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Crusader 08-27-2012 06:55 AM

Recommended read: Why Does Anyone Root for Incompetent, Failing Teams?
Why Does Anyone Root for Incompetent, Failing Teams?
Published: August 24, 2012

In January 2002, the Oakland Raiders, a football team I have worshiped since I was 5, flew east to face the New England Patriots in a playoff game. I was living 30 miles north of Foxboro Stadium, and I can still remember the color of the sky that morning, the dense gunmetal of a looming storm. By late afternoon, snow was falling at an almost comical rate. It blotted out the yard markers and hampered traction, which lent the game a surreal, slapstick air.

The Raiders dominated, but the Patriots rallied late, led by a rookie quarterback named Tom Brady. Down three points with two minutes left, Brady dropped back to pass and found his receivers blanketed.

If I close my eyes I can still see Brady there, hopping about in the snow like a sparrow. He cocks his right arm as if to pass, thinks better of it, then pulls the ball down and pats it with his left hand. At this precise moment, the Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson (my favorite player of all time) crashes into him and rakes away the ball. Fumble. Raiders recover. Game over.

As all sports fans know, the Raiders went on to win the Super Bowl that year, and the next two besides, while the Patriots descended into a decade of incompetence. Brady, his confidence shattered, soon left football to run a used-car dealership outside Phoenix.

Oh, all right, thatís not exactly how it went down. But you canít blame a partisan for tinkering with the script a little, especially at such an agonizing juncture.

Consider what actually happened. The referee announced that the play would be reviewed, eventually ruling that Brady was attempting to ďtuckĒ the ball as he was pummeled and was therefore, by some cruel metaphysical logic, still in the act of passing, rendering his fumble an incomplete pass.

The Raiders never recovered from the shock. Not only did they lose the game in overtime; they also imploded as a franchise. I know this because Iíve invested tens of thousands of hours tracking their descent: the carousel of inept coaches; the disastrous draft picks; each and every senseless, drive-killing penalty.

This piece is great and I think a lot of us can recognize a whole lote of the stuff he writes about in ourselves.

QBREES9 08-27-2012 03:29 PM

Re: Recommended read: Why Does Anyone Root for Incompetent, Failing Teams?
Bill Belichick, is even a fellow Wesleyan alum. Middletown Ct.

SloMotion 08-28-2012 06:32 AM

Re: Recommended read: Why Does Anyone Root for Incompetent, Failing Teams?
... well, the Raiders have three SuperBowls, four AFC Championships, twelve Division Championships and eighteen playoff appearances since 1970 ... IDK if I'd refer to them as an "incompetant, failing team" ... they're just going through a rough patch and I understand the frustration after watching their first-round draft pick (Jankowski) miss an easy 30yd chip shot in the 1st quarter of Saturday's preseason win over the Lions, but all should not be doom & gloom in RaidersNation, eh?

But, why do fans root for "incompetant, failing teams"? I feel exceptionally qualified to respond to this thread, :lol:.

1) It's how you were raised: Talk to a diehard fan who's team has gone through a prolonged championship droughts ... the Cubs, RedSox, RedWings, Maple Leafs, Saints, Pistons ... they all have one thing in common, they grew up with those teams and some of their earliest, fondest memories are of watching those teams lose ... it becomes ingrained, almost like holiday tradition, watching your team blow it in the playoffs or on the way ... speaking of, I don't think I could celebrate Thanksgiving if I couldn't watch the Lions lose every fourth Thursday in November ... it's ingrained, see what I mean?

2) Regional loyalty: the team are your hometown boys and turning your back on them is like turning your back on where you live ... and you just don't do that.

3) Loyalty: it's a rare commodity in today's NFL where players & coaches jump organizations pretty regularly ... as a fan, the only consistency you have any control over is to root for your team, regardless of how pathetic they are ... you're 'vested', you're 'all-in', you've come this far ... seems like it'd be kind of a shame to jump ship now, eh?

