For reasons that probably make more sense than they should LeBron James' favorite football team is the Dallas Cowboys. He's a diehard, apparently. Thing is the Cowboys suck something fierce this season, to the point that they just fired their coach. In fact, James can't even watch them anymore. He was too busy catching Eastbound & Down. Which really makes sense when you think about the way James thinks about professional sports loyalty and fandom.
"[It's] very tough, man. I've never had to change channels when my Cowboys played," James told ESPN Dallas. "I was changing between 'Eastbound and Down' and my Cowboys, so I knew I was kind of frustrated at that point."
We all know where LeBron grew up. Akron, Oh. We all know what the nearest NFL team to his hometown is. The Cleveland Browns.
Yet he grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan, because in those years towards late elementary school where little boys start becoming aware of sports, the Cowboys were still unquestionably America's team. Under Jimmy Johnson they won three Super Bowls between 1992 and 95. Keep in mind that James also formed his fan allegiances at the same time to the Chicago Bulls, and not the Cleveland Cavaliers.
So in LeBron's experience you become a fan of the biggest and best team, and not the one who happens to play in the stadium closest to your home.
So it makes sense that LeBron seemed clueless to the allegiances of his Cleveland fans during free agency. Of course he was going to take a chance to create the biggest, buzziest and possibly best team in the league. LeBron chose his fandoms by their success, so obviously he was going to plant his legacy on chasing success.
Now that the Cowboys are at the bottom of barrel he can't even watch them. His watching Kenny Powers on HBO instead. His mode of vandom doesn't know what to do when the team sucks. It's not him to sit by and watch the team suck, even if every loyal fans has to go through those periods.
Of course this theory isn't solid when you consider things like the fact the Cleveland Browns ceased to exist for a time in LeBron's childhood, and that he does not have allegiances to, say, The Miami Hurricanes or another college football team who earned a lot of bandwagon fans in the late '80s and early '90s.
It is also breaks down when you realize that Eastbound & Down is just a really, really good show that might be worth missing your team playing to catch. Plus, maybe on some levels LeBron can really relate to Kenny.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.