Last week this space was filled with a column from Alex Moore bemoaning the proliferation of Bay Area sports fans in Portland—specifically 49ers fans on the Portland State campus. While the results of last week’s NFC Championship game will probably curtail some of the visible signs of San Francisco sports allegiance around town, Alex’s column set off some fierce debate in the Vanguard newsroom. Here are a few words from Production Manager Sean Bucknam to take up the side of the non-native Oregonian sports fan:
Dear Alex Moore,
You grew up in the Northwest and you have every right to cheer for whatever teams you choose to support. I grew up in California and am an avid fan. In this day and age people move all over the country for various reasons—school, a job, or just to try something new and experience a different region of our country.
I’m sorry that people who cheer for other teams offend you, but just because I switched cities doesn’t mean my loyalties change. What kind of fan would I be? If a job took you to Los Angeles would you all of a sudden become a Lakers fan? Or would you be the one guy in the middle of a Southern California bar wearing your Rip City jersey with pride?
It’s true with any fan base outside of their respective city that you tend to see more paraphernalia when the team is winning. As fans we show our pride and want to flaunt it a bit more when we have something to back it up. Personally, however, I’ll wear my Dodgers, Lakers, and 49ers gear whenever a game is on. Win or lose, I bleed those colors.
I’m also humble about my teams. I trash talk a bit, but I’m no homer either. I recognize when the opposing team plays well. The NFC Championship was an example of that. For the majority of the game the 49ers made the Seahawks look amateurish and dealt well with the 12th Man. However, the last 5 minutes were all Seahawks. Playing the entire 60 minutes of a game is what defines champions, and the 49ers couldn’t close.
So congratulations to your team on a hard fought effort. I hope Peyton Manning lights Richard Sherman and the rest of the Seahawks up.
Lively banter and provincial animosity are part of what makes sports so interesting. Just remember that sportsmanship should extend from the field to the bleachers, so play nice! And if your differences of opinion are irreconcilable find something that everyone can agree on—Go Viks!
Vanguard Sports Desk