Why I like my Sports Teams
Updated: Feb 16
I am often asked by family, and friends, alike, “How do you like the sports teams you like?" "How did you pick your teams?" "You’re not a fan of any Bay Area teams?”
And one of my favorite responses to the whole “You are from the Bay Area...shouldn’t you like Bay Area teams?" is to say that: "It’s true, I am from the Bay Area, but my hometown is Union City, and Union City does not have a team... So, if you’re telling me I have to like a team from another city, I’ll be the one choosing the city… thank you!” is always my smirky response.
But, seriously there is a reason for my basketball, baseball, and football teams being who they are, and this blog post will be designated to explain each and every one. I will even give a bonus at the end too. You will see what I mean later! We can start with my favorite basketball team: The San Antonio Spurs! If one doesn’t know how invested, and passionate I am about my Spurs, it is safe to say they don’t know me very well, especially during the NBA playoffs in April, May, and June! I will fight (verbally) anyone over the defense of my team, dress from head to toe in Spurs gear: be it in every day life, or even in the heart of Oracle arena, and now at the magnificent Chase Center in downtown San Francisco while at Warrior games. I don’t have a problem with it at all, including trying to out cheer millions of Warrior fans during chant sessions. (Yes I try to do that, and that's just how I am).
It started actually when I used to play NBA Jam on the old Nintendo system. I always loved the colors actually, and that influence stuck with me in my adolescence. Once I got a little older, and understood basketball on a more mature level than when I was younger, the Spurs just kind of stuck with me. NBA Jam featured on the Spurs David “The Admiral” Robinson, Avery Johnson, Sean Elliot, and even Dennis Rodman.
My fandom continued as I grew a little older, especially when one of my aunt’s, “Buddy,” offered to fly me out to San Antonio during the season, stay in the city for a week, and watch the Spurs play in the Alamodome for three games! I’ll never forget that experience. I especially hold on to those memories because not too long after that trip, my aunt fell ill to lung cancer, and shortly after in a time frame passed away (God rest her soul.) After all we had been through, and there were so many memories, that I won’t get into on this particular blog post, that of course the fact that she took me down to San Antonio in 2002, that the Spurs would remain my favorite basketball team!
Once I was old enough to all the way understand basketball in the sense my friends, and family could debate back and forth with jabs about each others teams, of course I had to defend the narrative “…but the Spurs are old and boring to watch.” To that, I would just think y’all just don’t know the excitement is is to watch fundamental basketball, and a winning culture! "Y'all look at the elbow bank shot by Tim Duncan and think "Why doesn't he just go in for a dunk that will be on Sports Center?" Or never took the time to appreciate the level of competitive fervor Argentinian Manu Ginobli brought to the game of basketball. Mind you, he was a champion before he played in the NBA, winning MVP's for his country. He was the driving force for Argentina's national team upsetting the United States team in 2004. And obviously as a member of the Spurs organization:Tony Parker ran the show at point, and Tim Duncan brought the leadership, and set the standard, with amazing skills, but Manu Ginobli was always the x-factor!
To all the young aspiring point guards out there, have you looked, and tried to master the beautiful tear drop shot that Tony Parker perfected to make his shots over the trees that are parked in the paint, and make them with finesse? I don't think so... You all can have your high flying, 360 degree dunking teams, and point guards who can hit nothing, but threes in their sleep. I like a consistent brand of basketball, and no other team or organization has brought me that type of excitement like the Spurs have. Yeah, the Warriors led by the "Splash Bros", Stephen Curry, and Klay Thompson, two of the greatest shooters the world has ever seen, as they continue their run that started in 2015 and continues on. For the record, Steph Curry is actually one of my favorite players not on the Spurs. I can not tell a lie, and say I do not enjoy watching him play, and shoot the ball the way he does. And as another aside, my grandmother once told me he is my fourth cousin on my dad's side. Which whether true or not, I hold in my back pocket whenever Steph's name is brought up. Back to the topic though, again the Spurs first championship was in 1999, and their last one was in 2014! That is a dynasty!
I am old enough to remember watching all their championship years spanning over a twenty year run, winning championship titles in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014. I do remember them all! Was rooting heavily for those great runs behind the leadership and fire power of our “big three” would always provide fans, and the rest of their teammates to provide a deep playoff run each and every year, and remain in contention for a championship, which is what it is all about!
Man I just loved the Spurs, and I have never wavered from them, or switched teams. Even in recent years when now the “Big Three” have now all retired, and Benedict Arnold… I mean Kawhi Leonard left our team high and dry for reasons that still don’t add up to me, but it’s water under the bridge now, because I have officially moved on from that debacle. I will remain a Spurs fan! I will root like crazy until we return to prominence and live up to the standard set by Coach Gregg Popovich and all the Spurs greats that have put on the San Antonio uniform. I will always be a San Antonio Spurs fan!
I see this post has gotten long, but hopefully you’re still reading, and didn’t forget that I still have two other teams I need to talk about, and explain myself!
