This is a difficult concept to tackle since there are a lot of people that enjoy sports. Of these people, there are quite a number of them that have a close allegiance to one of the many teams ouf there that they support in particular, be it a baseball, football, basketball, hockey team, or even an individual athlete on an amateur or professional circuit. Unless you are a stockholder, an employee (this includes the competitors on the field and in the front offices), or a very close relative or friend in constant contact with the athlete that competes, much to the heartbreak of few that will come across this article, they are not “your team.” Instead, they are more “the team you support,” and no doubt there is a difference to those two ideas. Questions might be had by some wondering if they can still say “we” or “our” in statements or questions like:
“We did it! We won the World Series!” Your effect on the outcome was likely minuscule to zero. You did not help, but you were a witness to a great happening, and the parade will be awesome.
“What are our needs to fill going into the offseason?” What are the needs of you and whomever you are addressing? I don’t know, man.
“Your guys suck, mine are better.” You two/however many in this discussion don’t employ any of these guys. This statement would pass if it were between two fantasy sports owners.
Other questions that don’t involve “we” or “our” are excellent ones. For example:
“But at Giants games they say Your San Francisco Giants.”
They do, that is indisputable, and I hate to sound like some sort of novice conspiracy theorist or a Debbie-Downer, but this is ultimately a marketing ploy to make you more invested into the game, and the team it$elf. Which leads me to the next thought:
“Both at and away from the games I spend so much money on gear, so my dedication proves I’m part of the team.”
Your dedication proves you’re dedicated to the team, not a part of them. Even if you go on those team-sponsored vacations, you may be getting closer to “we” status, be it at the pace of a Bengie Molina-snail, but you are still not there yet. You may be “donating” $200/game to the organization to help it turn the wheels of its business, but they’re not standing at the gates, concession stands, gift shops, and near your seats telling you that your contributions as a fan are making a difference each and every day to provide them with the money to keep Buster Posey/franchise player around until the day he retires. That money is sitting in the owner’s boxes. Even if you’re a season ticket holder, the money you pay at the games alone wouldn’t be enough to pay off a major league contract. I’m not knowledgable enough to speak to how it would pay for any other contract, but I’m guessing they wouldn’t as well.
“You’re just jealous [so-and-so] has retweeted me/responded to me/follows me on Twitter.”
You know, I don’t know what I’d get out of an athlete following me, or responding to me (but that’s what someone who’s jealous would say!). Would I get more followers? Would that enable to me to any “behind the scenes” perks? If it does, especially the behind the scenes stuff, yea I’d show a little envy, but getting a locker room tour still wouldn’t solidify “we” status.
Of course, all this is just an opinion of mine that’s formed over time. It took me a while to go from “we” to “them,” and it’s not even said maliciously, but respectfully to acknowledge the hard work of the people within whatever organization is being discussed. This wasn’t a post to tell you to not love your team — I have tons of Giants gear… so much so my wife says I have “too much,” but she’s just bitter — rather, a post for you to reconsider the relationship between you and the team you support.