Berkeley High Torn in the Battle of the Bay
Giants or A’s? At Berkeley High School, we’re lucky enough to have two baseball teams just a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) ride away. Who should our team be? Most of us live in Berkeley, which is obviously a lot closer to the Oakland Athletics (A’s) geographically, but there are still a lot of Giants fans around.
If loyalty to a team were based purely upon location, those of us who live in the East Bay should be A’s fans, leaving San Francisco and South Bay residents to cheer for their Giants. That said, while we have plenty of loyal A’s fans, there are a ton of BHS kids who prefer the Giants over the A’s. Why is this?
There are many theories about why people would choose to not like their home team. There are always going to be a lot of people who just go with whatever team is doing better: I like to call them “Bandwagoners.” One good and recent example of this was when the Giants went to the playoffs and won the World Series. Many A’s fans and even people who didn’t like baseball at all decided that they were Giants fans.
Now don’t get me wrong — it’s not hard for me to imagine A’s fans hopping on the bandwagon during such an electrifying time in the Bay — but some people acted as if they had always been Giants fans. That’s pretty irritating. Of course it’s unfair to generalize about A’s fans, and many people stayed loyal to their team and didn’t join that bandwagon.
Another reason why people love their teams is because of where their parents are from, and whom their parents taught them to like. Baseball watching, as with many sports, tends to be a family affair. I believe that the reason I’m a Giants fan is because my dad is a Giants fan. Watching games is something my dad, my brother, and I always did together, and it continues to be something around which our family bonds.
I know many people who like the New York Yankees or the Chicago Cubs or the Los Angeles Dodgers just because their mom or their dad lived in a certain city. BHS sophomore Nathan Pettyjohn said, “I was raised to like the A’s. My parents are both big fans so that’s how I was raised, an A’s fan.”
For some people, it is seemingly small things that make them like one team over another. “I like the Giants because instead of signing big names they bring people up through their farm system and don’t just go out and get those two hundred million dollar players,” explained Eli Berson, another BHS freshman.
According to the Tech Chronicles on SFGate, Giants fans on Facebook tend to be younger, more single, and more liberal than A’s fans. Does this make a difference to kids in high school? Probably not.
BHS students have very mixed opinions about whether to like the A’s or the Giants, but good luck trying to get a fan to switch their allegiance.
Most of us decide which team to root for based on our families, who is winning right then, or our location.
BHS, you should have your freedom to like whomever you like. Healthy competition almost always makes everyone stronger.