On Being a Sports Fan

If one were to ask me, I’d say I am a casual fan of many teams – if one were to define ‘casual’ as being one who has at least enough in their tool belt of fandom to whip out the right tool for the job for discussion. I cannot recite stats. I cannot pull team folklore and craziness out of my ass and relate it to some event in a personal manner.

Nor do I want to do it.

That sort of fandom to me is a tad excessive as well as obsessive and I can see why athletes get a little wary of those types – the adults who wear a guy’s jersey and then ask for an autograph. In fact, I will take it a step further – wearing anyone’s jersey seems a bit excessive. You’re not them, that’s not your name on the back. Why are you wearing someone else’s name on your back? Why are you spending so much time and effort following a team as if you are a part of the team? And why are you all dressing up like this clown?

Here’s a little advice Bears fans – don’t. Ditka never liked you. Ever.


CAPS for a point. Unless you work for the team, get paid by the team, your attachment to the team is purely psychological and to refer to your beloved team as if you are a part of it? C’mon now. You may have been slowly indoctrinated into being a fan of whatever team by your mother, father, or continually unemployed uncle who seems to think he can coach the team. No matter, you don’t work for them so stop it.

It’s not hard, really it isn’t. Try it. Just take whatever inane sentence you want to throw out there when tossing your opinion around as if you know what the hell you’re talking about and switch it up a bit:

“What we need is a faster wide receiver.” NO.

“What they need is a faster wide receiver.” YES – although you probably still have no fucking idea what you are talking about as most fans are pretty illiterate about their chosen team and its sport – just like the referred-to lazy uncle. The Basketball Stupid love to talk about defenses as if they have any fucking idea what defense their team is in at the moment. The Football Stupid love to re-watch games as if they’re watching in the film room and then impart their advice on whatever sports radio show they deem necessary to call. The Baseball Stupid love to talk about the nuances of the game like the infield fly rule, as if they know what it even means. The Hockey Stupid? Most have spent too much time boarding themselves on the rink to have much of an opinion.

For the love of the double switch and pulling the goalie who has that kind of time?
I’ll tell you who does – those who can’t figure out how to live their own life without clinging on to some sort of fandom as if that’s the keel that balances their boat.

Man am I on a rant or what? Damn right I am!

You want to be a fan of something? Be a fan of something that may enrich your life in one aspect or another. Be a fan of hiking – a hill, a mountain, by a stream, not the hike from the refrigerator to the couch. If that’s your version of hiking, perhaps for your body’s sake it’s time you become a fan of exercise. Just a little bit a day leads up to more and who knows? Someday you may become a crossfit trainer. I’m kidding. Don’t do that. That’ll most likely kill you. Back on the couch for you – after a few jumping jacks, hold some yoga poses, and knock out 20 push-ups or more.

How about a fan of the arts – true arts, not action films. They have less plot than a porn film. How about a fan of poetry? Start at Robert Frost, maybe work your way up to Edgar Allan Poe or William Carlos Williams. Or a fan of fiction – unless it’s something insipid like a Dan Brown or Stephanie Meyer book. Find some taste, really. Dig deeper. Be a fan of theatre – but not Disney musicals unless you have children. For fuck’s sake those are nothing but an extension of their animation just to peel more money out of your bank account. It’s the same damn story; it’s the same damn ending; and now you’re a whole shit-ton lighter in cash for nothing.

I am not saying to toss your fandom away like Sunday’s gnawed-on chicken wings. Just temper your enthusiasm, would ya? Limit your time; limit your expressiveness toward said fandom. Granted I type this wearing a San Francisco Giants hoodie celebrating their World Series victory of 2010, however I do not own said hoodie for the 2012 or 2014 Giants World Series winning teams not do I have the trio hoodie – that’s three World Series victories in five years. This one single hoodie works just fine… until it wears out. It’s so comfy! If you’re a Cubs fan you should get one celebrating 2016. After all, let’s face it you won’t be able to purchase another one touting a World Series victory in your lifetime, not after that awful Darvish trade. They got three teenagers and a former Brewers pitcher for glove’s sake.

You know what I’m a fan of? Understanding that if your chosen team or teams wins or loses your life is not really affected that much. The job you want, the promotion you want, the raise you want is not going to be hinging on how your team does… unless again, you work for the team. But you do not. Get over it. But hold onto all of your team paraphernalia you so cherish. For the love of the drop-kick, please don’t sell all your team memorabilia to drop coin on Disney musicals.

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