Bailey Vassalli

I saw a post that said since the year 2000, every professional sports franchise that is – or was – in Missouri has won a championship. The Rams in 2000, the Cardinals in 2006 and 2011, the Royals in 2015, the Blues in 2019 and now the Chiefs in 2020. 

As someone who has moved around a lot, I find Missouri to be different from many of the other places I have lived when it comes to fanbases. What I mean by that is Missourians tend to be very loyal to teams in their own state. Other areas I’ve lived felt to be more of a melting pot of fan bases. 

Obviously, not everyone who lives in Missouri is a fan of Missouri-based teams. There’s always going to be people who support other teams. 

This isn’t to put those fans down, it’s just an observation of what I find to be unique about being a Missouri sports fan. 

In Missouri, there’s a professional football team, professional hockey team, and two professional baseball teams. It could be argued that Sporting KC also represents Missouri, but they technically play on the Kansas side of the city, so I’m going to focus this piece on football, baseball and hockey. 

I’ve lived in three states other than Missouri – Kansas, Maryland and Washington.

In Kansas, most people I met were fans of teams in Kansas City as there aren’t many other professional teams within a reasonable distance. 

In fact, most people I met in Kansas were more into college sports and were very loyal to either K-State or KU. 

In Maryland, there were two major cities within two hours of where we lived – Baltimore and Washington DC. 

There was a pretty solid mix of Ravens and Redskins fans as well as Orioles and Nationals fans. 

There were plenty of Capitals fans. But we also lived within a reasonable distance of some other major cities like NYC and Philadelphia. 

When we had a spirit day in high school where we had to wear something for our favorite teams, it seemed like everyone was wearing something different. 

And when I lived in Washington, most who were from the area were Seahawks and Mariners fans. 

But with big companies like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Boeing in the area – there were people coming to work from all over the world. More so than anywhere else I had lived, it seemed to be a melting pot with fans of all kinds.

But now, I’m back in Missouri. I still run into fans of all kinds, but it’s far less common. 

If you ask someone which baseball team they root for, the answer will almost always be the Cardinals or the Royals. If you ask which hockey team they root for, it will almost always be the Blues. 

And if you ask which football team they root for, the answer will often be the Chiefs (although, I know there are quite a few people still rooting for the Rams). 

To me, this is what makes being a sports fan in Missouri unique. Missourians have the luxury of two MLB teams, one NFL team and one NHL team. 

Between those four teams, there have been five championships in 14 years. And there’s been more postseason appearances. That’s quite a bit of celebration for Missouri sports fans.

Weather permitting, I plan to attend the Chiefs Victory Parade this week and hope to have photos and experiences to share for Saturday’s paper.

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