Even in the offseason, Kings fans are active. Sure, we don’t know what it was like to be on twitter when our team was in the playoffs- it wasn’t invented yet. But that doesn’t mean places like Sactown Royalty, Kingsfans.com, and a handful of fantastic Facebook Groups about the Kings aren’t going nonstop. (Oh and no, I’m not forgetting Kings Reddit).
Will Bogdan come over? Will he be the greatest Bogdan ever? Will Afflalo be back? What’s the best lineup? Who should we draft? Should we trade both picks to pick in the top 2/3? There are plenty of questions to ask and be answered in TDOS (The Dreaded Off-Season).
But one thing perked my ears this week. There was quite the kerfuffle in a couple of Facebook groups when one of the well-known members changed his FB profile pic to show him and the “Strength In Numbers” tag that Warrior Fans use.
I actually know this guy (I’ll leave his name out of this). In fact, he came on a Golden One Center tour as a winner of one of our station contests, and I’ve seen him at games and around town a couple of times. Really nice guy. I like him. Enjoyed the tour with him. Seemed like a die-hard Kings fan.
But IS he?
According to the vast majority of fans on those message boards and Facebook groups, he’s the worst kind of fan:
His explanation as far as I can tell? He’s from the Bay Area, and the Kings aren’t in it. He’s been a fan of the Warriors forever, but lives here and loves the Kings. I might be getting some of that wrong, but I’m pretty sure I’m close. Needless to say, the other fans online are ROASTING him, and roasting him HARD.
“Fake”. “Bandwagon”. “Traitor”. “Two-Faced”. Thing is, I’m split.
For one, being a fan is like being a parent. Each person has their own methods, and through the years I’ve grown more and more careful of telling people how to “fan”. To each their own. In the big scheme, all we are doing is rooting for laundry. These guys make millions on the back of fans, and many couldn’t care less about us. They come and go, and even if your team sucks forever (Kings), we still flock to the games, buy overpriced beers and hats and licorice, and root for a mostly subpar product (the team, not the arena of course). So why the anger and frustration if someone chooses to spend their emotional capital on something that doesn’t leave them sad 75% of the time?
The answer: Loyalty.
Sure we are all sheep, but we are willing sheep. For me, the idea of wearing another team’s gear other than the Kings (unless I lost a bet) is unfathomable. To openly “root” for more than one team is unconscionable. In my opinion, the only two acceptable reasons to root for a team other than yours is:
- Your team moved to another city
- You have children that play for two separate teams
Other than that, I can’t think of any. Last year we saw pictures of a couple wearing a split Kings-Warriors hat/jersey combo and all I could do is pray to God and Sunny Jesus that they didn’t have any kids that they could turn to the dark side. They had already lost the battle.
Part of staying with your losing team is the hope that one day your losing team will be your winning team, and it will be that much sweeter. I’m positive the awesome fan base in San Antonio loves it when their team wins, just as I’m positive that their fans can’t come close to the type of raw emotion Kings fans would have just to MAKE the playoffs. If the Spurs are an 8 seed next year, its a colossal failure and people will likely need medical attention from all the palpitations. If the Kings make the 8 next year, their fans will need the same medical attention, except those palpitations will be joyous. It’s the ride, dammit. The Kings are very much like the Cubs of the NBA, and to hop on and off whenever convenient is cheating yourself the pain of the experience. And the more pain you feel, the more pleasure you will feel when the time comes. Its the S&M side of being a sports fan.
Are there teams in the playoffs currently I’d like to see win? Sure. I’d love it if the Jazz won it all, and will root for them. Isaiah Thomas is a beloved former King, I’m pulling hard for him to continue to overcome the tragedy of his sister’s death and get a ring.
But you won’t see me wearing Jazz or Celtics gear. I am not a FAN of either of those teams- I am a casual observer who has picked sides.
Where do you stand? Is it ok to root for more than one team? Can you change allegiances like underwear, or are you stuck with the one you came to the dance with? Hit me up @carmichaeldave on twitter and let me know.