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Change Your Stripes?

The answer is simple ... 1. No, 2. Dr. J. But you raise an interesting point about age. Obviously I go back a ways if Dr. J was the star that started me off as a Sixers fan. I find the young bucks today don't have the same allegiance to a team as older generations.

It's more about following a personality or just about sticking with a winner. If you're that kinda sports fan ... you could never understand why I watched Sixers bball when the likes of Clearance Witherspoon were trotted out as stars of the future. How I could care if Dana Barrow set the record for 3 pointers or Willie Horton set a Sixers record for points in a quarter.

It's my team.

If you can't stick with them when they are down (or do something stupid). Then you don't deserve them when they win (no matter how long it takes).

I was not born here, but Dr J became my idol in High School and I arrived in Philly to attend college just as he arrived. The rest is history. I have been a Philly sports fan every since. I can't imagine living any where else. Why would you live somewhere if you can't live and die with your home town team. The misses really hates that part. She wants to retire out west and I can't move anywhere I don't like the basketball team.

1. Never. I am one of the "younger" fans as you refer, being just turned 20. I have one other friend who follows the sixers with as much passion as we do, other than that everyone is pretty much either a lakers fan or celtics. Most people don't know anyone on the sixers roster except for that "other a.i.", but i love this team. it's just something about it...even when iverson left, i still stuck with this team, even being told "you're team has no body on it" or simply "sixers suck" (which at certain points they did) i still defended this team. It's just a pure passion for this team, it's players and the uniform...can't explain it!

2. Allen Iverson made me a fan. Before discovering him and the sixers, i didn't really follow basketball, except being an admirer of the jordan era bulls.

will reply to Eric on Aug 24 at 12:53

Same for me. (Well, not the younger fan part)). My dad was not a sports fan, we never watched games in our house. Then I discovered Iverson while in college and never looked back.

I feel like a true fan cannot turn their back on the home team. The Vick signing was about the worst thing a club to do to test me...

Did you grow up in the Philly area? That's another question, I mean, is Kobe stealing a lot of kids who would/should have been Sixers fans?

1. I wouldn't ever switch allegiances to another team, but if the sixers had a lot of deadbeats (e.g. the 90's Jail Blazers) I'd probably just stop watching bball for a little while.

2. When I was young after doing my homework I would watch them on Prism. They were awful for most of my childhood but I stuck with them.

BTW I'm in favor of signing Iverson, if he has a good relationship with EJ and if
ES meets with him and he seems mature and hungry and willing to play PG. I don't see it as moving backward since I wouldn't expect much out of Jrue, who's the equivalent of a sophomore in college. That means we'd be putting all our eggs in Lou as PG. From an opponent's perspective, I'd be more intimidated seeing a hungry Iverson, Iggy, Thad, Brand, and Sammy than the alternative. Give him a one year deal, if it doesn't work, he's used up all his 2nd/3rd chances and we cut bait.

Bob Darrah on Aug 24 at 11:39

1. Nothing really, the sixers would have to something horrendous to me personally.
2. I was born and raised in Philadelphia. I started watching sports when I was 11 which 1999-2000. The year the Eagles made the playoffs, Flyers made it to the ecf and the Sixers went to the nba finals. Pretty good year to start watching sports.

eddies' heady's on Aug 24 at 12:26

1) ABSOLUTELY NOT! I will bash and critique the front office forever before jumping ship.

2) Dr. J and his gang got me involved around '78. The Doug Collins', Henry Bibby's, Caldwell Jones', Lionel Hollins', Darryl Dawkins', and Maurice Cheeks' etc. of the franchise. When winning above 50 or 60 games a season was pretty much the norm except the 78-79 season when they only won 47 b/c of Collins injury.

Ah, the good ol' days, when it wasn't all about being a business and being hostage to a corporate penny-pincher ownership. Then, it was about a team and the game of basketball itself.

it's true that younger kids today don't follow teams the way most of us have been raised. my high school students followed their favorite player, and subsequently rooted for whatever team he was on. you can call it a generational thing, but it's also about how david stern has marketed the game for the past decade. it's more about individual personalities now.

and to answer your question, 1) no

2) i was born in 1983, so i watched barkley as an impressionable youngster. i actually did become a phoenix sun fan for a couple years, all while still rooting for the sixers during the spoon/barros years. then we landed the #1 pick in '96 when i was 13 and it was game over.

Yeah, I still rooted for Barkley when he was in Phoenix, which I don't think I'd do now. Never really became a Suns fan though.

Mike reply to Brian on Aug 25 at 0:19

yea same here, like for example i still followed iverson on the nuggets, but didn't root for them the same way i did for phoenix & barkley. it was probably because i was so young when barkley was traded.

I will always root for the Sixers (the whole home team and if they don't win its a shame thing...) But I will become a casual fan if I stop believing they are at least trying to build a winner.

Like others, I was still a passionate fan during the Spoon/Barros/Maxwell years. They were horrible, but I believed they would bounce back and at least try and build a contender. It makes it so much sweeter to see a team go from horrible to great- something not every Yankee fan gets to fully appreciate :)

The Phillies, on the other hand, did not seem committed to building a contender until their new stadium helped their finances. So I became a fair weather fan. I'm not going to get emotionally invested if they don't seem willing to compete on the same playing field as big market teams.

Now that the Phillies are spending and winning I'm enjoying watching. I'd probably have gotten more from the WS had I watched them from the ground up. And if they continue to show a willingness to spend, I will likely follow them even if they start losing in 2-3 years.

Likewise, if the Sixers FO closes its wallets for the next 3 years I might fade a bit, because I need to see the team at least wants to win. They had to 7 payrolls for a long time, so I'm hoping this is just a temporary financial tightening... but we'll see.

