Breaking down the sports fan
Olympic.ca is currently featuring a series exploring sports fans.
The sports fan community casts a wide net, encompassing a vast array of passionate and… let’s go with… eccentric individuals.
While it’s not completely false to assume that a good portion of the fan pool is comprised of man-children looking to escape from the clutches of the daily grind, sports fans do offer an interesting variety of genres when it comes to supporting their favourite teams.
Here’s a breakdown of the different types of sports fandom.
1. The Know-It-All
Never missing an occasion to voice his opinion, this fan possesses special abilities allowing him to predict with inexplicable amounts of confidence the actions of general managers and players without even as much speaking to or ever knowing anyone remotely involved with the team, league and/or sport.
2. The Bandwagoner
Held in very low regard amongst its peers, the bandwagon fan usually emerges during playoff time, undermining all the time and effort others have put in to supporting a team through the peaks and valleys of a long season.
3. The Chameleon
The Chameleon fan adapts to his surroundings, changing allegiances based on which city he’s living in at the time and erasing all traces of previous sporting inclinations. Basically changing identity, not unlike a fugitive.
4. The Nostalgic
Yearning for the good old days when literally everything in sports was better. Period.
5. The Overly Involved
Believes he’s an integral part of the team. There’s a lot of ‘we’ talk.
6. The Optimist
Without loosing grasp on reality, the optimist prefers to look at the bright side of things no matter how badly his team might be performing.
7. The Delusional
Optimism gone bad. Disregarding absolutely everything that has happened previously, the arrival of a new season means that a championship is right around the corner. Never mind if the team hasn’t made a playoff appearance in 20 years.
8. The Pessimist
The pessimist has been burned before and won’t allow himself to relive the sting of disappointment. The polar opposite of delusional, this breed of fandom refuses to declare victory until it’s officially in the books, all the while expecting the worst even during the best of times.
9. The Closet Fan
While not necessarily hiding the fact that they’ve hitched their wagon to a loser a long time ago, closet fans don’t exactly scream it on rooftops either. They dream of a day where their loyalty will finally pay off.
10. The Emotional
Living the highest highs and the lowest lows one play at a time. The emotional fan can go from cheers to tears and back in a heartbeat.
11. The Face Painter
Usually armed with a prop or two, the face or, in more extreme cases, body painter has a deep desire to let the world know of his allegiance. A simple jersey and ball cap just won’t do.
12. The Statistician
Constantly sharing the most obscure stats to whoever will listen. No one ever questions him.
13. The Hardcore Fantasy Player
Pledging allegiance to no team other than their own, hardcore fantasy players spend more time researching and tweaking than cheering. They’re in it for bragging rights. And money.
14. The Idolist
The fan that gets hooked on a particular player early on and just never lets go, no matter where his hero ends up playing.
15. The Hater
Gets more joy out of witnessing a bitter rival fail than success from his own team.
16. The Superstitious
17. The Hopeful
Simply along for the ride. This fan knows all too well he has absolutely no control over the game’s outcome. He witnesses quietly hoping for the best.
18. The Reporter
Enjoys ‘breaking’ news to all his buddies seconds after most major sports news outlets have reported it.
19. The Loner
Nowhere to be found during big games, the loner prefers solitude to the distracting sounds of friendship and cheering during potentially life altering sporting events.
20. The Ship Jumper
Not to be confused with bandwagon fans (#2). This fan’s MO is simple: loyal to the point of foreseeable long term failure. This supporter always has an eye on an up-and-coming franchise and doesn’t hesitate to jump ships when the time comes.