This team is your team, this team is my team. From Boston to New York, from Chicago to Detroit, from L.A. to San Francisco. Team allegiance runs deep for fans, not so much for players anymore. Here are athletes who joined their bitter rivals.
Boston Red Sox: 2002-2005 New York Yankees: 2006-2009 At the beginning of the 2005 season, Damon issued this statement during contract negotiations: “There’s no way I can go play for the Yankees, but I know they’re going to come after me hard. It’s definitely not the most important thing to go out there for the top dollar, which the Yankees are going to offer me. It’s not what I need. Seven months later he donned the pinstripes. Even worse, he went to another AL East rival (the Rays) a few years later. When it comes to loyalty, Damon only sees dollar signs. Photo via Wikimedia
Detroit Pistons: 1986-1993 Chicago Bulls: 1995-1998 Dennis Rodman was among the baddest of the Bad Boys, winning two titles with the team in ’89 and ’90. They held off Jordan’s Chicago Bulls for years, oftentimes resorting to rough-and-tumble tactics known as “The Jordan Rules.” So when Rodman found his way to Chicago after a brief stint with San Antonio, it was kinda awkward. Although he enjoyed wild success with the Bulls, he never made friends. It was reported he never had a conversation with Jordan or Pippen in his three years there. He’s still a Bad Boy at heart.
Minnesota Vikings: 2008-2013 Chicago Bears 2013- The NFC North is as nasty as it gets. Leaving for a team in the division is the ultimate no-no. Jared Allen switching to the Bears was a sign of the times, a sign that football players need to get their money while they still have cartilage in their knees. The NFL schedule isn’t out yet but circle that return date to Minny. Should be an interesting one. Photo via Wikimedia
Boston Red Sox: 1984-1996 New York Yankees: 1999-2003 Roger Clemens made his MLB debut with the Red Sox on May 15, 1984. Two years later he was AL MVP. He tied Cy Young for franchise victories. Basically, Clemens was Mr. Red Sox, he was Boston baseball for over a decade. Then his arm started to give out, the fastball lost its zip. Most thought his career was over. But then BAM! An odd resurgence in his 30s. A few shots here, a few shots there, some cream on the butt, a couple of “B12 pills” and voila, Clemens became a dominant pitcher for the Yankees.
Green Bay Packers: 1992-2007 Minnesota Vikings: 2009-2010 The end of Brett Favre’s career might be the most amusing in sports history. He was arguably the greatest, most beloved Packer of all-time. He won a championship, he restored pride to the greatest football town in America. Then he started throwing picks. Lots of them. Then they drafted Aaron Rodgers. And Brett Favre still threw picks. Lots of them. Eventually it was too much and after like 3 or 4 faux retirements (I maybe made that up), Favre found his way to the Vikings. And guess what? He threw picks for them too. Lots of them. Photo via IMGUR
Pittsburgh Penguins: 2007-2008 Detroit Red Wings: 2008-2009 Chicago Blackhawks: 2009- Marian Hossa had quite the roller coaster ride for 3 seasons. In 2008, his Penguins faced Detroit in the Stanley Cup Finals. He lost. In 2009, Hossa switched teams, went to the Red Wings. They played the Penguins in the Stanley Cup Finals that year. He lost…AGAIN. Many in Motown blamed Hossa for bringing his bad luck to the team. So he moved on to Detroit’s bitter rival, Chicago. And guess what? In 2010, he went to the Stanley Cup Finals again. He won. Looks like Hossa got the last laugh. Vikings Brett Favre: David, Flickr