Friday, April 6, 2012

Recognize Yourself

I’m not a rabid, um, avid sports fan.  I’m what you might call a casual observer. As I see it, fans fall into three categories. The first type of fan enjoys the game but doesn’t get too excited over a team win or loss. The second tier fan cares about the outcome and if their team loses, well, that makes for a disappointing day. The third type of fan dabbles on the scary side. They take the concept of “fan” to a whole different level.

You’ve seen and heard about them. This third type of fan gets so wrapped up in an event that they go over-the-top. These fans dedicate way too much time to their sport, assault members of an opposing team, bend street light poles in celebration of a win and tip over big things—like your car. How does someone make the leap from supportive observer to crazed participant? Perhaps this video hints at an answer:

If sports fandom means sharing in a communal experience, then why do certain people go to the extreme? Perhaps they want to stand out from the community, above the crowd and beyond normal. They desire recognition for something, anything, even if it’s only for outrageousness. Everyone wants a little recognition. What about you? For what do you want to be recognized?


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I agree that the extreme fan is looking for recognition. On the contrary, I think they are looking to get lost, to escape, to exit for that one 2-3 hour period, from the normal pains and concerns of their current life. More power to the extreme fan as they also serve as entertainment for the rest of us.

Bethanie said...

Good point! But don't all fans watch sports with that goal in mind? Is face paint and extreme behavior necessary to escape from ordinary life?