Choosing Sides

It is fascinating to examine how and why people become fans of their teams. Is it geography, is it destiny? Does style of play influence someone’s selection? Could it be the uniform that attracts... or repels? What about spite?

I became a Pumas fan at a very young age. The initial attraction was the uniform. I’m biased, but I do think Pumas have one the best uniforms in all sports (My wife doesn’t get it. She thinks the logo was ripped off from Transformers).

It also helped that just as I started to pay attention, Pumas had a guy named Cabinho who scored goals as if it was mandated by national decree. It was a sad day when he left UNAM. When he hung’em up, no one scored more than he did in the MFL. And to this date, no one has. But I digress.

America and Chivas fans are no different.

One America fan was converted just by seeing the canary yellow shirt hanging in a store. “It’s the best looking of them all.” Another americanista wondered why America was so hated. “I came to the conclusion that they were jealous; because they were Mexico's richest team, because they bought up all the best foreign players, but mostly, because of Cuauhtemoc Blanco. The azulcrema is tattooed onto my heart.”

One particular version of America is what brought another into el americanismo. “I was 8 the team that played the most attractive football was America. They would put a hurting on teams the likes we haven't seen again in the MFL.”

The Chivas fans I spoke to had their own reasons, but family and geography play an important role.
“My family is from Guadalajara, My abuelito, father, uncles are all chivas.”

“I grew up in Guadalajara. I went to school across the street from the club.”

“Family tradition -- my family is from Guadalajara. I was predetermined to be a Chivas fan.”

One fan has even questioned his own allegiance: “To question yourself, question your reasons and your beliefs tirelessly, is the best way to test your love for your club. And if after putting yourself through all that you still come out with love for your club, then you know it's real, and it's for life. I know it sounds cheesy, but it's true. I can say, without a doubt, that I love my club.”

What I find more interesting, though, are the feelings they have for the other side. We have an extensive range:

“It's basically the good vs. the evil”

“Always thought that they thought they were holier than thou”

“They were boring.”

“I’ve never liked the color yellow”

“I have too much class to be associated with a poor excuse for a club.”

“They call themselves humble when their entire f@*^ club membership is based on elitist ideal. And they think they're better because of it.”

And yes, there is plenty of hate to spare….

“They can blow their 11-title horn all they want, everything they "achieved" they won during an era when the league was still pretty amateur.”

“el odiado rival”

“p#+o el que le va al America”