Sharing a Dorm Room With an Opposing Sports Fan

If you're a diehard sports fan, you may find yourself living with an opposing team's fan in college. Keep the peace and avoid heated situations with these tips

If you’re a diehard sports fan, you may find yourself rooming with the enemy in college: someone who hates your team with a fiery passion or vice versa! College is an adventure in and of itself. It may be your first time away from home. You’ll have new and intense classes, a new group of friends to make, and a whole new list of activities to fill your time with. Of course, at the end of the day, you’ll be coming back to your dorm room and your roommate. Sharing space can be a bit daunting for those who are used to having their own, well, everything. But add in a serious sports team rivalry, and you have the making of a potentially explosive situation. Whether it’s a Yankees fan and Red Sox fan in a small space, a Jets and a Patriots fan trying to be civil, or even a Flyers diehard faced with a Devils fanatic, navigating the rivalry in a fun and adult manner can be a bit difficult. Here are some tips to avoid any potential pitfalls with your college roommate. 

Consider the rivalry beforehand

If your sports fanaticism is something that encompasses your every breath—and those who don’t love your team are seen as mortal enemies—you may want to think about living with someone who shares similar views. It isn’t that your diehard attitude is a bad thing; it’s just that it may not mesh well with someone who has the same feelings about a different team, especially a rival team. Many colleges and universities offer incoming students a chance to talk to and choose roommates, so the days of being randomly assigned a roommate who’s a potential non-Giants fan are over. Do your research and pick someone you know you’ll have a great time screaming at the television with. But at the same time, college is about meeting people with different views than you and learning from them—so maybe a rival sports fan is exactly the roommate you need to start on that journey. 

Related: List: Alma Maters of NFL Greats

Compromise where you can

Say worst comes to worst and you end up rooming with a diehard rival team fan. First, take a deep breath. You’re an adult now, so compromise is important. If you share one large room, draw a line down the middle. Each person is allowed to decorate their side with team memorabilia as they see fit with no crossover. The same rules of compromise go for televisions and/or watching games. If there’s only one TV, you can either trade off, split screens, or take turns watching on a computer. Feel free to buy a small white erase board to keep track of whose turn it is too. During game season, it’ll probably be best to each have your own television, head out to a neutral space (a friend’s dorm room or the community television in the common area), or just watch on your own computers via a streaming service. The good news is you won’t have to worry about sharing the TV when your rival teams are playing each other—just remember to keep it civil when your team wins!

Make it fun

Yes, you hate each other’s teams with the fire of a thousand burning red-hot suns. But maybe you can turn your rivalry into something fun. Throw a dorm room party that celebrates both teams and have attendants choose sides, or create your own pictures, rugs, or towels that mesh together your teams’ logos into something funny. You can still hate each other’s teams, but this makes it sort of a fun rivalry instead of a potential fist fight. You could even have an ongoing bet that when a rival team wins, the loser has to buy a cake decorated with the winning team’s colors and logo to share for dinner.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Tailgating in College

Having a rival roommate isn’t all bad—at least you’re still rooming with someone who also loves sports as much as you. Remember to keep things light and look at the situation with an objective eye. Regardless of who you or your college roommate is rooting for, the world will keep on turning, and they can still be a good friend and support system in your college life.

Check out our College Athletics section for more great sports-related reading material!

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

roommate issues roommates sports sports fans sports rivalries

About Adam Young

Adam Young is the CEO and founder of Events Ticket Center and a hardcore sports fan. He shares his take on sports games and venues across the country to inform and inspire readers to get out and experience the thrill of watching a favorite team play.


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Daniel Ogunlokun

Daniel Ogunlokun

High School Class of 2022

When I started looking at colleges in the beginning of my senior year, I was conflicted about which ones I wanted to attend based on safety, tuition costs, location, academic rigor, and prestige. Searching the internet and getting more questions than answers, I came across CollegeXpress, which made all the steps I had taken look like a minor issue. Everything was summarized and detailed, and I couldn't be more thankful and appreciative.

Alexandra Adriano

Alexandra Adriano

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2016

I've used CollegeXpress quite a bit as a senior, particularly for colleges and scholarships, so it's been a very big asset in that respect! I would recommend it to anyone looking to pursue a college education, especially seniors! This scholarship will help me achieve my goals in ways I couldn't have before, and I know that there are opportunities like that for everyone on the website and in the magazines!

Caio Matos

Caio Matos

High School Class of 2022

Starting the college admissions process as an international student was daunting. Thankfully, CollegeXpress was the first website I used for that cause and it helped me so much, from knowing where to start to deciding what my next move would be. I'll take a gap year, but I’m certainly using the website again when applying for fall 2023.



High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress gave me options of schools with my major and from there I was able to pick what was most important to me in a school. Everything was so organized that I could see all the information I needed.

Laura Wallace

Laura Wallace

High School Class of 2019

My favorite part of CollegeXpress is that it features student writers so I get an inside perspective from students slightly older and farther along than me. I realize that other college websites also utilize student writers; however, I relate the most to the college writers that I read articles from on CollegeXpress.

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Le Moyne College

Syracuse, NY

Pace University

New York, NY

Kean University

Union, NJ

Rider University

Lawrenceville, NJ