggested I should be a Braves fan because every free agent was turning them down. Then I asked for ideas from my Facebook friends but I just got votes for the Royals from my friend who is a big Royals fan. I have no good reason not to pick them, other than I just knew I couldn’t be a Royals fan. If I picked either New York team it would be for all the wrong reasons. I decided on the Braves because I could watch most of their games on TBS, they weren’t a great team (but had potential), and my past history.
Now that I have picked a team comes the hard part: actually being a fan. I read what I can on-line and have some basic knowledge of what kind of team the Braves are, but while I’m waiting for the season to start I don’t really know what to do.
How did you become a fan of your favorite teams? Are there good resources (general baseball or Braves specific) to help Sarah follow her team? Have you ever been tempted to try “revenge fandom”? Discuss in the comments!