This past week I woke up in the middle of the night to watch the Oakland A’s play their first two regular season games in Japan.
It was not very smart for my health as my sleep schedule was thrown out of whack and I might have probably lost some muscle with my weird eating schedule.
But it was something I knew I’d do again if it came to it because I am a fan of the Oakland A’s. In fact, the A’s are the only team I think I can honestly say that I am a die-hard fan of. Baseball is my favorite sport and the A’s to me has become the team I invest the most time, money and effort in.
It’s a little harder sometimes to grasp the idea of a fan because I am a reporter and I cover a sports team for my profession. Despite growing up as a San Francisco 49ers fan, covering the team has made me change my perspective of the team. I still care about the team but since I am so invested in them, I don’t consider myself a 49ers fan anymore. I think I am a 49ers realist. I won’t shell out money to buy merchandise and since I get to go to the games for work, I don’t really have to care about attending games. Plus the players aren’t players to me — they’re like co-workers and I don’t know if I can be a fan of my co-workers.
Anyway, over the years I have seen both sides of the sporting world and I have realized that there are three types of sports fans out there. There’s nothing wrong about being any of these kinds of fans, but all three are people that I interact with all the time and it’s so intriguing to me.
THE CASUAL FAN
This is probably most of my friends. They have their favorite sports teams but they don’t make the effort to watch every game. They know the name of the key players on the roster but that’s it. When the game is on, they’ll watch it but if something else is interesting on TV, they’ll go to that channel instead.
These kinds of fans won’t know every single rule for the game but they understand how the sport is played. These fans aren’t bandwagoners because they actually know things about the team and go to games. Sports is great to them, but there are other things that occupy their free times most often.
THE REAL FAN
I would say this fits me perfectly. I am all of the above except I do make an effort to watch all the games and I do know what’s going on around the league. I have an extensive knowledge of the team roster and standings. The team and league history can be filed in my memory bank without any problem.
I spend money on merchandise, tickets often and when friends want to talk sports, they usually come to me. There is a part of my life that is about the sport and when given the option to do something, sports usually is my first choice.
THE CRAZY FAN
This is the fan that I don’t think I can ever be. They go to almost every game and have their team gear on (and sometimes face paint). During the day, they’re updating their fantasy lineups instead of working. They follow all the major sports and some of the not so major sports. Emotions are running high during every game and sometimes we see these fans yelling at the TV screen as if they were coaches.
Reality escapes these fans sometimes and they’re in their own sports bubble. Their identity is sports and peers view them just that way. Without sports, these fans have no identity but that’s OK because these fans love the game so much. Sports is their life.
I know there are sub-categories for all these kinds of fans but they’re in these three general categories. Which one do you consider yourself?