Who do I root for in sport?

There was this fun blog post My Preferred Olympic Winner Order - Jayeless.net by Jessica Smith (@jayeless) and this is my order of preference for a sports ball winner.

Disclaimer: I am mostly a ball game fan, and I sort of understand how football (the European or association) and ice hockey functions. Additionally, I very much enjoy watching basketball and American rules football but my understanding of them is rather shallow. I also watch baseball, but that, I feel, is more like “slow TV” akin to watching Norwegian trains for hours rather than a sport event. This is a long way to say that I rarely root for anyone outside these sports and mostly just enjoy something cool happening.

With this, moving on to my order of preference:

Top tier:

  1. HPK - Wikipedia - my home town team I played myself as a kid. Only team I strongly and personally identify to. The greatest sport moment of my life is us winning the Finnish championship in 2019. It still tears me up just like hearing this cheesy song before the third period.

Second tier - long term favourites:

  1. Blackburn Rovers - ever since Alan Shearer and mid 90’s premier league title I’ve been a fan.

  2. Finnish national football team - team that broke my heart so many times but also unbroke it during the last few years

But when someone else is playing, who do I root for then? I know many people root for the underdog but I am more selective, only certain type of underdog is acceptable 😀:

All other things being equal, I favour:

  • Team in an orange jersey or a blue white jersey

  • Team actively attacking, especially when considered an underdog

  • Team with a player I care about (someone I know, someone that played for my favourite team before or someone I just like for some other reason)

If these tiebreakers don’t help me, I will choose to root for team chaos. What is team chaos one might ask. I’ll answer by quoting one of my favourite sport writers, Sean McIndoe A.K.A DownGoesBrown at the Athletic and Down Goes Brown:

Except, I left one team off the list. And it was my favorite team. It’s probably yours too. We need to talk about Team Chaos.


Rooting for Team Chaos is way more fun than just cheering on one particular team, especially in the modern era of parity. Team Chaos never takes a night off. Team Chaos never gets sent home early. Team Chaos is always in it for the long haul, from the opening faceoff of game one until the final buzzer of the Cup final, and sometimes beyond. The best part of rooting for Team Chaos is that you never know when you’ll be surprised and delighted by some random bounce or bad break or missed call that turns the entire postseason into flaming Elmo dot jpg.

Yes, if there is an Eagle owl stopping a football game, or an own goal from 40 meters I will be cheering. If there is a 100 year “curse” put upon a team, I am 100% rooting for the curse. Or in other words: I want to see the random texture of the universe peek through the canvas.