Most fan manifestos mandate that you have to root for the professional team in your city or region. Now, many have some qualifications and exceptions but it’s like trying to interpret the IRS tax code. Usually one such allowable circumstance is if your city does not have a team then you can pick another team. However, that exception comes with some clause that the choice must not be based on any enumerated item.
Where did all this regulatory code come from? I don’t know but it’s Un-American. We must stop this movement, led by who I call the Manifestos, immediately.

We allow more freedom of expression in our choice of religion, politics and sexuality. But choose to root for a pro team outside of your geographical boundaries and you have committed an unforgivable sin.
Let’s pull back a bit now, as I am not a fan anarchist. I am more of a libertarian who still has a few rules about team loyalty.

The big one is pick a team and stay with it. However, you get one time to be converted and root for another team. Unlike my Manifesto brethren, you don’t need a pre-defined reason. It might help to have a good explanation to fend off charges of being a reviled bandwagoner but as long as you stick with that new team you by definition are not a bandwagoner. You see, a bandwagoner will show their true colors and jump again and again.

I think that I understand the inherent desire to root for the pro team that inhabits the area where you live. That’s what you’re being fed on a regular basis through the media and what’s all around you. So, it makes sense that most people in an area root for that team. But that’s pretty much why a lot of fans that root for “national” teams got attached to their team.

Something called television has been around for the masses since the 1950s and it beams images of teams from these far way locations that enable sports fans to also see teams from other areas. Yes, seeing your team live is an added bonus and I would suggest a true fan make at least one pilgrimage to the city of their adopted team. But many fans that live in the same city as the team they cheer for don’t go, or have the opportunity to go to many – if any games. So, please spare the sideway glances that say your rooting interests are pure and superior.

Those that look at its citizenry who root for an outsider live and die by their convoluted dogma usually mumble something about rooting for the home team reflects local pride. Hmm, the success of a team with a roster that on average 91.5 % (made up stat) of the players were not born or raised in that area reflects geo-pride (made up word)?

Using that same logic, you would think living near a college would require a fan to root for Local Tech or Nearby State. But where are the Manifestos lighting the stakes for those who gravitate toward National U. Now, of course, may people whom root for a college team are graduates and that seems okay no matter where you are from. But what that says is that only those who have gone to college have a sports right to make an independent decision as to who to root for.

Sounds like elitism to me.

Perhaps my perspective is unduly influenced being born and raised in Central New Jersey, right smack dab in the middle of the New York and Philadelphia media markets. I had a plethora of pro sports teams to cheer. And although most aligned with teams from either metropolitan area, many sports fans within this Shangri-la sports corridor either feel no great connection to teams without New Jersey in their name or simply realize the options can also extend beyond geographical boundaries.

I grew up with two older brothers and the oldest like a birthright for the eldest became a fan of the Yankees. The middle brother went for the Mets. I could have mimicked either one or followed the other home rule option and rooted for the Phillies. Yet, the free thinker that I am I became a fan of the Cincinnati Reds.

Long live pro-choice!

Martin Sumners is an NBA columnist for Find out more about Martin at and follow him on Twitter @sumsoul.

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