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Home team heartache

local culture


George Washington University


Home team heartache

How to find your home team away from home

Andrew Nelson


As the NBA and NHL playoffs get gritty, the MLB season kicks into gear, and the NFL draft brings hope to the teams that had none last year, it can be hard to be a sports fan away from home. You want to be surrounded by fans who share your passions and can talk about why your team will absolutely shock the world, or if you're a Capitals fan, why your team is going to lose to the Pittsburgh Penguins yet again. Sadly, if you are anything like me, a GW student from Aurora, Colorado, then there is almost no one nearby to share in your drama.

I have no one to share in my excitement for the Colorado Avalanche, who were fighting hard in a playoff series they have no business being in, how the Rockies are trying to be relevant, or how the upcoming fifth pick in the draft is the most important draft for the Broncos since they traded for John Elway in 1983. So, as a dedicated sports fan 1700 miles away from his sports town, how can I be involved?

The answer is to find a sports team, personality, or story that you can embrace more as a general sports fan than as a dedicated city fan. I have found that as a foreign fan in a new city, there are four key areas that the sports fan can evaluate to stay involved in the sports world.

1) The easiest way: to find a player you really enjoy.

Whether it is because they are exceptionally gifted, they have a backstory everyone can support, or you simply think they are funny or look cool. For example, I love Aaron Rodgers. I fully believe that he is the best quarterback in the NFL today. If he had any consistent defensive help or a coaching team that Tom Brady has, then he would have far more than the one Super Bowl victory on his record. Thus, I always root for the Green Bay Packers because of Aaron Rodgers.

2) Another solution is to find a team story-line that any fan would find appealing.

The Chicago Cubs finally winning the World Series after 108 years. The Cleveland Cavaliers ending the city of Cleveland's 52 year championship drought. The fact that every football fan outside of Boston hates the Patriots. All of these things can give the sports fan something to pull for even if it is just for a season.

3) Other humans can assist in this search.

Following the sports teams from your significant other's city provides the chance to talk about and share more with your boo. My girlfriend is from Cleveland, so my ESPN feed is full of Cavaliers and Indians news that I would otherwise never care about. I even follow the Browns, which really shows my dedication and dream of a day when they don't completely suck. Seriously, that team is just a factory of sadness.

4) The most direct and beneficial way to enjoy to enjoy sports in a new city is to follow the sports teams in that city.

I have been to more Nationals and Capitals games in the past 4 years than any of the Colorado teams. I find myself deeply invested in the Capitals digging themselves out of the Eastern Conference, whether the Nationals will re-sign Bryce Harper, and whether the Redskins name is ever gonna change. Having new sports teams isn't a betrayal of your hometown team, it is just expanding your hometown.