Posts Tagged ‘espn the magazine’

To be a Spurs fan

Posted: April 2, 2013 in Spurs

Spurs fans are so passionate and loyal to their team; and they have good reason to be.

Brand Keys Inc. ranks Spurs fans as the most loyal in the NBA. (Photo by Nicole Fruge/Express-News file photo)

Brand Keys Inc. ranks Spurs fans as the most loyal in the NBA. (Photo by Nicole Fruge/Express-News file photo)

For the third straight season, the New York-based Brand Keys Inc. have pegged Spurs fans as the most loyal in the NBA. reports the rankings are generated by surveying 250 fans in each team’s market and assessing the data based on factors driven by on-field success, fan bonding with players and the franchise’s history and tradition. A club’s effort and sense of teamwork also can have an effect.

In addition, in ESPN the magazine’s Ultimate Standings, the Spurs were not only labeled as the best franchise in all of sports, they were also labeled number one in their fan satisfaction rankings.

“Our organization has always felt that we have the best fans in sports, and it has always been important to us that the Spurs, as a franchise, deliver the very best for them,” said Spurs’ executive vice president/finance and corporate development Rick Pych. “The results in the Ultimate Standings confirm that we are succeeding in that.”

Added Russ Bookbinder, executive vice president/business operations, “When research like this, conducted by a respected voice in sports, determines that the Spurs are the top franchise in pro sports – that is truly an honor. It’s a testament to the Spurs’ players, coaches, owners, staff and, especially, the San Antonio community.”

I’ve had a twitter for about one year now. I primarily use it when Spurs games are on or just to talk sports in general. If there’s one thing I’ve noticed, it’s that although Spurs fans are a tiny fraction of the total NBA fan base, there are no fans more loyal and passionate about their team than the Spurs faithful.

There’s a simple reason for this: Spurs don’t have any “bandwagon” fans; they’re not the kind of team that people flock to or get excited about when they go on crazy win streaks.

Just about every fan very fan of the Spurs has been around for all the heart breaks and joys the franchise has experienced over the years. Because of this, it makes it that much more enjoyable when they win or that much more painful when they lose. There’s a sense of connection with the team.

Compare this in contrast to, let’s just say, the Miami Heat. Now let’s be honest, Miami may have the largest “fan base” in the NBA now; but that is me using the term “fan” very loosely.

Not many people on this planet cared for the Heat before LeBron James made his decision to “take his talents to South Beach.” And even fewer people cared about the team before Dwyane Wade became a superstar a year or two after he was drafted.

I bring up the Heat because these so-called “fans” claim to be passionate about their team and maybe they are, but when the Heat lose a game or win a championship, no bandwagon fan could ever understand what it’s like to stick by a team through and through and feel the joy of watching your team win it all after all the ups and downs.

“The Heat are my team and I care if they win but Spurs fans be on some other [stuff],” said Kevin Collins, a Heat enthusiast on twitter. “If I get in an argument with a Spurs fan I already know they’re going to come at me in mobs. You say one wrong thing and they have a million stats ready to throw in your face and make you feel stupid.”

It’s too easy to jump from team to team just looking for a likely winner or the hottest pick at the moment. And maybe I’d have a lot fewer disappointments if I lived my sports life that way. But even if I picked correct each year and experienced a championship every time, all of them put together would not compare to the joy I feel even once watching the Spurs win the title.

People on twitter often get confused or flat-out annoyed with Spurs fans. They can’t understand why they take the losses so serious and how it literally ruins people’s days.

“Some people tell me that I get too hype over my team or I take it too serious when they lose,” said Arial Martinez, a lifelong Spurs fan. “I just look at them like ‘duh,’ what am I supposed to do? I love my team. When they lose I feel like I’m losing too.”

My response to the people who think we overdo it is that we don’t expect you to understand. You may get excited when “your team” wins a championship or be mad when they lose; but you’ll never know the feeling of being a legitimate lifelong fan of one team, experiencing the highs and lows of the seasons and constantly sticking by them until they reach the goal; there’s no comparison.

Spurs fans hold up posters supporting their team during the 2011 NBA playoffs(Photo: Jeff McDonald)

Spurs fans hold up posters supporting their team during the 2011 NBA playoffs
(Photo: Jeff McDonald)

So although the Spurs fan base may be limited, “SpursNAtion” are a fraction of you so-called “Heat fans,” I’ll take my limited, but real, fan base of say, 500 people, over the LeBron followers and team hoppers that pose as loyal fans any day.

Tony Parker adds some insight into his thoughts on San Antonio and its fans:

“If our team was in New York and we won three championships in five years (2003, 2005, 2007) then we’d be rock stars. But our fans our so good. I love the city; I love the people here. They’re very passionate about the Spurs. The love that we get here in San Antonio, I wouldn’t exchange it with [anything]. I love it so much that after my career I want to stay here. It sounds crazy to say I want to stay in San Antonio rather than go back to Paris but when you look at it, everybody stays here. Bruce Bowen is still here, David Robinson is still here, Sean Elliott is still here, George Gervin is still here. It’s the environment; I love it in San Antonio.”

I’ll be a die-hard Spurs fan even if there comes a day when they’re going 0-82. I don’t need to switch teams in hopes of winning a championship. I know who my team is and as a fan, I’m here to stay. Lucky for me, that just so happens to be the most passionate fan base in all the NBA and the best run organization as well.