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The Giant Foam Finger: How Do You Choose Your Favorite Team?

If you rooted for Washington's NFL team because of Robert Griffin III, you'll almost certainly root for a new team this fall.
Ezra Shaw
Getty Images
If you rooted for Washington's NFL team because of Robert Griffin III, you'll almost certainly root for a new team this fall.

A few months ago, Code Switch lead blogger Gene Demby turned to Twitter in an attempt to crowd-source a solution to a problem he'd been having. Gene had begun watching Premier League soccer but couldn't settle on a rooting interest, so he asked the league's fans to convince him to root for one team or another.

In this episode of The Giant Foam Finger — our occasional sports-themed offshoot of Pop Culture Happy Hour — I open by asking Gene for an update on his Premier League search. But then we move on to a farther-reaching discussion of why we might root for one team or another in any sport, for reasons ranging from geography to friendship, familial bonds, favorite individual athletes, bandwagon-jumping and even good old-fashioned spite.

Naturally, given the theme of crowd-sourcing, we'd love to hear what listeners think. What made you choose your favorite teams? And, given the inspiration for this discussion, we'd love to hear more arguments for why Gene and I should root for your favorite Premier League team. So have at it in the comments, or on Twitter or Facebook.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)

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