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A Year in the Away Section

Brian Taylor

Posted on August 29, 2017 21:18

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Reflections on my first year as a transplanted sports fan.

Last Sunday marked an anniversary that I'm still wrapping my mind around. It was one year ago that I packed my car as full as it could get and headed south on I-5 out of Oregon, the only state I'd ever called home to begin a new life as one of those "bleeping Californians." That I've made it a year isn't the baffling part, considering I'm enjoying NorCal and all the new and exciting activities in my life, but rather that I actually made the move from the land I still call my home. State pride runs deep in most Oregonians and one of my favorite things to tell people here is "I'm originally from Portland."

That pride is directly reflected in our passion for our local teams, and as someone who's life is dominated by sports, being a transplanted sports fan has been a noticeable adjustment. With my experience, I offer a few tips on how to successfully relocate as a sports fan.

1. DO NOT SWITCH ALLEGIANCES! - You may hear that you "have" to root for a local team. I am here to tell you that you don't. It may be tempting, and a great excuse to finally dump that team that has sucked for a decade plus, but stay strong! You made a commitment to your teams, there's history, and they are your connection to home. Plus, depending on how successful your new local team is, you may look like a bandwagoner, and nobody wants that.

2. Spend the money - If you're still within the continental United States, there's a pretty good chance that a major metropolitan area is within a reasonable driving distance. When your teams are nearby, go all out. Pay a little extra for good seats. Whether you have a tailgate or are in a nearby establishment, make the most of your pre-game time. Be responsible, but be social. You'll learn there are more like minded fans than you think in your area and its a quick connection when you see another familiar jersey in a sea of home team fans.

3. Don't be "that guy" - Generally good life advice, but it's always worth repeating. Whether it's in the enemy stadium or around the water cooler, be passionate and be proud of your teams, but don't be obnoxious. You are likely the only representative of your team in people's orbit, so don't be the reason they say "[team name] fans are just awful."

4. Take advantage of technology - There's no better time to be a sports fan than the information age. Every pro sports league has a out-of-market package that will show you every game - it's a worthy investment. News and chatter about your favorite teams no longer surrounds you whereever you go, so become an active media consumer. Find a good team-centric podcast and stay up on social media.

5. Enjoy yourself - I've enjoyed my away days and seeing something new, so have fun with it!

Brian Taylor

Posted on August 29, 2017 21:18

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