Why do sports fans cheer for certain teams?

I have been a 49ers fan for about 25 years. They have been at the top and bottom of the league many times in those years. Even if I tried, I could not cheer for a different football team. There is something about the jersey that I will always love.

I have been a Lakers fan for almost as long. But as soon as Kobe Bryant announced his retirement, I started cheering for Steph’s Warriors. Two very different approaches, but one thing is the same: I find myself wanting to cheer for a team. Why do sports fans cheer for certain teams?

One reason might be that God wired all of us to think in terms of corporate identification. Paul says “every family in heaven and on earth” is named by God the Father. But notice he says “every family.” God thinks in terms of family before individual. He elected a people from before the foundation of the world, not just persons.

That might be a window into gospel conversation with an avid sports fan who can’t explain why they might cheer for the Browns or the Cubs or whoever else might almost never win, or even with bandwagon fans who always want to cheer for the best team. Human beings love to feel like they are a part of a good corporate reality. Even in something as inconsequential as sports you have the imprint of the image of God.


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