I understand the natural inclination to have one professional sports franchise transcend all others, and represent the ideas of our country.
Sooo why are the Dallas Cowboys the ones who earn the title “America’s Team”? How!?
Well, with excellent marketing and sustained success on the field, they have become the most recognizable franchise in the sport, with the infamous “ Silver Star” serving as their beacon. Yes, they played for Dallas, but they represented the entire state of Texas. Sure, that makes sense. One could also argue that they became the top team that attracted disgruntled and casual fans from around the country. (I have no factual statistics to back this statement up… its just a hunch)
But does that earn them the label, “America’s Team”? HELLLLLLLLL NO. You see, America, your loyalties already lie somewhere else.
The real “America’s Team” is the PHILADELPHIA 76ERS… and here’s why:
Note: For this exercise, we’re going to pretend that America as an entity thinks like a person (after all, corporations can be…)
When I consider the mantle “America’s Team”, I define it as “the team America supports”. LOGIC tells me that there are two ways to determine your loyalties:
- Your hometown/family tradition
- The successful/attractive team you see on television while you are growing up.
Considering America was born before any of these sports were created, it didn’t watch any sports growing up. So the second option is off the table. Besides, it is petty, superficial, shallow, and treacherous to abandon your own hometown team because another team is more successful. America wouldn’t do that.
So therefore, America would support Philadelphia in all of its sports because, God Dammit, America is loyal! Hell, the city knows what it truly represents! It doesn’t shy away from the connections. Three out of the five major sport teams have names relating to the United States. Look at the naming of its teams:
- The most popular sport in America, football, has a Philadelphia team named “The Eagles”. While it’s naming stems from the logo of Franklin Roosevelt’s American Recovery Act, the name still strongly connects to the American symbol, the eagle.
- The most popular sport in the world, soccer, has a Philadelphia team named “The Union”. This stems from the creation of one country from multiple states… you know, America…
Considering football is the most popular sport in the country, the Eagles would seem to be the Philly team to argue in favor of as the American symbol. However, the NFL is going through a really big image problem right now. Ratings are low. Also, America’s image is struggling at home and abroad. We are going through some growing pains (that happens when you take progressive steps forward).
With a duel image crisis happening, maybe it’s time to rethink who “America’s Team should really be. America, I’d like to introduce you to the 76ers.
Think about the marketing!
Basketball is the fastest growing sport in the world. If we are trying to reassert our popularity image, basketball should be the sport. Think about the popularity of the U.S. Men’s Basketball team at the Olympics in any city… Every other athlete wants to get pictures with them. We win fans of America through this.
Now consider the Sixers: a young and exciting team with rich – but not too rich – history. There is lots of room for growth in our popularity. But what we lack in fans, we also lack in haters. No one hates the 76ers. For most of the team’s existence, it has remained irrelevant. So we can always evolve our image to take on new responsibilities.
Is it that much of a stretch to remake the American Team with the Sixers?
Obviously, the Philadelphia 76ers get their name from the year 1776… the birth year of our country. That number will always connect us with the Founding Fathers – the men who we love to credit with creating the values and philosophies that shaped our country’s identity. We, the Founders, are more representative of the “American image” than a stupid fluffing “Cowboy”…
Use Common Sense. If I’m going to pick one team to truly be America’s team, I’m going to follow a logical formula:
- America’s hometown is Philadelphia
- Basketball is the fastest growing sport in popularity in the world
- Philadelphia’s basketball team is the Philadelphia 76ers
- The 76ers = the Founding Fathers
- The Founding Fathers established the values and principles of “America”
- America’s Team is the Philadelphia 76ers
It’s just Common Sense.