As an Englishman I think that the USA and Britain are different when it comes to sports. American sports appear to involve or encourage higher scoring with plenty of stoppages, time-outs and breaks, in part to do with the nature of the sports but no-doubt influenced a little by advertising and sponsorships. I also get the impression that sports in America have more of an emphasis on 'the event' with razamatazz and high production and entertainment.
British sports on the other hand emphasise grass roots development of the sport from amateur level and working up. It is not so much working to an 'American Dream' in Britain, but striving to represent the area that you're from. Your rivals are a lot closer in Britain than in the states, each region having complicated and sometimes violent histories with the ones around them- so for some kid to grow up and represent his town, city or county is deemed a great achievement, almost more so than representing your country.
The sport I follow is football (or soccer as you might call it), a sport that is drenched in history. In European soccer rivalry (especially with your closest enemy) may have been forged as a result of thousands of years of history- even before the sport as we know it came to be. Some 'derbies' (games between two local teams) have a history of politics, religion and civil war behind them- and the passion runs high as a result. This is why in Britain, relocating any professional sports team from one area of the country to another just doesn't happen as it has done in the USA. (The one exception I can think of is Wimbledon football club- which involved a huge backlash from fans.) The team, and the history of that area that the team is located in, is just too interlocked to even consider something like that.
This is why I think that gamers who play sports games on-line (or even offline for that matter) as one of the 'big clubs' when they don't actually support that club, are not very genuine, and rather more motivated by an on-line rank than the club or team that they support. I am just fortunate that my team is Manchester United (and for the record I was born and raised in Greater Manchester, and I live 4.2 miles away from their stadium, Old Trafford,) but if Manchester United were not a very good team then I would still choose to play with them rather than opt for Barcelona or Real Madrid as a lot of people tend to do. I think any true sports supporter would agree that the love you your club or team over-rides all.
Worse still, I feel are those guys that post up on the EA Sports forums, from random places like Australia, Texas, Mexico, Sweden and New Zealand that claim to 'support' a British football club, or a club that is about 200 miles away.
Aside from the fact that they hardly ever/don't physically go to watch those teams and don't 'support' them in the sense that they're lending their voice and presence to a game of soccer, they can never truly understand the history of being brought up in the area that there team was from and feel the true significance of that team representing their 'area.'
Yet they have the avatars and the amusing names like 'ManUnited001' and harp on about playing as 'their' team in the latest EA or Konami game fest. I find this slightly silly and also slightly offensive. Are these people devoid of a local club or something? No. Are these people helping their local club to maybe grow financially and through support achieve some greatness? No. Instead they are piling their attention, money and time into a club that could be a thousand miles away whilst their local team shrivels up and dies. How do these people think that teams like Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea started? As small, working men's teams, thatís what! Then they got support from the local mob and so they grew into the super teams that we know today.
If a person's team is not featured in a sports title then it is fine by me if they 'adopt' a team to play with, but they can never claim to 'follow' that team. That is the difference I think.