Every once in a while here in Berlin you’ll see someone sporting a hat or shirt with the logo of a U.S. sports team such as the Atlanta Braves, the New York Yankees, or the Los Angeles Dodgers. Can one assume that the wearer has been to Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, or whatever city the team might be from?

According to a German friend of mine the answer is “no.” He said that some (mostly kids) like to buy the hats and things like that because they just seem cool and may not even know anything about the teams themselves. (I wonder, then, what do the teams logos represent for them as symbols, if anything? Or do they they simply find the designs and colors attractive?)

As if to confirm what my friend said, shortly thereafter I stumbled one day upon this display of mostly-NBA hats, with a Red Wings hat thrown in for some reason:

U.S. sports apparel for sale in a store in Leipzig

U.S. sports apparel for sale in a store in Leipzig. That’s right, North Carolina, there were not one but two styles of Hornets hat for sale.

I suppose that this phenomenon also exists in the U.S., where a non-fan might wear a foreign team’s jersey or hat for the style, color, symbol, or simply to seem a little bit exotic. I might think to ask about it the next time I am back in the US and see someone wearing a European soccer jersey. I would guess that the answer is yes, that they are actually a fan, but it’s worth an ask.