Kaiti Decker and Greg Kaplan are seniors at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY with concentrations in Sports Communication. For our senior year capping project, we have chosen to create a multimedia blog entitled “Home Field Advantage” in which we will conduct a type of comparative analysis between the sports cultures, traditions, and fan hood within varying U.S. cities. The basis behind our idea was the premise that each region of the country has a distinct attitude towards sport, and what it means to be a fan. People value sport highly around the nation, but the reasons why they value sport and the ways in which they show it vary quite radically. For example, sport on the West coast is often seen as largely entertainment, whereas on the East coast, sport is the purest and most valuable form of competition. Filling in the miles between the coasts, in the Midwest, sport is essentially a way of life, and in the South, sport is often seen as a religion. Of course, these are very rough categories, and there are definite outliers in each region. However, our project looks to delve into these trends and patterns, analyzing the people, fans, and overall sports culture in 14 different cities.
For the purpose of this project, we limited what we viewed to be the “Big Four” US sports as the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL. In some instances, we also hope to explore the culture surrounding NCAA sports teams in specific cities where collegiate athletics are curiously valued higher than the professional franchises. The premise for this project comes from the never-ending debate between rival cities about who has a more devout fan base. Our goal is not to find “the #1 fan base in America”. Instead, we want to hear from people within the Sports Communication business and casual fans such as yourself to learn and better understand what makes your sports culture uniquely yours.