Back in college, when I was probably a far better writer, I wrote a “how to” piece for my Feature Writing class about Super Fandom. My angst towards the 2015 “fan” has inspired me to revisit that piece. That angst has been well documented, and some of my frustration can be read here.
I’m not going to complain about modern fans, nor will I point out their faults. Today, I am just going to re-hash the “how to” piece I wrote in college. I am now going to jump into my magic telephone booth and become Professor Ditti, Doctor of Fandom.
It’s time to sit up in your seats, and pay attention. This is Super Fandom 101.
Lesson 1: Suit Up
Don’t listen to the fuddy duddy’s like Bianchi on this one. Wear whatever you want.
If you have a favorite player and want to buy and wear his or her jersey on gameday…then do it! There’s no age cut off like some might think. The people who hate on jersey wearing are the people who don’t have the capacity for fun, and aren’t fans.
You don’t tell Bianchi what t-shirts he should and shouldn’t wear, so don’t let him tell you that you can’t wear what you want to wear…but there are some rules of fandom in relation to the jersey.
- Pick one gameday jersey, but have a back up too
- If your team is losing, you might be able to swing the mojo with a quick change into your back-up jersey. Don’t be too quick to change though, you only get one shot at getting this right.
- Make sure the jersey fits.
- If you have a lucky jersey from your high school days, then use it as a rally towel if it doesn’t fit on your body. Nobody…not even your wife and kids…want to see that gut hanging out of your shirt.
- Don’t wear jerseys of departed players.
- I know it sucks to drop $100+ on a jersey of a player who leaves soon after. Trust me, I know personally. I have a Wes Welker jersey stashed in the back of my closet. Wearing a departed players’ jersey brings back luck. Plus, you look a bit foolish rocking a jersey of a dude who bailed on your team.
Lesson 2: The Lucky Seat
Another superstition for the super fan is the lucky seat.
On gameday, super fans know where they have to sit for things to go their way. Snickers even made a commercial about this a few years back…or at least I think it was Snickers.
For some fans this is your season ticket seat at the stadium, for other fans it’s’ the perfect cushion on their couch, or even possibly their friends couch. Regardless of where it is, it needs to be somewhere that you know you will be every time you watch your team.
This one also comes with a back-up option, but a far different one than the jersey. When things aren’t going well, you pull the switcheroni. This is when all members of the watching group stand up and switch seats. Again, this can change the mojo…but must be used cautiously because you can never get it back once you’ve moved. If you’re watching alone just switch seats yourself, but it must be to a different piece of furniture!
Sit safely my friends.
Lesson 3: Tact
Yes, freedom of speech, rights, yadda yadda yadda.
I’m not talking about rights, I’m talking about tact. Know where you are and have some respect for those around you.
I don’t want you to sit quietly with your hands crossed on your lap like you’re at The Masters. Yell, scream, cheer…but don’t be disrespectful. Use language that you’d use in your grandparents’ dining room, or if you cuss up a storm there too, then use the language you’d use around your own children. There’s no need to be vile while being vocal.
You can yell at the ref without any type of sexual joke. You can jeer the other team without flipping them off or calling them vulgar names. It’s not only a matter of tact, it’s a matter of image. You look like a clown when you’re disrespectful and in turn so does your entire fan base. Stop being a negative representation, nobody likes that guy/girl.
This lesson applies to you whether you’re at the game, at a bar or at a friend or co-worker’s home. In your own home, do and say whatever you want…I do.
So be tactful, be respectful and be happy! It’s sports!
Lesson 4: NEVER Cheer Injuries
I don’t care how much you dislike the opposing team, nobody should ever cheer an injury to the opposition. If you cheer something like that and I’m sorry to be blunt here, but you’re a horrible person.
These guys are out there giving their all for your admiration…and a paycheck…and injuries are a horrible thing. This is even more important when it comes to collegiate sports and below. Those are kids, playing for no paycheck.
So this one’s simple. Don’t do it. Those who do cheer injury should be banished from the land!
That will do it for Super Fandom 101- Day 1. I think four lessons is plenty to get you all started.
Now, I understand if you’re sitting there saying to yourself, “Who does this clown think he is, King of the fans?” To that I say…maybe? Is there a vote, I’ll happily throw my hat in the ring. In honesty though, I’m just a fan, with a platform.
You don’t have to sign up for a class in college if you don’t want to, and the same goes for this class. So get on the drop list and move on, but I will continue to do my best to better fans in America for as long as I have the ability to speak and type. Get used to it!
Any and all feedback welcomed! Get me on Twitter @Ditti33 or via e-mail at ditti@740TheGame.com