While I truly sympathize with the plight of RaidersNation, at least they've had some success ... been to 'the show' a few times, even won it ... if you'd ask this poster, you haven't truly lived or rooted for an "incompetant, failing team" until you've experienced decades of mediocrity, 10yrs of Matt Millen and 0-16 ... just sayin'. :lol:.

lee909 08-28-2012 07:06 AM

I can't talk from a American sports culture.I chose to support the Saints.
I have no connection to the country let alone the city.
I just followed what felt right. It's a city I want to visit,not a international glamour team like the Cowboys,Dolphins etc.
The complete opposite of the type of foot all I used to enjoy watching(think Ravens D).But remembering watching the Super Bowl run and the story that went with it just seemed right.

But from a British perspective,we don't choose our teams we are told who we support.My dad is from Liverpool and I was a Liverpool fan,it's just the way it is.
I have been lucky in seeing us win most things.We are long time underachievers according to most but have win everything bar the league championship which is what we all want.
We as fans played a big part in running former owners George Gillete(Montreal NHL) and Tom Hicks(Texas MLB) out of town.They leverage bought the club and placed the debt in the club and we were in danger of going broke if they didn't get refinanced.There were some US based banks willing to lend them the money on huge interest which didn't matter to the owners as they were not paying.That was until the banks email systems were crashed with thousands of angry emails and they step away meaning that HSBC bank tool control and sold us to the Boston Redsocks owners.

You support your club all the time but most of all when things are not going well.
Owners,players,coaches come and go.
Some we love others not so much,but as fans we stay for life.Anyone willing to follow another club in bad times isn't deserving of the label fan and IMO is not missed.

mutineer10 08-29-2012 12:26 AM

Re: Recommended read: Why Does Anyone Root for Incompetent, Failing Teams?
In this day and age, it's easier to be a "remote" fan ... which makes the question of rooting for "incompetent, failing teams" more valid than ever before.

The internet, smartphone apps, Sunday Ticket, NFL Network, etc. make it absurdly easy to follow the team you fancy, no matter where you live. This would seem to negate SloMotion's "regional loyalty" in a sense, although most folks still seem to gravitate to their nearest team. Perhaps in hopes of someday being able to afford a ticket to an actual NFL game!

Lee makes a valid point, as well. He's never questioned his Liverpool loyalty because his father never questioned it. In the same vein, I was born a Crimson Tide fan ... I don't remember it as a choice!

As for why I root for the Astros ... ugh, I'm just hoping the new ownership means what they say about "improving the farm system" and "rebuilding from within." So, like any stupid fan, I'll keep watching and waiting! :)

Kosoma 08-29-2012 12:30 PM

Re: Recommended read: Why Does Anyone Root for Incompetent, Failing Teams?
Like many of you here, I am one of those long suffering Saints fans. My earliest football memories are of the Saints playing in Tulane Stadium. I suffered through some of the worst football imaginable. When we had a good offense, our defense sucked. If we had a good defense, our offense sucked. It was almost like a poorly written cartoon that way over exaggerates the truth. I suffered through the likes of Dave Wilson, Aaron Brooks, a 40year old Kenny Stabler and Richard Todd who had 19 ints to 1 td. I suffered through Bum Phillips, Jim Haslett and Mike Ditka who gave away a years worth of draft picks for Ricky Williams who didnt have a good season until he became a Miami Dolphin. And through it all the "Aints" were still my team. It only took 40 years for the Saints to show a commitment to winning and now that they have, by God, Im not going anywhere now, either.

Danno 08-29-2012 03:57 PM

Re: Recommended read: Why Does Anyone Root for Incompetent, Failing Teams?
I think a better question is why would a true fan abandon his team just because they've been struggling for a while?

Just to ask the question "Why Does Anyone Root for Incompetent, Failing Teams?" shows this guy has no clue what a true fan is.

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