As the infamous and sole New Orleans Saints fan at my workplace in Northern Colorado, I take a lot of heat. A recent conversation I had went like this:
Hot blue-eyed male customer - "Hey, your Saints cost me a lot of money this week."
Me - "Why the hell would you bet on the Saints when they were playing at Gillette Stadium?"
Hot blue-eyed male customer - "What kind of fan are you?"
Me - "A realistic one. You should have consulted with me first before making that bet. I would have saved you some money. I pretty much knew that they were gonna lose. If they were playing at home, it might have been a different story."
Hot blue-eyed male customer - "So why did they lose?"
Me - "When you have a 4 point lead with less than 2 minutes left and can't accomplish the task of picking up a few first downs to chew up the clock and prevent Tom Brady from getting the ball back, you deserve to lose."
Hot blue-eyed male customer - No response, just raised eyebrows.
What kind of fan are you? Those words resonated with me. While there are certainly no perfect fans, I try to be generally respectful to others, as there's nothing worse than a bad sports fan.
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These people are delusional and possess absolutely zero objectivity. These pom-pom waving fans can not see their team's faults. Any conversation will somehow be redirected to their team and how "great" they are. These "fans" are the first to blame officiating for a loss. Let's be clear about one thing; if your team has played a game that just one call from an official may determine a win or loss, they deserve to lose. These people also tend to update their Facebook statues or tweet nonstop while "their" team is playing. We're all watching the game, no need for your silly updates. Give "your" team your undivided attention. Thanks.
This happens to be a terrible development in the world of sports. "Fans" running amok, burning jerseys in the parking lot after games. A Texans fan crossed the line by going to a professional QB's residence to confront him for playing badly. Then there are those "fans" that perform incomprehensible acts such as stabbing each other after games. Really? Get medicated, and a life.
These fair-weathered people know no loyalty whatsoever, and ride the coattails of whatever team is successful that year. They have a vast and varied collection of team apparel. These "fans" possess zero knowledge of a team's history, as they are Johnny-come-latelys. They're the loudest while "their" team is winning, yet quickly fall silent and disappear once they lose. Just pick a team and stick with them through the good times and bad, because that's what real fans do.
These "fans" mean well, but are just remedial in their general knowledge. They understand nothing of "their" team, players, or even the sport in many instances. You may see them discuss how much "worser" your team is than theirs. Clueless fans are easily dismissed with a snappy retort and an eye roll.
A new breed of "fan," these folks live to attack fans of other teams. If you stand your ground, they are the first to launch personal attacks against you and/or your family. They are pathetic and attention starved, and often hide behind a keyboard on the Internet. In real life, I was trolled on recently at a gas station. I was wearing my Saints jersey minding my own business pumping gas, when I heard a child in the backseat of the vehicle next to me chirp "Go Broncos" repeatedly. I was mildly amused until after the car pulled away, the adults proceeded to yell profanities at me about my team. They didn't have the guts to say something to my face. Kudos on their parenting. Not.
These "fans" claim allegiance to more than one team within the same sport. Don't give me this "well X team is my favorite AFC team and Y team is my favorite NFC team," garbage. Pick one team and be loyal. It's similar to marriage, really; through better or worse. If you are a fan of more than one team, you are a true fan of none.
Over the years, I've really learned what it means to be a sports fan. My dad, even though I ultimately rebelled against him and his team, provided a good example to me. He has been loyal to his team since its inception and has never wavered.
With the folks on social media, we may not like the same teams, but if you carry yourself with class, we will be fast friends. But let's face it, at the end of the day, sports are primarily for entertainment purposes, and should be viewed accordingly.