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Submitted by Alton Young on September 17, 2013 – 1:33 pmOne Comment

Sports Editor Alton Young

Several major sporting events recently took place that I could discuss here, like the weird NASCAR cheating scandal, or the Alabama versus Texas A&M football game, or the Mayweather/Alvarez bout, or even the so-called “Manning Bowl.”

I want to talk about the people who were present at every one of those events, cheering or booing to their heart’s content. That’s right, today I break down The Fan.

Okay, let me get this out of the way first. This is in no way meant to offend, so if you’re offended – too bad. I’m probably talking about you and I’m mostly joking. Mostly.

Fans come in all different sizes, sexes and nationalities, but they only fall in four different categories. Since you are reading this in the sports pages, let’s assume that you fall somewhere on this list. Hit the red buzzer when we get to your category. So without further delay, here are the four major categories of fans (according to me):

First is the Non-fan:
People in this category look at sport fans like they have some sort of condition. They wouldn’t know a touchdown from a safety and are indifferent to sports in general. I’m a sports guy, so it pains me to say this, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the way these people feel. After all, they are only sports. (I can’t believe that I just said that.)
A sub-category of the Non-fan is the “I hate sports” guy. This guy not only hates sports, but hates you for liking them. I hate that guy.
(Okay, that’s more like it.)

Next there’s the Casual Fan:
Most fans fall into this category. They typically like to watch the big games in a social setting. The game can be an excuse for tailgating and something like the Super Bowl is typically a backdrop for a Super Bowl party. They may or may not have a favorite team and win or lose, they are usually ok with the outcome. The bandwagon fan is a sub-category here. These guys jump in with the hottest team or even the team that’s winning right now. As long as these fans realize that they just got there (on the bandwagon), it’s fine. Unfortunately, these fans are usually some of the loudest and seem to know the least about the team that they’re cheering for. Remember, they did just get there.

Then there’s the Loyal Fan:
Now it gets interesting. These guys know the players, wear the jerseys, and are really into the game. They will argue with the referees, the coach, and you, if you question their team. They know the stats of their favorite players and are actually depressed when their team loses, especially a big game like the playoffs, when their team is eliminated for the season. These fans are there for all the bad times, so they truly savor the good times. L.A. Clipper fans, I’m looking at you.

Finally we have the Fanatic:
These are the fans who swear that their team is winning the championship every year, whether their team is good or not. Most of them are clearly delusional and there can be no winning an argument with them about their team. Weird face or body painting and even weirder costumes can be the uniform of these fans. Unfortunately, there is a sub-category here that includes the fans we all know and loathe – the drunken jerk guy. It is, apparently, his mission in life to start a fight with anyone who dares like a different team than his. Don’t be that guy.

Whatever sport you enjoy. Wherever you fall on my chart, which is no doubt the final authority on the subject. Whether you’re watching a game at home or supporting our teams here on campus, remember this, you are a part of something bigger than yourself. You are a Fan. Either that, or you think the rest of us are all infected. Like a zombie apocalypse…with cheerleaders.

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