Why pick a team?

SAN FRANCISCO — In every sport, there are people who pick a certain team to support throughout the season, or perhaps throughout their entire lives. This is true for baseball, as well, and was never more apparent than at the Giants vs. the Brewers game last Wednesday night. People dressed in sweatshirts and hats proudly proclaiming their team affiliation, screamed for joy when their team scored a run or an out, and moaned in distress at the opposite.

But why pick a team at all? Why become a fan of any one group of players?

Will Scharninghuesen, a local Giants fan, says that he’s a fan because he’s from the Bay Area. “I think I’d be a Dodgers fan if I was from L.A.,” he says. To Will, picking a team is about having pride in the place you’re from.

Another Giants fan, J.P. Fetsch, gives a simple answer: “It just gives me a reason to watch a sport I like to watch.” Mike Duncan concurs: “I’ve always been a Giants fan.” To these fans, supporting their team is important. It makes spectating enjoyable, and gives them a stake in the game.

Mike Duncan’s wife, Julie, has another view, however. She thinks the whole exercise is “stupid,” and dislikes attending the games with her husband. “These guys [the players] get paid millions of dollars and then they whine when they don’t get medical,” she says. To her, picking teams is as reality shows are to some others: repugnant and unnecessary drama.

Linda Silva is another fan that attended Wednesday’s game. A mother of two, she says that she got into the sport as her children become interested. “My daughter–when she was young–someone gave her a Giants T-shirt.” Silva explains that, even though her daughter was only two years old at the time, that present planted a seed in her head that has now blossomed into a beautiful, orange and black flower of fandom.

Silva says that she enjoys cheering for a specific team because “it makes [the experience] more fun.” And, really, what’s the harm in that?