Phoenix transplants should embrace being local

Mar 23, 2012, 2:32 AM | Updated: Apr 28, 2015, 2:00 pm

Thank you ASU.

Thank you Phoenix Sports Commission.

Thank you NCAA.

I love this town.

It’s so great to see the NCAA tournament return to this town. USAC is packed. I hate to say it but it’s been awhile since I’ve seen so many people in this arena.

As we broadcasted outside of Majerle’s downtown, there was so much energy as fans were walking past. Four teams and their University traveling parties all staying in our hotels. Four sets of fans eating at our restaurants.

We have all four major sports. The Grapefruit League is a joke compared to our Cactus League. The highest attended golf tournament is right here along with two NASCAR races. We put on an outstanding NBA and MLB All-Star game recently.

Growing up in Ohio, I was always told the stupid joke, “if you don’t like the weather, just wait 10 minutes and it will change.” That’s what we should say about the sports landscape in Phoenix. If you don’t like what’s going on now, just wait 10 minutes and another great event will start.

As I’m sitting on my moment of such a great high, a member of the national media asks me, “Why is Phoenix such a bad sports town?”

I had no idea what to say. Why are we one of the best cities in America at hosting sporting events but don’t support our own?

I’ve heard it’s the economy but Detroit is much worse off than we are and they go to the games. I’ve heard the teams don’t win enough. The D-backs have more division championships in their time in MLB than any other team. The Suns are far superior to the Warriors as a winning franchise yet Golden State fans pack the arena while killing Suns fans in noise and intensity. I’ve heard it’s because everyone is a transplant. As the sixth largest city in America and the 14th largest metro area, we don’t need everyone to be a huge sports fan. If 1% of the city of Phoenix goes to an ASU Basketball game, a D-backs game, Coyotes game, or Suns Game, it’s a sell-out (Cardinals and ASU Football have to set their sights a little higher and shoot for 1.25%).

I do have a theory on transplants. Phoenix has a reputation as being major fair-weather fans. Is it safe to say that it’s the transplants who are the fair-weather fans? I’m beginning to believe the transplants are Phoenix fans when they’re winning. When Phoenix teams are losing, a transplant just falls back to their old hometown team so they don’t have to go through the pain of losing locally.

I understand. When I moved here, I kept all my allegiances to my teams. It’s hard to give it up. Take a moment and look at the price of the home next to you that’s for sale. Then look at the price you paid for your house. If you’re in the same situation I’m in, you’ve come to the realization you’re not moving anywhere. If you know you’re here, why not be from here? When someone asks you where your from, start saying Phoenix. Announce today the renouncement of your former favorite team. Embrace being local.

Penguin Air

Doug Franz

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Phoenix transplants should embrace being local