Every sports team has a mixture of fans – old, young, male, female – but what if you break it down further? The following are ten types of sports fans you’ve probably met along the way. Which one are you?
1. The Fanatic
They relish any opportunity to dress up, apply paint and go in disguise. They are determined to appear on that big screen – so they are dancing at every break in play. They are 100% prepared for the game, with attention to costume details, knowing the cheers, and even having a flask stashed in their afro. While they can be great fun to be around when the puck drops – they live and die by the score – they can sometimes have a little too much fun…
Strengths: art, creativity, noise levels, ambience
Weaknesses: subtlety, intoxication
The Verdict: they’re great fun when the team is winning – but can quickly become a tragically poignant statement on the human condition after a loss.
2. The Talker
You know the ones, they’ve been invited by their friend and they won’t stop talking. You would hope it’s about the latest trades or the other team. No, it’s much more important – their dog has different poop than usual. They think it’s because they switched food, but it’s organic and raw, so that can’t be it… Besides, their neighbour, Linda – you know, the one with the big hair– has been using the same brand and her dogs have shinier coats than… GOAL!!!
Strengths: stringing lots of words together, good company
Weaknesses: knowing what team they are cheering for, no sport etiquette.
The Verdict: good if you want to multitask – need to socialise while watching the game, bad if you actually want to watch the game. Take them to a wooden-spooner matchup, not the championship game.
3. The Loudmouth
He’s a lover, not a hater – but it’s hard to tell. He’s out there heckling from his nosebleed seats with a beer in each hand unafraid of making his opinion known – think Don Cherry. Depending on the loudmouth, this could be the most amusing game you’ve ever been to. However, If the opposition counterpart is nearby it can go either way – most fun game ever or needing to text security (somebody needs to think of the children).
Strengths: never gets lost in a crowd, can provide ample entertainment
Weaknesses: constantly getting kicked out of games / misunderstood
The Verdict: it wouldn’t be a sport crowd without them – although let’s keep the heckling child-friendly and strictly on the game at hand.
4. The Fantasy Team Watcher
They spend hours before the game reading blogs, injury lists and reports before finalising their fantasy team lineups. Due to this level of involvement the weight they place on seemingly insignificant games can be infuriating as their compiled ‘team’ actually plays for many different teams, they will be flipping between games as you watch them. Be prepared for a seizure and more information than you ever wanted to know.
Strengths: gambling, multi-tasking, enthusiasm
Weaknesses: gambling, inability to focus on a single game
The Verdict: they love their sport and players, but please keep chatter about fantasy to a minimum – you are literally the only person who cares about THAT team. It’s not a good sign when someone needs to ask you if that trade really happened or was just a fantasy.
Most fans have a favourite player and they wear it proudly on their back, but some take it a little further. You’ve seen them holding their signs up proudly “[insert name here], Marry Me!” or something far less appropriate (baby?). You’ve also seen their office cubicles dedicated to their favourite player with a signed everything…
Strengths: admiration, love, unwavering loyalty
The Verdict: we love your enthusiasm…. but we’re just going walk over here… away from you…
6. Blind Follower
They want to be a part of the action, so they cheer when they hear everyone else cheer, occasionally getting caught cheering for the other team. Their favourite player is the one trending on Twitter (preferably with tasteful nude pics attached), but they’ve been a ‘fan’ of the team since college. They might like the idea of being a fan, but their heart just isn’t in it.
Strengths: cheering loudly
Weaknesses: knowing the rules, knowing when to cheer loudly, sheep mentality, easily distracted
The Verdict: meh – no strong feelings either way – they’re good seat fillers?
They have just moved over from the other side of the country and have shed their life-long loyalty to their old team for the local team in order to wear the correct jersey. Or, this is what you think, until their team is in town and you look over and half way through the game, when their team is winning, they are suddenly wearing their hometown jersey! And you thought all the layering was because it was cold!
Strengths: adaptable, passionate, know the intricacies of the game
Weaknesses: long distance relationships, conflicted, fickle
The Verdict: we love them – they could be any of us – but we don’t envy them the internal conflict, soul searching and Freudian slips which necessarily surround them.
8. The Armchair GM (General Manager)
These guys are the experts. They watch every game their team plays, plus a few more the other teams are playing. They analyse the trades, hires, and every move the team makes. They honestly believe they could lead the team to victory and they should be getting the salary – or at least be consulted before major team decisions are made.
Strengths: excel sheets, intelligence, insight
Weaknesses: social skills, limitations
The Verdict: they’re great to have around if you looking for a little insight or nuance in the game, however they can stray into irrational territory easily if they fail to acknowledge that they’re not actually employed by the team.
9. Bandwagon Fan
The fans who are all in when the team is hot, but mysteriously disappear when they’re not performing well. Like all of Canada and the Toronto Blue Jays. When playoffs roll around they’re game to go the the bar or arena to watch the games with buddies. They follow the team at a distance the rest of the time, and may not be well versed in the intricacies of player trades, long term traits of teams/players and team management.
Strengths: passion, ambience
Weaknesses: loyalty, commitment
The Verdict: they’re great fun to be around – contributing to the ambience – and make die-hard fans feel like the font of all knowledge.
10. Loyal Season Ticket Holder
These are the heart and soul of the fan base. Through thick and thin, they can’t imagine cheering for another team. They reminisce fondly on the good ‘ol days, they won’t let go of their seats because their turn for victory could be this season! Their team could make the playoffs – if only the team could just win the next 6 games straight and the other team lose against these specific games…
Strengths: perseverance, loyalty, fake smiles
Weaknesses: trading stocks, realism
The Verdict: they have achieved sport fan zen. We envy them their awesome seats (who knew 30 years ago they might one day be a good team?!) and the room in their home dedicated to team memorabilia.