A Transplant’s Concern: Following Your Favorite Sports Teams
So you have your beer. The pizza guy has just delivered to your door. You have your favorite player’s uniform on. You adjust your ballcap, wring your hands and settle in for the evening’s big matchup. However, you have this feeling that something isn’t quite the same. Not better or worse, just different. Then it hits you: you know you’re going to open up your morning paper and get one or two paragraphs on your team. You’ll tune into the local sports station and hear talk about every team but yours. Is there even anyone around that can be the target of some of your best sports trash talking? We’ve all had more than one outstanding zinger cocked and loaded, waiting to let fly on an unsuspecting fan, yet the search for the victim of your carefully constructed verbal bomb seems to take a little longer than usual.
Such is life for those of us who have moved hundreds of miles away from our home team’s fan base. Sports fans have a need to be able to follow their favorite teams. Had NHL Center Ice not been available to me, any chance of living in Charlotte would’ve gone up in flames. Either I get to follow my New York Rangers down South or I’m staying put. I know more than one New York Giants fan who would not move if they didn’t have the ability to get a DirecTV signal and NFL Sunday Ticket. Color us crazy, but our sports allegiances are powerful enough to cloud better judgment.
To any fan on the verge of leaving home for greener pastures with thoughts of, “what will it be like cheering for my team with seemingly no fan base surrounding me,” I’ve been there. I’ve felt your pain.
One of the wonderful things about living in a northern-ized area like Charlotte is that there are more than enough fans of your own team, as well as more than enough potential victims of your best howitzers. I can tell you from experience that I’ve been the recipient of more than one lame attempt from a rival team’s fans at getting under my skin. I’ve seen more than my share of New York Giants and Jets jerseys wandering around before the first games of football season. Yankees and Mets fans have been very easy to spot (Yankees fans are the ones walking tall and Mets fans are the walking wounded…boom!!!!).
Radio? Who really needs an actual radio. My firefox browser has the local New York sports talk station bookmarked and ready to be streamed with the click of a mouse. I’ve turned my place into a New Jersey suburb on many an afternoon, complete with traffic and weather reports that have no relevance to me (but for those of you stuck on the New Jersey Turnpike due to rain and a jack knifed tractor trailer, good luck with that). If I’m not home I have my SiriusXM receiver with coverage of every game from all the major leagues as well as a talk only station for each sport. I have all those bases covered, no pun intended.
TV? Not a problem. My NHL Center Ice package, literally one of the first things I subscribed to after calling for my cable, has that taken care of. On nights with a lighter schedule, both home and away feeds are being offered, so there’s little chance of me missing my hometown broadcast. Three of the four major leagues have cable subscriptions, DirecTV offering all four with the NFL Sunday Ticket. Plus I can peek in on the rival team in case I need a little more ammo to fire off on the transplant down the street. Remember, all is fair in love and sports allegiances.
I think we have everything covered. Radio, check. TV, check. Adult beverage and snacks, check. Fans to razz, check.
Let’s go Rangers!!!