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Hidden Sports Fans

May 30th, 2022

Last night, the Celtics won the best-of-seven head to head with the Miami heat, so they're going to the final. And this is the first time they've been there in a long time, I think since like 2010. When I was in elementary school I remember the Celtics were good and they won stuff.

Anyway, for the past 3 games I've been watching the Celtics. My dad, who is barely into sports, started following them a month ago. And when they won last night, it was hard to ignore the feeling of pride and happiness that the team I was rooting for had won.

Which is strange, right? I don't consider myself a basketball fan. I don't even really know that much about the sport. But off of a few games and the fact that this team is a Boston team, suddenly I'm getting a boost to my day because "my team" won?

And the craziest thing is that suddenly, on instagram, everyone around me apparently became a basketball fan too. I saw Joc liked a post from the Celtics, because I was scrolling through their account to see the photos. But she wasn't the only one: a random person from my french class, a kid from my acapella group, that weird guy I didn't like very much: they all were sharing posts to their stories or liking posts about the game.

So is everyone going through the same process as I, transformed into a temporary fan because the home team is succeeding? Because what makes this feel different than, like, the patriots at the Superbowl is that it almost came out of nowhere. One day, nobody is talking about it at all and the next day, it's all over people's social media. Which is what made it so surprising.

But I can understand. It feels good to hop on the bandwagon and proclaim oneself a supporter when your plucky basketball team comes out of nowhere to do well. I've genuinely enjoyed watching the games—for the first time in a while, I can see the appeal of basketball as a spectator sport. Bennett and Marie really liked basketball and would try to talk about players and teams and the whole "March Madness" thing, and I kind of get the appeal now. Maybe I'll start following basketball as a sport in general.

But somehow, I doubt it. I think it just feels good when your team succeeds and you get to claim a bit of that, even when you wouldn't give a damn—and in fact, for ten years didn't—if they bombed. It feels good to think about how your hometown's name is out there for the rest of the world to see. And even if that impulse is a little opportunistic or primitive, clearly we're all going with it nonetheless.

Go Celtics!