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Freddie

Freddie deBoer used to blog at lhote.blogspot.com, and may again someday. Now he blogs here.

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7 Responses

  1. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    Damn skippy. The Cardinals are a good example of this in AZ. People sort of sneered at non-fans who were jazzed about the Super Bowl – as though we were sort of “fairweather” fans. But the thing is, the Cardinals had never done much to jazz us up. So their doing so amazing getting to the Super Bowl and then playing a really great game (sad game, too) did a lot to earn a broader fan-base. That’s the operative word – earn. You don’t just de facto get fans, you have to play a good game first. And the Cardinals deserve their fans now. They have loyal players, a great team, etc. But that hasn’t always been the case.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      It’s a variant of “dude, you should come to our church on Sunday”.

      Fans who only show up for the Superbowl games are “Christmas/Easter” types.Report

      • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

        Yeah, but said fans might show up to regular games if said team starts to play well enough to maybe make it to the Superbowl. Then you turn Easter/Xmas fans into regulars. (Problem with the Cardinals is they have no history of doing anything in AZ worth a damn. Now they do.)Report

  2. Avatar Rob in CT says:

    Put a good product out there on the field and people will come (Ray. People will come).

    The problem with the Whale, as I understand it, is the market is such that you needed a level of fan support that was unrealistic unless the Whalers were really good (which of course they weren’t, and there’s a chick & the egg thing going on there). CT is a tough place to have a major sports team. NY and BOS are close enough to draw off fans and they’ve got long and storied histories behind their clubs. I grew up in Fairfield County when the Whalers were still here. I was a Rangers fan, b/c my mother would once & a while snag some tickets to MSG from her company.

    Incidently, as I understand it, there’s a pretty devoted following around here for the AHL team, the Wolfpack. People like going to New Britain RockCats games (AA ball). That’s about our speed, I think.Report

  3. Avatar Bryan Wandel says:

    You miss the genuine good, Freddie, in team spectator sports. We can yak all day about disincentives to community life and a personal apprehension of the world in the last 150 years – but pro sports has done the opposite. Paradoxically, in an industry that began and later flourished as an outlet for advertising, that added to the mass culture’s cult of celebrity, and that increased exposure of people to the rest of the nation – amidst all this, the paradox is that pro sports has been one of the few forces that actually shape and encourage local identity.
    In cities with pro teams, you do not choose your allegiance, but inherit it with your birth. The reason for this is that fans do not cheer because they’ve a good shot at picking the right side, notwithstanding gambling, but because they own the team. Perhaps a new team has to win loyalties, but a person born into the culture of the team receives it as a birthright, or rather a birthmark.
    The local sports team is an efficient impetus to local identity because it effectively represents the community to itself. That is, the community can see itself, writ small enough to visualize all at once, in the team. It’s not just the San Diego Chargers that win, but San Diego gets the victory. And when our team loses, we all mumble about it – the team becomes part of our common experience and language for casual conversation.
    The great part is that the experience is exclusive. We can hate Dallas simply because they are Dallas! Few other places in modern culture is this allowed (or good). While culture, food, and mannerisms have become more approximately uniform across our country, the fact is that one sports team cannot become another. Even in the era of free agency, when players jump teams annually, only one team can actually win any given match. Again, that is a collective loss or win for the city as a whole.
    Cheering for local sports teams is not rational – but it is personal (and loyal and exclusive and best done with similar minded friends & some beers).
    Which is to say, if my Bills ever move out of Buffalo, it will not only crush me, but it will give me less explicit reason for being a proud Buffalonian.Report

  4. Son of a bitch!! I think I’ve seen it all now. A non-sports blog with a post about the Mighty Whale!. Ron Francis. Mike Liut. Those were the days. As far as your post. It is obvious that Karmanos had little or no intention of keeping the team in Hartford, sadly.Report