Thursday, June 21, 2012

Characterizing the Fanbases

Ladies and gentlemen, I have yet another series to announce!

One of the many great things about the internet is that it gives us an insight into the worlds of others. Thanks to blogs, message boards, comment sections and whatnot, we're now exposed to the viewpoints of many people we otherwise never would've encountered, and the careful observer can gain an understanding of what the world looks like through these alternative eyes.

As a baseball fan, I personally find it interesting to get a glimpse of other fans' perspectives. The memories they have, the values they hold dear and the moments that stand out to them all provide insight. I root for two teams from the same city, for no other reason than geographical proximity. The question enters my mind: what kind of fan would I be had I been born in a different city and/or time? How would my style of rooting, or my attitude toward the game itself be different? Would there be much difference at all?

I thought it'd be a good exercise to put down my thoughts on paper (or more precisely, a sheet of internet space). What characteristics do I associate with other fanbases? Certainly, many fanbases have reputations, both good and bad.

As with any attempt to filter understanding of a larger group through a portion of its members, this exercise could lead to broad stereotypes or gross mischaracterizations. Reducing a multitude of rooters to one person exhibiting distinct traits, however, is a form of mental shorthand that most of us probably employ at some time or another, particularly those of us who have frequent contact with fans of other teams. Since some people could get offended, I'll give this series the obligatory disclaimer: "I know that all fanbases have their share of cool people as well as jerks, and that many, if not most, fans who read this post won't resemble the picture I paint here. These aren’t meant to be definitive treatises on each fanbase, so don't take it too seriously."

Many teams have fans with no distinct personality, so in those cases I'll attempt to construct a profile based on what little I have to go by. I'll also, where applicable, attempt to contrast stereotypes with what I've seen myself.

Once this series begins, I’ll use this post as a home base for each individual post.

#1: Arizona Diamondbacks
#2: Atlanta Braves
#3: Baltimore Orioles
#4: Boston Red Sox
#5: Chicago Cubs
#6: Chicago White Sox
#7: New York Mets
#8: New York Yankees
#9: San Francisco Giants
#10: Cincinnati Reds
#11: Cleveland Indians
#12: Colorado Rockies
#13: Detroit Tigers
#14: Houston Astros
#15: Kansas City Royals
#16: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
#17: Los Angeles Dodgers
#18: Miami Marlins
#19: Milwaukee Brewers
#20: Minnesota Twins
#21: Oakland Athletics
#22: Philadelphia Phillies
#23: Pittsburgh Pirates
#24: St. Louis Cardinals
#25: San Diego Padres
#26: Seattle Mariners
#27: Tampa Bay Rays
#28: Texas Rangers
#29: Toronto Blue Jays
#30: Washington Nationals