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Adams: Justification for being a bandwagon fan

| Tuesday, September 24, 2019

I’ve said multiple times now in my stories that I am a proud native of Lexington, Kentucky. If you ask me, my hometown is the best place on earth. However, the one thing it — and the State of Kentucky — are lacking is a professional sports team. Because of this, I’m pretty much, by definition, a bandwagon professional sports fan.

Say what you will, but there’s nothing I can do about it. I was born into these circumstances, and I don’t believe I should be persecuted for it (except for brief flings with the Lebron James-led Heat, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots and the pre-Kevin Durant Golden State Warriors, because that wasn’t even fun anymore). So, I figured I would present my favorite pro teams from the NBA, NFL and MLB and what I believe to be valid reasons for cheering them on.


NBA: Boston Celtics

Basketball was the first pro sport I actually got into, and is the only one I seriously follow today. It started right around the NBA finals in 2006. Seeing Dirk Nowitzki, a 7-foot power forward that launched threes, I thought he was so cool. I still wasn’t committed though, and the first Finals I actually watched (because I was finally old enough to stay up that late) was the 2010 series between the Lakers and the Celtics.

I couldn’t help but root for the boys in green, with Rajon Rondo (a Kentucky grad) at the point, smooth shooting Ray Allen on the wing and Nate Robinson and “Big Baby” Davis coming off the bench. And, after seeing in the Guinness Book of World Records that they had the most NBA championships, I looked into their history and discovered my basketball idol: Larry Bird.

I was an unathletic kid and never really had much success in sports growing up. But this was a guy who, while admittedly 6-foot-9, was unathletic but still killed people on the basketball court because he beat them with his mind. I didn’t give up on the Celtics when they lost the 2010 Finals (though I did briefly defect to the Heat on the Lebron James bandwagon, but c’mon I was 13 years old), and I hope Brad Stevens can bring a championship back to Boston.


NFL: Green Bay Packers

To be honest, Tom Brady still has a special place in my heart. The only football video game I had as a kid was Backyard Football ’08 and he was on the cover. Plus, he was in two of my favorite comedies, “Family Guy” and the movie “Ted 2,” and I admire him for being able to make fun of himself the way he did. Not to mention you just can’t help but like the guy (minus the kissing his son on the lips thing, yuck.)

However, being from Kentucky, I grew up with an ever-disappointing college football team. The one bright spot I knew of from my Kentucky Wildcats was Randall Cobb, an all-purpose guy who was drafted by the Packers. From there, my appreciation grew for the boys in a different shade of green (and yellow.) Plus, Clay Matthews’ cameo in “Pitch Perfect 2” was priceless. Even with Cobb gone to the Cowboys and Matthews to the Rams now, I still like the Packers for their tradition and Aaron Rodgers (what can I say, I got a thing for quarterbacks.)


MLB—Chicago Cubs

Finally, we have the Cubs. Ironically, the movie “Moneyball” didn’t inspire me to cheer for another green and yellow team in the Oakland As (even though it’s a great movie.) Instead, I root for the Cubs. When I played Little League, they named the teams after the pros, and I was on the Cubs. We lost only one game in the regular season and in the championship game we got revenge on the team that beat us.

It’s true that I haven’t really kept up with baseball either, so it’s easy to call me a bandwagon for announcing my Cubs allegiance after they finally won the World Series (and it admittedly did reinvigorate my interest.) However, now going to school at Notre Dame and having a good minor league affiliate for the Cubs in the city, I believe I am even more justified in rooting them on. Go, Cubs, go!

There you have it. Come at me with your criticism if you want, but I really don’t care. I wasn’t given a city to pledge my allegiance to for professional sports, but I’ve made the best of my situation. I have the freedom to choose my teams (within reason, I apologize for the Heat and Warriors, but not for Brady.) So, maybe next time you want to call someone a bandwagon fan, take a minute to think about what they may have been born into.

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About Hayden Adams

Hayden is the former sports editor of The Observer. When he's not working toward his four majors (physics and film, television & theatre) and three minors (journalism, ethics & democracy), you can probably find him hopelessly trying to save his beloved Zahm House from being wiped out. He plans to attend law school at a TBD location after graduation.

Contact Hayden