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Fair Weather Baseball Fans

Did your favorite team make the playoffs this year in baseball?  If they did, you have a legitimate team to cheer for and a reason to watch their games other than that they just happen to be on television.

Did your team miss the playoffs?  If that’s the case, you have one of two options: you can accept your team’s lack of success and look forward to spring training.  You can watch the post season as a baseball fan and continue watching with an indifferent opinion one way or the other.  The other option is to hop on the bandwagon for one for one of the remaining teams and become a new found fan.

You may not have any shirts, hats, or team gear for the team you choose to root for in October and possibly November.  You may not know any players besides the one or two stars of the team.  You may not even know the name of your new team’s stadium.  That’s alright.  Baseball, and sports in general, is more fun when there are people who are cheering for the teams that are playing.  When you go to a bar to watch the game, stand right next to a fan of the opposing team and let the new rivalry commence.

Fair weather fans or loyal fanatics?

How should you choose your post season baseball team?  The first choice is to pick a team who is playing against your team’s division rival.  This is reasonable and rational choice as you already do not like your opponent.  Now you can continue rooting against them.  This choice is more about rooting against a team than rooting for a team, but it makes the most sense from a true fan’s perspective.

The next option is to choose the team that is closest to where you live, or where you have family or friends.  Since every division is still represented in the first round of the playoffs, there should be a team that is relatively close, at least within a few towns or states of where you live.  There are probably going to be fans of this team where ever you go to watch the games at, and fitting in is always a good thing when it comes to watching and cheering for sporting events.  Some fans can get carried away if you are cheering for the ‘wrong’ team.

Fair weather fans

Don’t get caught if you are switching favorite teams for the playoffs

Another option, and the one that is most highly frowned upon, is to not publicly declare which team you are cheering for, but rather to cheer for the teams that are winning in the playoffs.  You’ll watch the first few games and see which teams are ahead in the series, and then after they win or advance in the playoffs you proclaim how you are a fan and have been cheering for them for a long time.  You may be labeled a fair weather fan from people who can tell you aren’t an actual fan.  As long as you stick by this team, or even change teams each series, you’ll have the last laugh as the team you are ‘cheering for’ is winning and beating the team that everyone else is cheering for.

Regardless of how you choose to watch the divisional series, league championship series, and World Series, you will have a team to root for that is good.  There are some teams with post season history and team history like the Dodgers and Red Sox who have fans all over the place.  There are small market teams that have fewer fans and could use some extra support like the Athletics and Rays.  There are teams that have had recent success that you can use to jump start your fandom such as the Tigers and Cardinals.  There are teams that haven’t been to the post season in a while and have fans who don’t care whether or not you are a real fan such as the Braves and the Pirates (22 playoff drought ended!).

If you don’t want to hop on a bandwagon, you could always cheer for individual players.  There are plenty of all stars and future Hall of Famers who are playing.  By specifically watching them you can gain an upper hand on knowing certain players’ backgrounds and what kind of players they are.  This can increase your baseball knowledge and give you a reasonable defense when someone asks you why you are cheering for the Tigers when Justin Verlander is pitching or the Red Sox when David Ortiz is at the plate.

There are 30 Major League Baseball teams.  Ten make the playoffs (eight if you don’t count the eliminated wild card team as not really making the playoffs).  This leaves 20 teams with fans that have no personal connection to the post season and no team to cheer for.  Baseball in the playoffs is too good not to watch, and it is definitely more fun and entertaining when you have a team to cheer for whatever the reason.  Fair weather fans are usually looked down upon, but there will be other fans of your new team who don’t care as long as you cheer for their team for the entire game or series.

If you want a monetary reason to watch the playoffs, you could always place some bets and have a REAL reason to want your team to win.  They would be winning you money after all.  Just make sure you aren’t an ex-baseball player who is good enough for the Hall of Fame and get caught doing it.  Things won’t turn out very well for you.

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