I have a theory about sports fandom.
For the first 6 to 8 years of a sports fans’ life, they sort of watch sports without understanding it. They may have a “favorite team” because their parents watch a team or kids in their class wear a hat or jacket, but they don’t really follow the team.
Then somewhere between 8 and 10 years old, the fans start to truly follow a team. The ins and outs of the team… which players are good and which aren’t. And this is around the time that a young sports fan develops their first favorite player. And whichever players they root for then will have a giant impact on their future perspective.
No matter what other players excel over the years, they won’t compare to the players of their youth.
Think about it in your own life. When do you remember following a team and each player? When did you start really understanding a sports season and which are the first players you really rooted for?
I bet those memories were started roughly between your 8th and 10th birthdays.
For me it was my 7th birthday, but I was a freak.
So my kids turn 6 years old today. One son has declared himself a Giants fan. But when the Giants won the World Series, he was more interested in watching Toy Story.
He may regret not watching them win the World Series.
My other son claims to be a Dodger fan. But he has yet to sit and watch a Dodger game yet.
In a couple of years, their long term memories will be starting to form. And as a baseball nut, I can’t wait to someday sit down with my buddies and watch ball games the way I did with my mom and dad.
But don’t grow up TOO fast. I can’t believe it has already been 6 years since I mentioned you two at the end of Reverse the Curse of The Bambino.
Happy birthday, buddies.