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I've seen a noted lack of discussions for NASCAR and auto racing fans on here, so i'm starting one up just in time for the Daytona 500 next Sunday. We can talk about NASCAR, bur we can also talk about other forms, like Indy, F1, or any other you'd like to talk about.
Before I start I want it to be known that while there were a few others threads like this one, I decided to make a new as those were quite old and lacked the "why" factor that I am gunning for here. To start I never really considered myself a hardcore sports fan, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy some sports AND that I had some teams that I followed. Over the years I mainly considered myself a racing fan, but grew to like the more traditional team and individual sports out there. That said, what I want to know is this: Over the entire spectrum of sports from team sports like football, individual sports like archery, and even teams from various auto-racing series; which teams do you consider your favorite, and WHY do you consider them your favorite? Are they your hometown team? If not was there something that attracted them to you like a specific performance, a specific athlete, or something deeper? To start off I'll give my main favorite teams, as well as a few runner-ups. Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL) - The funny thing here is that the Penguins were not the first team that I followed in the NHL. When I decided to look into the sport it was the Montreal Canadiens that got me in, and the Anaheim Ducks that allowed me to experience what it was like for a team to win the Stanley Cup. However, being in the eastern US is was difficult to attempt to follow the Ducks' regular season so I was beginning to tune out. However, due to the region I live in I was able to catch a few Pittsburgh Penguins games, and they eventually caught my heart. I followed them to the Stanley Cup finals; which they lost to the Detroit Red Wings. However the team won me over enough that I followed their regular season and celebrated when they exacted revenge on the Red Wings to win the Cup. As such, you could say it was a dash of geography and genuine love for a team that I watched fall into despair, only to climb the mountain and reach the proverbial peak. Amazing stuff. Baltimore Orioles (MLB) - This one is a tad tricky to explain. It hasn't even been a year ago that I followed baseball, and even though logic told me to follow the Pirates due to my love for the Penguins, I was actually more interested in following another team, and it was that team that taught me to appreciate and enjoy the game of baseball. While the Orioles aren't the most successful of teams, nor the most popular, they have a lot of heart to them, and when it comes to cities, Baltimore is one that I can say my heart resides in. It was the very first BIG city I ever set foot in back in 1997, it hosted my favorite sport of IndyCar (and American Le Mans) on the streets of the Inner Harbor, and, of course, the first ever convention I ever attended was there last year. As such I have a certain connection to that city and as much as I enjoy the Ravens, it was the Orioles that really won me over, and I just want to support them as much as possible. McLaren Honda (Formula 1) - This one was a little tricky for a few reasons; amongst them being a lack of interest in F1 until mid-last year, Mclaren's ongoing struggles since 2014, and the fact that the American Haas F1 competes with some limited success. That said McLaren was a team I started paying serious attention to as a favorite team back when the driver lineup consisted of Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen; of which the former was my favorite driver at the time. They were fun to follow, though they were inconsistent due to either crashes or mechanical failures. In the end my interest in F1 faded, but returned last year. I still looked for a team and while McLaren was still my de-facto fav, it wasn't until the VERY recent announcement of Fernando Alonso attempting this year's Indy 500 with McLaren backing, as well as rumors of McLaren's possible participation in IndyCar full time in the future. Just the sheer thought of McLaren in both F1 and IndyCar has me giddy, and brings a new found respect and passion for them, and I hope they overcome their current troubles to climb the top of the podium once again. Oh yeah; they also have a basketball team. x3 FC Bayern Munich (Bundesliga, UEFA) - Just because I cheer for the most successful team in German football makes me a glory-hunter; eh? Well, no, that's not why I chose this team over all others; including any from the English league, as well as the Spanish giants in Madrid and Barcelona. No; Bayern attracted for a few reason. For starters, I caught the 2010 UEFA Champions League between Inter Milan and Bayern on broadcast TV, and even though Bayern lost, their style of play caught me, and I wanted to see more of them. While my access to German football is a tad lacking, I followed the best I could and found a team that not only had success, they also had a smart business sense. Whereas many other European teams spent themselves into debt, I appreciated Bayern's attempts to stay strong financially as such. Yeah, it's a silly reason, but it's an approach I appreciate. That said, I would be lying if I didn't enjoy that success; the highest of which came in 2013 at the UEFA Champion's League final against Dortmund in Wembley, and BOY was it a dramatic game, and one that I will NEVER forget. Like with the Penguins, Bayern's ability to come back from a stinging Finals loss against Chelsea the previous year to ascend new heights was amazing. Of course they have struggled in Europe recently, but I still love to follow them. Andretti Autosport (IndyCar, GRC, Formula E) - This one will be the most difficult to explain as I can't really pin down any one reason why I follow them with passion. They are owned and ran by IndyCar legend Michael Andretti, have some great drivers like Hunter-Reay in their stable, and have expanded to Global Rallycross and Formula E in recent years, but it's hard for me to really say what attracted me to them. However, that said, even if I can't explain it I can still say they have been a fun team to follow. They won the Indianapolis 500 last year, and will have Alonso in one of their cars this year with McLaren, so that is a plus. In the end maybe it's a combination of all of these factors. Whatever the case I can say that out of all IndyCar teams, this is only one that holds my heart to this day. Honorable Mentions: Baltimore Ravens, New York City FC, Flying Lizard Motorsports, Corvette Racing Favorite Sports with no favorite team: MotoGP, World Rally, Cricket So; anyone else?