Updated: Jul 24, 2020
This post was originally published in June 2014. I think some of the points raised are appropriate in today's NFL, particularly regarding the Washington team.
Is it ever okay to change your team?
I have heard a lot of discussion about the possibility of a London Franchise and the pros and cons of such a team. It did make me think, would people have the London Knights/Monarchs/Spitfires (to name the team prematurely) as their second team or would they change teams to support them? That got me thinking, is it ever okay to change your team? My first thought was hell no you cannot change your team under any circumstances, (Insert team here) 4life, (insert team here) till I die etc. Then I thought about it a little and came up with a few situations that might get you to think about changing.
You move to another city Let us say that you are a Green Bay Packer Fan living in Cardiff. You get a promotion and you are relocated to sunny San Diego. You get overtaken by the Southern California lifestyle, make new friends , find fantastic bars (Harbour Town Pub , Point Loma if you are ever in San Diego), get a Chargers loving Baywatch girlfriend and take up surfing. Can you support the Chargers?
Relocation of team This is a very strong reason to change your team. You’re an LA native been supporting the Rams for many years then they up sticks to St Louis. What connection do you have to that city? Yes they are still called the Rams and have the same players but do you still support them when they left you? This is a highly emotional subject and has been written about in depth by much better writers than me. Adam Rank of the Dave Dameshek podcast springs to mind with his connection to the former LA Rams.
Team is badly run Chris Wesseling from the ATL podcast famously was a Bengals fan until he became disillusioned with the way the team was run. I think this is a bit of a cop out quite frankly. There are very few teams that you can say haven’t been badly run over the last 20 years. Al Davis was the poster boy for running a team badly for years but this only increased the “them against us” feeling among Raider fans. As a side note for Cowboy fans Jerry Jones is fast becoming the Al Davis of this generation.
Loss of a favourite player This one is a bit of a stretch. Imagine if you will you fell in love with the fairy tale story of a young 6th round pick called Tom who replaced a walking tree called Drew and won the hand of a fair maid called Giselle. What would you do if the young hero was traded by the evil Wizard called Bill? People chose teams for many reasons and a particular player can be favoured more than the actual team.
Moral Dilemma A very topical issue this one. There have been several instances that we are all aware of over the last few months in the NFL and NBA. Should the Washington Football team change their nickname? Should Jim Irsay be treated the same way players would be treated? Donald Sterling?
Team just sucks As the heading suggests your team is just really bad with no sign of improvement. Where is the fun in that? Can you imagine not having that feeling every year that this is your season? Every year I follow OTAs, minicamp, training camp and think this is the year that we show the world that everyone else is wrong. We will prove all the so called experts wrong and win the Super Bowl. Sound familiar? If I gave up on the Raiders every year we had a bad season I would have been a Patriots fan a long time ago.
So can I change team? The more thought I have given this the more I think that are circumstances that you can change your team. I would never consider changing my team for footballing reasons. However if the team was run by someone like Donald Sterling and there was no way he could be removed I would consider boycotting the team. I would also consider a second team if I had a connection to them such as living in that city. As for the possible London franchise I have no connection to London, I don’t live in London and I’m a Welshman living in Scotland. I would travel to a few games a year but it would depend on the opposition. As many people have said, the NFL seems to miss the fact that the London international series games attract people from all over Europe not just London. So in conclusion, I guess I’m a Raider ’til I Die (except in certain circumstances).