For example, I have lived in Portland for the large majority of my life. However, I am a die-hard Cleveland Indians fan because my mom's family lives in northeastern Ohio. At the same time, I am a Seattle Seahawks fan because I began to appreciate football when my college friends introduced it to me when I lived up there.
I have recently encountered a large number of Pittsburgh Steelers fans. This has baffled me because of the size of Pittsburgh. Its population is around 313,000 people. That's it. And as for Pittsburgh's greater metropolitan area, it's roughly the same size as Portland's (about 2 million). How can it be that I look around and find so many Steelers fans when the city is relatively small.
I also see a lot of New York Yankees fans. Now this actually makes sense! New York City's metropolitan area is approximately 19 million. It is very understandable that the country's largest city would have the greatest number of fans for their team. So I would certainly expect to see a lot of Yankee fans here in Portland.
So...why do I see so many Steelers fans?
I discovered the answer when I looked at the number of championships won by each team. The Yankees have won the most number of World Series (27) and the Steelers have won the most number of Superbowls (6). It seems as though people are fans of sports teams that win often.
This makes sense to me. I can understand why people would want to be fans of a team that wins more often than it loses. Winning feels good. Losing is hard. I know that losing is hard because I am a Cleveland Indians fan. We have lost a lot more than we have won over the past few decades. Many heartwrenching losses.
Still, it makes me think about how people so desperately want to be winners. They don't want to fail. I think this is a normal, natural desire built into our design as humans. God wants us to strive for our very best and He wants us to follow a winner. It makes sense why so many of us are fair-weather fans. Why so many little boys pretend to be superheroes when they are growing up. If our desire is to follow the best, then that seems like a perfect design to follow Jesus. His perfection will always something that people will try to follow--just like a sports team that wins championships.