I've been saying for years that I want to write a book on rules for being a sports fan. If I ever get around to it, chapter one will be that you have one sports team per sport; you can't hedge your bets.
This topic came back to my consciousness last week when I had several friends and family members rooting for the Rangers in the play in game with the Rays. Their thinking was "well, they're from Texas so I'd rather they make it than a team from Florida."
It's not just Astros fans I've come across that think this way; I've had fellow Spurs fans root for the Mavericks in the NBA Finals and fellow Cowboys fans root for the Texans during the playoffs last year. (I am from the Rio Grande Valley, so the Spurs and Astros were the closest professional teams to me growing up and the valley is 90%ish Cowboys fans).
I cannot for the life of me ever understand this way of thinking. To me, you have one team and one team only. I do not even own a cap or shirt of any other team besides favorite teams. But with the Astros fall and Rangers rise the last several years, I've come across a large number of Astros fans that will support the Rangers "because they're from Texas."
This is a shame. Not only are these people sports bigamists, they are rooting for our rival. It shouldn't matter if they play in the same state as the Astros, they don't send every Texan a medal or trophy because one of the teams from our state won a title. I can't even imagine other states having this mentality. I can't imagine a true fan of another team bandwagon jumping to their favorite team's in-state rivals. Do you really think Lakers fans were rooting for the Warriors in the playoffs last season because "they're from California"?
I get that we should have state pride and be proud to be from Texas, which I am. But when it comes to sports, that pride is reserved for each of my teams. I don't have any allegiance to the Mavericks, Rangers, etc. just because they're from the state I live in. Especially when that in-state rival is also a division rival.
At the end of the day, I guess the real question is this. Can you be a true fan of a team when you'll root for your in-state rivals just because they're from the same state you live in? I say no. What do you say?