(THE PICKET) – It’s every fan’s worst nightmare: their favorite team packing up and leaving town with the owner storming off in a huff when a city does not give in to his demands for an new stadium.
For years, Los Angeles has been used as the scare tactic NFL oligarchs have used to get the cities where their teams reside to pony up the cash for shiny publicly funded stadia. This month, Stan Kroenke, owner of the St. Louis Rams, made good on his word, obtaining approval from the league to pack up and leave the Show Me State for sunny Southern California, and Dean Spanos and the San Diego Chargers may not be far behind. If that’s not enough to make your head spin, Mark Davis and the Oakland Raiders, who have previously called the City of Angels home, may end up in San Diego once all is said and done. Only one team in the NFL is immune from sudden cross-country relocation: the publicly owned Green Bay Packers.
Ian Fraser, political science major and New England Patriots fan, says his support would not waver if his team left Massachusetts. “If it’s the team you grew up with, you should root for them wherever they go,” he said.
Jamin Branch, political science major and Dallas Cowboys fan, echoes Fraser’s sentiments, but admits that his beliefs may come from the fact that he is a West Virginian with no ties to Texas or to Boston, home of the Red Sox, his favorite baseball team. “I’ll always be faithful to [my teams], but I believe they have such a rich history in those cities and I couldn’t imagine them leaving. I’d say of I had a strong connection with the town, then it would be much easier to lose support of they moved,” he said.
Nate Howard, environmental engineering major and Baltimore Ravens fan, takes a different stance from Fraser and Branch. “There’s no way I could still support [the Ravens]. They’re my local team, I root for them because they’re my local team, and if they’re no longer Maryland’s team, why would I still support them?” the Dunkirk, Maryland native said.