Sports connections and communities undoubtedly shaped my fandom. Growing up, my six siblings and I were immersed in sports thanks to our loving father.  I attended Phillies games at the Vet as a child, but my fondest sports memories are of my dad coaching us in our local youth organizations. I didn’t last long in softball; I could never read pitches, but the family connection of sports has persisted my entire life.

A Philadelphia native, I am a Philly sports fan through and through, and my standout sports memories all include family. Whether attending Phillies games during the 2004 season with my entire family, including my 80-year-old grandmother who was a lifelong Phillies fan, or watching the Philadelphia Phantoms win the 2005 Calder Cup with my (then future) husband, the people I experienced the highs and lows with are engrained in my sports memories. And when you’re at a game, the people around you become your family, too. Whether it’s the annoying uncle who thinks they know better than everyone else, the exuberant cousin who shouts, “You want a t-shirt? I’ll get you a t-shirt!,” who then proceeds to let out the loudest roar ever heard to have a t-shirt thrown your way, to the brother that boxes you out from catching a home run ball landing two seats away, to the mother who asks you to explain what is happening as she doesn’t understand the game, to the kids who are dancing in the aisle to get picked to be on the jumbotron. The people you came with and meet there have lasting impressions that will resonate with you at all different times of your life and will replay in your head for years to come.