By Kevin Rutherford
You probably wouldn’t peg One Direction‘s Harry Styles as an American football fan at first glance, and no one can blame you. The British boy band heart-throb comes from a country where the type of football known as soccer Stateside is the chief focus, with the American version paid little mind.
And yet, Styles’ Twitter account was punctuated last Sunday (Nov. 9) with retweets from his favorite football team, the Green Bay Packers. A normal tweet from the NFL team’s official Twitter might normally garner around 300 retweets and 400 favorites when it’s game time. Once a Styles retweet comes into play? Try 15,000 retweets and 40,000 favorites.
Call him the Packers’ best hype man—and perhaps, simultaneously, the Packers social team’s best and worst enemy; sure, there’s more social interaction on the account, but boy, those replies to the tweets in question.
The One Directioner isn’t the only high-profile sports fan whose fandom brings even more attention to their favorite sports team than what they might’ve experienced before. Here’s a few other musicians whose love for their teams knows no bounds.
Eddie Vedder – Chicago Cubs
He might be best associated with Seattle, but the Pearl Jam frontman grew up in Chicago and has strong allegiance to its teams — most prominently the Cubs, for whom he’s thrown out the ceremonial first pitch and done a rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” In 2008, he released a solo track called “All the Way” at former Cub Ernie Banks’ request that anticipates a World Series title in the boys’ future. Billy Corgan was not amused.
Ben Gibbard – Seattle Mariners
Just how big a fan of his hometown baseball team is the Death Cab for Cutie frontman? When Ichiro Suzuki was traded to the New York Yankees in 2012, Gibbard felt so sentimental that he wrote and recorded a tune called “Ichiro’s Theme.” In 2008, the Seattle native threw out the first pitch of a game, and then in 2010, he performed both “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and John Fogerty’s “Centerfield” with his Death Cab bandmates. It sounded exactly like you’d expect a Gibbard-led “Ballgame” to sound, for better or for worse.
Kid Rock – Detroit Pistons
The country rocker won’t let you hear the end of his love for Detroit, so it’s only natural he’d be a fan of Stan Van Gundy’s squad. Most recently, he performed at halftime in the Palace of Auburn Hills in what the venue called “one of the most sophisticated and technologically advanced halftime shows in sports.”