Fan Factors

How Students and Teachers Choose Which Teams to Root For


History Teacher Joshua Toth roots for the Patriots as a young fan.

Leo Miracle, Sports Editor

When NFL season kicks into high gear, that’s when the jerseys come out. Students flood the hallways and their social media feeds with memorabilia and supportive messages for their favorite teams.

Despite the school’s location in the middle of Washington Football country, students are hardly limited in which teams they support—rooting for teams across the nation. And even more varied than the teams students choose to cheer for are the reasons they do so, driven by everything from because the team won last year, to because they are from the team’s hometown, to even just because they like their colors.

Some fans choose to root for the team that their parents grew up cheering for. “I am a Steelers fan because my family is from Pittsburgh,” said Peter Kratz (10)

Other fans choose to root for the team that they first laid eyes on. “I’m a Panthers fan because the first game I watched when I was little and understood was a Panthers game,” said Catherine Nguyen (10)

“Super Bowl 47 is the first game that I remember paying attention to. That is when the Ravens beat the 49ers,” said Vincent Tran (12). “Both my parents wanted the ravens to win, so I just started to follow them after that.”

And many fans choose to root for their home team. “I root for the Washington Football Team because I was born and raised here in the DC area, and I’ve been to a couple of Washington games before,” Bennett Poplin (10)

And some fans choose to root for a football team for seemingly random reasons. “I root for the Green Bay Packers because when I was 6, my cousin from Wisconsin gave me a cheese hat,” said Robbie Potter (10). “I thought it was cool, now I root for them.”

Even teachers get in on the fan experience. “My dad was a lifelong Bills fan, so I became a Patriots fan to annoy him,” said History Teacher Joshua Toth.That was certainly involved, but the chance to cheer for the “hopeless team” was probably equally important. It obviously worked out for me, too!” 

“But regardless, whether you root for the rival team, the winning team, or the losing team,” said Michael Messeh (10). “Football is football and we all just love the sport.”