Switching Teams

David Brooks admits in today’s New York Times to be the sort of weak willed, fickle individual that would switch team loyalties at the drop of a hat. Specifically, he is now becoming a fan of the Washington Nationals, nee Montreal Expos, throwing out decades of loyalty to the New York Mets, simply because he lives in the Washington area. Feh.

What makes this worse is that the Mets and Nats are not only both National League teams but also division rivals.

I’m in a similar position to Brooks, being a fan of another division rival (the Atlanta Braves) and a transplant to the D.C. area. Unlike the feckless Mr. Brooks, however, I merely view this is an opportunity to catch some Braves games in person.

Update (3-30): Todd Zywicki may join Brooks–and he’s been a Braves fan for 20 years. For shame! He at least offers a more compelling explanation, the local nature of the game.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Mark says:

    I will post on this later – but he leaves out teams that relocate – as a Browns fan I had to change allegiances for a few years, as there was no Browns and no way in hell I would EVER root for the Baltimore Ravens.

  2. Todd Pearson says:

    I grew up in Minnesota and have always been a die-hard Vikings fan. During a few years in Washing ton and a few years in Philadelphia, I only grew to dislike the Redskins and the Eagles (respectively) more than I did before I arrived. I just don’t understand how this type of shifting of loyalties is possible unless you were never really much of a fan in the first place.

  3. Jack Tanner says:

    Though a lifelong Red Sox fan I secretly hope that the Devil Rays will rise up and crush both the Skankees and the Red Sox under their spikes. With a whole new world now that the Red Sox are defending world champions it’s time for a sea change and some new blood on top.

  4. jen says:

    Interesting, these sports allegiances.

    I am a born & bred Redskins fan and have remained ever loyal despite 14 moves at the behest of the US Navy in my first 20 years of life. Contrast this with my fickle fandom in baseball, where I tended to cheer for whatever team was nearby where we lived, until we moved back to the DC area and I adopted the Orioles. Then I moved to New England and adopted the better Red Sox, who are still my team of choice today. However, I have always loathed the Yankees – always.

  5. My football alligencies are set. Pittsburgh Steelers all the way. I will also always root for the Pirates.

    However, living in the DC area, and having the Orioles being an American League team (aka we never play them), I don’t mind rooting for them to succeed, as long as all World Series trips against the Pirates end the same way the ’79 Series ended – with a Pirates victory. I also will cheer for the Nationals, but not at the expense of the Pirates. Then again, they are not division rivals, so I can do such a thing.

    It seems that local baseball teams only endear themselves to me, while local football teams other than mine inspire loathing. I hate the Baltimore Ravens, will never actively root for the Redskins (I like Joe Gibbs, but not enough to care about that team), and my family living in the Philiadelphia area made me so against Eagles fans that I was one of only a few Steelers fans rooting for the Patriots two weeks after that royal trouncing they gave us two weeks earlier. Anything for a lack of Eagles Super Bowl the year I wanted us to be there. Next year may be a different matter, though, but we’ll wait and see.

  6. DC Loser says:

    I was a Met fan through all their lean years in the 70s and early 80s, especically since I grew up in the Bronx all through the Yankees’ dynasty years. Now that I find myself in DC, I only relish the opportunity to see the Mets when they come to town. While I might be neutral about the Nats, and even root for them if they play against other NL East rivals, I’ll still be a Met fan. I don’t know how Brooks can call himself a fan if he so easily switches allegiances just because there’s a new team in town.

  7. Jeff says:

    Sounds like Carolina Panthers fans. They were all Redskins or Cowboys fans (depending on which state they lived in and which team they usually got on TV during the old TV deals) before if they pulled at all for a team.

    Most of the people in SC (and maybe NC) who were Falcons fans before have remained Falcons fans (like me) and pull for the Panthers as a secondary team.

    The “bandwagon” version of the Panthers fans have been pretty obnoxious lately toward the Falcons fans and it has turned into a pseudo-rivalry (pseudo because of the Falcons’ complete domination of the Panthers.)

  8. bryan says:

    I’m a lifelong Cowboy fan. But am I the only one who thinks the Washington Nationals’ logo looks like a Wilson hat?

  9. IB Bill says:

    I think it depends on the team. I don’t see how switching from rooting for the Mets is a bad thing. The Mets are an annoying team, and Brooks used this opportunity of the Nationals to get his head straight. Good for him.