The writer’s room channel on our Slack workspace is a busy place. Every once in a while, a topic is raised that spurs a fervent discussion, with different writers sharing their thoughts and opinions on said topic. That’s essentially what led to the creation of our “Turf Weighs In” articles. With that in mind, I posed the following question:
“What one team would you consider to be ‘America’s Team’ (if any), and why?”
For those who may not have been aware – the phrase originated as part of a marketing and highlight package for the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL (at least according to Wikipedia – so take that for what it’s worth). Of course, as with seemingly everything these days, there are stories to the contrary. By most accounts about its origins, the metrics used factor both statistical success and national appeal into account. However, this all transpired in the late 1970s. Here’s how some of our writers responded when answering the question some 40 years later:
“Ugh, I hate to say the Dallas Cowboys because it’s so cliche but it might be true. Definitely either football or basketball. Honestly, like, Bama football might be up there?? Though they are probably more America’s team to hate, like the Patriots. Basketball – it depends too much on who’s trendy. The Warriors were for a while, the Heat when LeBron was there. The Rockets are probably China’s team lol, but I’ll stick with the Cowboys. Football is so big in Texas and the imagery of the star and everything makes it too big to be topped.”
“The 90s Braves. The 01 Yankees. I guess the 90s Bulls, but that’s so much more than America’s. Part of me is saying the early 2010s Blackhawks. Also, Cowboys. I mean, the Cowboys are “America’s Team.” I hate that they are, but they own the name. But the 90s Braves are very much America’s team to me.”
“Hey Joe! I saw your post just now, and honestly, the first team to come to mind for me was the US Women’s Soccer team. Is there a better team out there right now who better represents the United States of America than them? They are currently #1 in the world, they play and dominate opposition on both a national and global scale, they are interesting, fun, composed of a wide variety of backgrounds and personalities, recent World Cup winners, combatants of social and economic injustices, they are literally a microcosm of both the lightness and the darkness of America. They are America’s team. At least right now they are. 100%”
“It’s funny, the more I think about it I probably have the same answer for both [Ed. note – “both”, in this case, Americans AND Non-Americans] and it’s very unfortunately the Yankees. While I think sports fans in general definitely include a lot of Yankee detractors (and rightfully so), if I am thinking of America as a whole the Yankees are probably the most well known franchise in the country. I am also thinking about how celebrities have made wearing a “NY” hat fashionable. You don’t see Emma Stone walking in LA with a Packers hoodie on. So it pains me to say it, but I would go Yankees. There’s definitely a case to be made with the Patriots being called “The Patriots” and being so famous/having so much success. Plus they won the Super Bowl after 9/11. But I also think their fame is too new to be called America’s Team. I also think my love for the team is coloring my view.”
“If I was to pick a team to be America’s team it would have to be the New York Yankees. Ultimately as a capitalist country, I think brand recognition is important in this topic. I don’t know statistics or anything like that but I don’t know if there’s a more recognizable brand than the Yankees. The Yankee logo is worn everywhere all across the world. It also helps that they play in probably the biggest market in the U.S. in NYC. Plus, they’re historically a winning franchise – that can’t hurt. I mean even the term Yankee is a reference to us as Americans. For the record I don’t actually like the Yankees lol.”
“I only ever think of the Cowboys. But they’re not America’s team anymore. In honesty, America’s team has a negative connotation for me. It’s probably the New York Yankees. Because they have a “get in line with the way we do things or else” mentality. And they are the most international. They have a recognizable logo and their merch sells across the globe. The Patriots were probably America’s team for a while. Stand up, beat our chests, do JUST enough to win, and occasionally cheat to get to the top.”
“To answer your question – I look at America’s team from two perspectives: 1) defining it from a statistical point of view, and 2) that the title of “America’s Team” is floating. So five years from now, a new team can take the title away from whoever has it now.
That said, I think there always is an “America’s team”, because we can measure the most popular sport in the country and the most popular team for that sport. To me, America’s team is whichever one holds that title. The NFL statistically is king in this country, and the Cowboys and Pats have reportedly the largest fan bases and are worth more than any other franchise. So right now, that’s how I would determine who “America’s team” is. If one day the NBA is the most popular sport, then it shifts to the most popular NBA team at the time. I’m going solely by data on this issue, since it’s easy to inject personal bias when deciding who America’s team is – Because f*** the Cowboys lol.”
“The Yankees are America’s team. There is nothing more American to me than Babe Ruth calling the shot at the height of his fame and the height of baseball’s popularity.”
Some Final Thoughts…
Full disclosure – my reason for posing this question to our staff has nothing to do with sports. I’ll get into that more in a follow up article – so keep your eyes peeled for that!
In the meantime – I found it interesting how different the answers were – as well as the reasons behind those answers. Sure – the Cowboys were often referred to given the origins and history of the term from the outset, but I think over time, the moniker has come to mean different things to different people – and to me, that’s a good thing.
What Do You Think? Let us know in the comments or Tweet us @theturfsports!
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