You may have changed your zip code, but you're not about to betray decades of bone-deep loyalty and jump ship to the local sports team. Totally understandable! But watching and talking sports with the neighbors can be a great way to make new friends. Here are a few tips to help you fit in with the locals without betraying your favorite franchise.
1. Remember the big picture (not just the jumbo flat screen)
Don't forget, you and your new friends are all fans of the sport. The athleticism, thrills, spills and suspense are probably what hooked you in the beginning, and those are common to all teams.
2. Share your favorite tailgate food
Food has been a powerful peace offering since the dawn of time. Do you have a favorite tailgating snack unique to your original hometown? Chili from Dallas? Hot wings from Buffalo? Serve up tons to share with your new friends during the game.
3. There's no crying in baseball (or football, basketball, hockey…)
Try not to take things personally, even the negative comments about your favorite team.
4. Don't rub it in
Is your home decorated in the colors of your favorite team? It might be better to invite neighbors to watch the game in neutral territory, such as a sports bar.
5. Do your research
Read up a bit on the local team so you can talk about it with your new friends. They'll be more than happy to fill in gaps in your knowledge.
6. Draft a hometown hero
Add a local player to your fantasy team. It will give you a reason to pay attention to the local team's record.
It's OK to stay loyal to your hometown team in new surroundings. What's not OK is facing a real estate decision without a solid team of your own. Start building one here.