And You Call Yourself A Fan?

By
It’s a Saturday afternoon in mid-October in Baton Rouge. Thousands of tailgaters mill around this college town anticipating a Tiger win in Death Valley. Looking around campus, though, it is easy to see that not everyone is concerned with whether or not the Tigers win. While football is one of America’s pastimes, it is evident that some bleed purple and gold, while others merely pretend to embrace the football frenzy.
The Die-Hard

This is the fan who religiously watches ESPN, yells at the television screen when broadcasters predict his team to lose, and simply cannot get others to understand why SEC football is not “just a game.” His tailgating festivities begin at 8:00 A.M. when he unloads his grill out of his car, which is proudly decorated with car magnets and flags, and ends two hours before kickoff when he takes his seat in the stadium. This fan wears his authentic team jersey to every game, and as long as the Tigers are on a winning streak, this jersey does not under any circumstances get washed because that would break the lucky winning stretch. This over-zealous fan is a season ticket holder, and he and his buddies who hold the tickets around him are known for painting their whole bodies purple and gold for championship games. He is the fan who will always support his team, even if it means braving rain, cold, or snow, and no matter how bad the Tigers are winning or losing, he NEVER leaves early. Simply put, this fan is the person who ESPN reporters seek out at tailgates because his lifestyle makes for great entertainment.
The Frou-Frou Fan

This person may claim to be a die-hard, but upon investigating, it becomes evident he or she is not. This fan dresses in team colors, but the cute fashion choices are simply not practical for game day festivities. This “fan” will try and talk football with the die-hards, but once the “fan” sings Jarrett Lee’s praises, the die-hard realizes that the imposter has NO concept of the game of football. At this point, the die-hard understands that it is people like this frou-frou fan who embrace the nonsensical BCS ranking system. This same “fan” is the one who may know the words “quarterback” and “defense,” but that is where the knowledge ends. The frou-frou is the annoying fan who somehow manages to get one of the coveted seats in Death Valley, yet asks, “Why is he throwing the little yellow flag in the air?” and “Wait, who’s on offense right now?” repeatedly. It is fans like these who make the die-hards truly nauseous.
The “Tailgating Is Just So fun!” Fan

This “fan” is dressed in a red polo on the Saturday of the LSU versus Georgia game simply because they look fabulous in the color red. This person has such a lack of sports knowledge that he saw nothing wrong with wearing that to the game because he dresses to impress, not to represent his team. This same person is the boy who was picked last in all team sports in grade school because no one wanted a person who didn’t know the rules of football on their team. The die-hard simply cannot comprehend how any human on the planet could not live for the fall months of football and religiously watch ESPN. Even the frou-frou fan is shocked to see an LSU “fan” wearing something other than purple and gold on game day. Yes, this person enjoys tailgating, but once the other thousands of fans go into Tiger Stadium to revel in the excitement of the game, he goes on his merry way never bothering to see if the Tigers even won. Not that he would even know what channel ESPN is to check the score anyway…

Such a sight is not only seen in Baton Rouge; this same array of “fans” can be seen at every College Town across the United States. There will always be people who bleed their team colors, and there will be those who think sports are simply a waste of time. Being a football fan is a way of life; it is a way of life that can bring you great joy as well as immense sadness, life-long friends as well as arch-enemies. Simply, it is a way of life that should be embraced by all.





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