So its not wins and losses as much as feeling the team I root for wants to win as much as I want them to.

jsmoove reply to tk76 on Aug 24 at 14:40

"something not every Yankee fan gets to fully appreciate :)"

So you must not be familiar with the late 80's and early 90's years?

It's a valid point for anyone who became a Yankee fan after 1996, though.

Since 1919 (90 years) the Yankees have finished in the top 3 of their league or division 74/90 times. They have finished top 2 60/90 times. They were bad from 1987-1992, but there was never the impression that the team was not trying to put a winner on the field. They just mismanaged their vast resources. I'm sure that frustrated the fanbase, but its not anything like rooting for a team that does not try to win.

My point was other teams do not spend or commit to putting a winner on the field every year (or often any year.) The Yankees always have a top payroll and and hire big name managers. When they have a down stretch it is not due to lack of trying. The same cannot be said about the majority of MLB teams. Do you disagree?

I'd agree with that. I never thought the Yanks weren't trying to win, not that you could tell on the field. Doesn't mean Yankee fans have never had to suffer, though. They didn't even make the playoffs from the time I was 6 until I turned 19. Those were 13 long years.

I agree, there are ups and downs with any team you follow. Its just where you set the bar. Again, my main point was I won't follow a team passionately unless I think their goal is winning- even if the winning might still be several years away.

My sense is with the Yankees its sort of like following a top college FB team. I expect Penn State to be over .500 every year. They occasionally have down stretches, but those are temp aberrations. It still hurts when they lose to other top teams, because I set my expectations that much higher. That doesn't make following a winner easier or make you more or less of a true fan. But not worrying about your teams commitment to win is one less thing to struggle with.

johnmagee reply to Brian on Aug 25 at 14:56

13 years? 13 years is a long time? Jesus :)

You really don't want to say that to phillies fans.

13 years is absolutely a long time when you're talking about being 6 to 19 years-old.

johnmagee reply to Brian on Aug 25 at 16:36

I always knew yeankees fans were soft :)

jsmoove reply to tk76 on Aug 25 at 17:08

I don't disagree at all. But you originally said that it is so much sweeter to see a team go from horrible to great. And the early 90's Yankees surely fell under the horrible category. And from '96 to '01, they were nothing short of great. That's all.

Then you are right.

conjureman on Aug 24 at 14:05

The two things that would have to happen, would be the moving of the team to another city and the changing of the name of the team at a time when the team totally dull, pathetic and uninteresting like it was in the post barkley pre iverson years. It was really hard to remain a fan during that time.

1. Never stop being a Sixer fan (unless WGreen starts again this year.)

I am a South Jersey native and have always been a Philly fan year around. Good years or bad years since 1960's.

My Dad when I was around 10 (late 60's) got tickets behind the sixers bench and Hal Greer gave me his autograph while watching the Harlem Globetrotters in a preveiw game. I started following the Sixers couple years ago after I injured my back and can't be as active. Bought season tickets last year for the first time. My favorite player has been Wilt and Billy Cunningham.

Just realized I forgot to mention what cemented my Sixers loyalty.

I know I watched the team that won the championship in 1983, but I really don't have any clear memories other than being psyched that they won (I just turned 6 at the time). My first concrete Sixers memory is my dad taking me to see the Sixers play at the Nets in Dr. J's last season. This was Barkley's third year, and it was kind of a transition for the team. Maybe it became my team rather than my Dad's at this point, w/ the new leader emerging.

RagedCage on Aug 24 at 19:14

I can almost garentee I am the youngest person following this blog and you may very well have been a fan for longer then I have been alive but there is still no chance I will ever put another NBA team before the sixers. I'm only 14 but I've been hooked ever since my dad took me to a game when I was like 5 and iverson scored like 30 points or something and have never looked back.

Mike reply to RagedCage on Aug 25 at 0:23

in my experience with kids your age, you're definitely a rare breed. it's refreshing and great to hear. keep it up!

Duracorr on Aug 24 at 22:55

I've rooted for the Sixers since they moved to Philly from Syracuse. Nothing will change that.

Before the Sixers I rooted for the Philadelphia Warriors and continued to root for the warriors until the Nats moved to Philly to become the Sixers.

Wilt Chamberlain caused me to become a fan. I became a fan for life when the 67 Sixers won the championship. There have been some good times and some bad times. As an incurable optimist, I think we are entering a good time. Last year we had a three game package. This year a ten game package.

I'm 20 and from Puerto Rico so all my favorite teams in different sports have a unique story. This are my favs in basketball sixers, baseball braves and football titans. When I was a little kid like anyone in Puerto Rico I rooted for jordan and the bulls but when i was 6 my dad moved to delaware so after a few years he brought me to visit and by surprise we went to a game of the stackhouse sixers vs the malone and stockton jazz. I didn't really care for the sixers, I mean i was a kid and they lose a lot but since this was the first time I attended a NBA game I like them. But, when I became really a fan of them was when jordan left.
Now I'm a die hard fan for all my favorite teams and no matter what happens nothing is going to make stop rooting for them. About a month ago I moved to delaware with my dad so now I"m closer to my sixers and when season starts I really hope I can go watch them again.

No and since birth. I grew up in Media, and Basketball is the only sport I'll choose to watch if there's not a Philly team playing, so the other take something of a back seat for me.

I went to high school watching Kobe dunk on my buddies. I think my feelings on him are pretty much the same as anyone's. I hate him, but I'd still give a lung to get him on my team.

I live in LA now, and I still love being a Philly fan. I think our teams roundly disliked by everyone else in the country, which gives me the feeling of being the permanent underdog, no matter how many times I try to explain the booing Santa thing.

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