Updated: Oct 7, 2020
“He didn’t know who he wanted to root for…”
Scott Wolfe, group sales representative for Florida Panthers
View the full interview with Scott Wolfe on episode 3 of The Fan Experience Podcast
Sometimes it’s simply a matter of thinking differently.
For most of us, team loyalty is determined by blood or geography, nature and nurture. A Chicago child inherits the Cubs gene from their parents. A proud Philadelphian supports the Eagles from cradle to grave.
Scott Wolfe’s father just wanted to be a contrarian.
“My dad growing up in Long Island in the 70s was a teenager just getting into sports,” Wolfe says. “He didn’t know who he wanted to root for.” Watching the Yankees and Red Sox face off in the 1978 American League East tiebreaker game to determine which team would face off against the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS, his dad’s friends backed the Yankees. So the elder Wolfe decided he would root for the Red Sox.
That simple act of defiance led to a lifelong passion for the team that was passed down to his son.
“He’s stuck with it for about 40 years now,” Wolfe muses. A similar desire to counter his buddies’ allegiances led to favoring the Cowboys over the Steelers at the Super Bowl the following year.
And as a young Long Islander rooting for the Red Sox in 2004, Scott Wolfe had the last laugh and discovered his purpose.
The 2004 AL Championship Series was a seven-game battle between the Yankees and Red Sox. And the Yankees made it abundantly clear that they meant business, handily winning the first three games--the third with a devastating final score of 19-8.
“I was so embarrassed I put a sweatshirt over my head walking into school,” Wolfe remembers.
Then in the bottom of the ninth in game four, Red Sox outfielder Dave Roberts stole a crucial base that soon allowed him to score a tying run that kept Boston’s hopes alive. The game went into extra innings, and the Red Sox scored their first victory of the series.
It was an exciting night for Red Sox fans, but only the most wildly optimistic prognosticators thought it accomplished anything beyond delaying the inevitable.
Except it did.
In a feat never matched before or since, the Sox overcame their initial three-game deficit and advanced to the World Series. This time, they opted not to delay, sweeping the first four games against the St. Louis Cardinals and winning the series for the first time in 86 years.
“It’s definitely why I became a huge sports fan,” Wolfe says. “You can’t write that.”
That love of sports led to a sales career in the industry for Wolfe, who has worked with the Mets and now the Florida Panthers. And when the Panthers recently played against Wolfe’s beloved New York Islanders in the NHL playoffs, how did Wolfe decide who to root for?
“It’s kind of beautiful working for a sports team that’s not your favorite,” he says with a laugh. “I kind of call it like a win-win.”
The Fan Experience is the podcast that puts the fans behind the podium and under the spotlight. Everybody has a story. What got you hooked on sports and your favorite team? What’s the game that changed your life? We’d love to hear from you. Connect with fellow fans at Playing the Field, a growing sports community.