The Colorado Rockies lost tonight, but I won in a very different way.
No, I didn’t bet a bunch of money against my hometown team, or just meet the love of my life. I didn’t score a job I’ve been searching months for, or get invited somewhere I never thought I would.
Instead, I re-learned that the Rockies are representative of all sports teams I follow: they are brands that I rep way too hard, and that’s due to my vexillological admiration of them.
If, like me, you didn’t know what vexillology was until today, let me simplify it for you: it’s the study of flags. I’m currently in a design class, and we are learning about and discussing the reasoning (or lack thereof) of flag designs for nations, states, and cities.
Those who are designing these kinds of flags are starting to incorporate rules of design, but brands have known how to do this for some time. One type of brand that we might not think of as such are sports teams.
If you have been in Colorado for any amount of time than you have encountered the Denver Broncos logo somewhere. Even if you don’t like or follow football, you likely have a reaction to this image.
We assign a lot of emotion to what really boils down to a brand, and this is what I really realized this evening: I rep for brands that do not rep for me, and it’s taking too much energy that I could use to push forth my own brand.
Now, you’re likely thinking “well done, captain obvious!” and I get where you’re coming from. Sports teams, clothing brands, brands in general only view me as a consumer, and often nothing more. The thing is, when it comes to sports, the love of the game and the lessons learned while playing and coaching are supposed to rise above all of that. They don’t do that anymore, and I can’t recall how long I’ve been fooling myself into thinking they have.
Sports for most fans today have grown into an outlet from the world that we all currently inhabit. It’s usually an alternative that’s cheaper than traveling and safer than alcohol and drug use (at least when it’s not mixed with these two).
But, like cell phone usage, it can become time-consuming and often attention-grabbing, thus leading some to not pursue what they’re truly passionate about. Professional sports teams don’t care about your dreams unless you can help them in some way; that’s what made me realize I need to invest in myself far more than I should in these teams.
There’s an imbalance in who I’m rooting for, and it’s time to rally around my own brand and wave my own flag first.
Colorado Rockies’ co-owner Dick Monfort once showed how little he values his fans; however, sports teams make us all devalue ourselves. Therefore, we all need to be our own champions and win for ourselves.
Cheer for whatever sports teams you want, but root for yourself first. No team will do so unless it’s a PR slam dunk for them.
P.S: I’m still going to keep writing about sports, but I’m going to focus more on my writing and my passions first. It will just take some time.