Two weeks into a new NFL football season and everyone still thinks their team has a chance to win it all. So many fans remain full of optimism and hope, except maybe a few fans of the Detroit Lions. That excitement and anticipation for every Sunday to come is no better expressed than by watching the fans of the sport take in a game in a public setting.
On this special Sunday, I watched no less than half a dozen games from the comfort of a table in Buffalo Wild Wings here in Starkville. As someone who comes from the Garden State, most may expect me to bleed green and white, or perhaps blue and red. But in fact, I am proud of my Eagles, and much to my surprise, there are plenty of other teams represented in town too.
Assembled in the bar area, surrounded by screens, were fans of all shapes and sizes. From the Dolphins and Patriots to Bears and Falcons, Starkville is a great melting pot of NFL allegiances. Of course, none of the 32 teams in the pros will ever supplant this town's love for the maroon and white, but perhaps it adds to that love affair.
Understandably, many of those watching games on television in the early afternoon may have seen the first win for the Dallas Cowboys in 2016. They were led by a little-known quarterback by the name of Dak Prescott, of Mississippi State fame. Many of those watching with me were clad in #4 jerseys and cheered loudly as Cowboys stepped closer and closer to victory. And he is not the only Bulldog product in the NFL, and surely won't be the last.
All the conversation over the move of the Rams from St. Louis to Los Angeles has surrounded abandoning one fan base, for another that may be more of a mixed bag. However, it is never that simple. If you have ever seen a map of NFL team allegiances, you may as well tear that map up now. America is not black and white in their sports followings, with likely every one of the 32 NFL teams having fans in every state, every county, and maybe a lot of the towns that make up our country.
No matter who you are rooting for on Sunday (or Monday, or Thursday...), there is probably at least one other person near you doing the same thing. So root on your team with pride, and even in enemy territory (like being an Eagles fan in Giants country), never hide your fandom.