My baseball team is The New York Yankees! How this came to be is very simple, and maybe a little band “wagonny”, but hey there is a reason for my madness! (Kanye Shrug). When I was growing up playing baseball in little league I always played on the Yankees with the exception of one year I played on Rangers. My favorite baseball team growing up was actually the Seattle Mariners, and that was because my favorite player played for them: Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez. He played shortstop, and I always enjoyed watching him play. I used to love playing with him in video games too! Like Backyard Baseball, and MVP Baseball. He was my guy, and ask my brother Justin what time it was when he’d come up to bat with the bases loaded in video games, something in my will always found a way to make him shine on video games back in my youth.
All that being said, back to the topic of how the Yankees are my team for baseball, in 2004 the Yankees made a money move and acquired Alex Rodriguez to their roster, a big block buster move the New York Yankees are known for making. To me at the time it was the perfect situation as an easily manipulated fan to say “oh Alex Rodriguez is a Yankee, and I have all these Yankees hats and jerseys, of course I made the switch and became a Yankees fan! And have been one ever since! Again yes I know… it was a band wagon type move, because when Alex Rodriguez had his stint with the Texas Rangers, I was still a Seattle Mariners fan. But hey, it is what it is!
Lastly, but certainly not least is the love I have for my Los Angeles Rams! My love for the Rams stems from my late Uncle Eric (God rest his soul). When I was young growing up, Uncle Eric lived in St. Louis, and would often send me different Rams collectables, and memorabilia, one in which included a blow up Rams chair that I would love to sit in. Now here is the thing for those who do not know. When I was young growing up I claimed the Rams as I my favorite team, but I was not a football fan. I had never sat down and watched them play or anything. I was just a fan of the brand growing up. I also had my favorite player in running back Steven Jackson, who is the Rams all time leading rusher with 10,132 rushing yards.
When I got to high school, and started playing high school football, I started watching them actually play more closely. Ever since then I watch them play as much as I can. Be it on television, going to see them in person play a local team, or going out to Los Angelas to see a game! One can catch me getting up early to get to church, and then in the afternoon at Buffalo Wild Wings cheering my Rams on! The more the years go on, the more I learn more and more about the game of football. As anyone invested in the game of football watching, it always gives me the desire to play on the field each time. It’s an adrenaline rush that football gives me, and I love it! It's 2022 now, and on February 13th, I was able to watch my Los Angeles Rams return to prominence and win the Super Bowl! The run they had this year I followed for sure every step of the way, and even though I don't get the rings or glory as the players on the field do, I definitely feel like a champion after this Super Bowl win the Rams just completed!!!
Lastly, and this is a further reading I am going to just include: there is one sport in the world that I forgot to bring up. It is known as the most popular sport in the world, and that is soccer! Growing up I was never really into soccer. I watched my younger brother at a young age play the game, and at first I still wasn't inspired, but as he kept playing at a young age, when I got to fourth grade I decided to try it. That lasted only a season and I was done with it. Never really watched professional games on television either. To me it was too slow, boring, and I just didn't have rooting interest which was probably the biggest issue for me. Now, in 2006 in April there was a new app that quickly became popular to the world. That app was Twitter. The app that lets you give updates to the world on public and private thoughts to those who read it. When I first discovered it, I realized I could follow all my sports teams Twitter updates regarding my teams, and get updates, and articles from beat writers. All I had to do was go to the search bar, and type in the team name, and everything would come up.
As previously read, one of my favorite teams is the Spurs. In the beginning I would go to do a basic search on Twitter about my Spurs, and I would often get confused because it seemed like they were updating me about soccer, and I would think "that can't be right...," or see someone say the Spurs are getting ready to play, knowing there are no Spurs games today, people are clearly trippin!!!!! Well one day, while over at my aunt, and uncles house in Virginia at the time, my cousin Marcus and I were watching the English Premier League, one of, if not the best, most competitive soccer leagues in the world in the world. He was watching his favorite soccer team, Manchester United play, and I was just sitting there, half watching, barely interested at all, and something just happened to pop in my head to want to ask him this question. "Hey do you know of a soccer team called the Spurs?" He gave me a response like "Yeah... they play in this English Premier League we watch! This sort of sparked my interest, and antenna! I thought, "hmmm that's interesting", he told me their schedule, and when they played.
So we watched that day, and suddenly I had a rooting interest! My cousins love to play FIFA, the popular soccer game, and now instead of roaming random teams, and countries that I could possibly choose from not knowing who or why I chose them in the first place, I had a go to! And eventually over time, I was able to identify players on the team. The best player, most recognize as the best on the Spurs is named Harry Kane, he is a forward or striker! (the players who do most of the scoring). He is really good, and from what my cousins told me is he grew up watching the Spurs in his country, and then soon became a star for the team, that is an amazing accomplishment to pull off if one is an aspiring player in any sport! I became familiar with other players like Moussa Demblé, the goalie Hugo Lloris, and a couple of others on the Spurs, that again, I could actually identify with a cheering interest, but to me my favorite on the Spurs was Christian Eriksen! A Danish soccer player, who played midfielder for the Spurs. I don't know, he just had a real cool name to me, and he was exciting to watch! He was my new favorite soccer player, and still is!