Argh, i hate when i just posted and i remember something else to add to my point, so, sorry for triplepost.
Another big thing is that our teams actually represent the place they're from. Ours don't "move". Like the Lakers, in LA where there are no lakes, or the Oilers, who moved to where there is no oil. You can buy a football player, but "Manchester United" will never be "London United", AC Milano will never be AC Roma, L'Olympique Lyonnais will never be L'Olympique Marsellaise. Just about any town with more than a thousand people has a football team to represent them, which you can be 100% sure will never leave. I was born in Praia da Vitória, and i'll always support my Praiense above all other teams. I now live in São Miguel, and have a sweet spot for União Micaelense as well. At a top tier level, i support FC Porto because Porto city has a lot in common with the place where i'm from.
A New Yorker supports the Yankees or the Giants or the Rangers or the Knicks, but who's to say in a few years it won't be the Tokyo Yankees?
A football team represents more than the monetary interests of its owner. It represents a place and a people, and it represents them in a way that is real and transcends the rhetorical speech of a player who's just won and was recently transferred in and is trying to gain the support of the fans by saying "BOSTON FANS ARE THE BEST FANS IN THE WORLD! WOO!"
Ask Quaresma who he is and he'll tell you, he's a gypsy and damn proud of it, he'll never forget where he came from. Ask Ronaldo and he'll tell you, he's an islander and damn proud of it, he'll never forget where he came from.
An NBA superstar comes from his hotel room.
Translator, time traveller, aerospace engineer, and voodoo priest extraordinaire.