In 1979 Sister Sledge’s “We are Family” became the anthem for the Pittsburgh Pirates, a team that symbolized the hope of a northeast industrial city facing economic hardship.

We are family
I got all my sisters with me
We are family
Get up ev’rybody and sing
Ev’ryone can see we’re together
As we walk on by
(FLY!) and we fly just like birds of a feather
I won’t tell no lie
(ALL!) all of the people around us they say
Can they be that close
Just let me state for the record
We’re giving love in a family dose

This season Pirates’ fans gather to watch their first winning team in over 20 years. But this scene is different. Yes, the stands are filled with fans wearing team colors, chanting in unison, and supporting their heroes on the field, but the difference in this setting is there was no team on the field.

These fans had left the comfort of their homes, fought the Pittsburgh traffic, parked their cars, and found their way to seats in a ballpark to watch on the video board a game being played in St. Louis 600 miles away.

They didn’t come to ballpark to see the game (at least in person), they came to the park to be fans.

It is built into us. With every “I’m a proud parent…” bumper sticker, posting of a political statement on Facebook, wearing the colors of our alma mater, or championing our favorite radio station, people want to communicate that they belong to something important.

“We buy what we buy to remind ourselves – and tell the world around us – who we are. We even choose our service providers based on how closely they mirror the way we would run their company. We’re attracted to reflections of ourselves. A salesperson points out this reflection, “That’s you, isn’t it?” and then gives the intellect the facts it needs to justify the purchase. Win the heart and the mind will follow.” ~ Roy Williams

But that’s enough for now.

In next week’s Frost Advisory (We Are Fam-i-ly, Part Two) I’ll discuss the power of Social Proof (think white earbuds for your iPod), and share the story of Jimmy and Betty and a tree in Tennessee.