I was looking at some articles on our website the other day and I caught myself starring at the FANTOM logo. It’s a solid logo. That’s when I started thinking about its root word, that being FANDOM. Then, I transitioned my thought process to the different types of fans there are. There are different levels of ‘fandom’? What are they called? How is each level defined? What do the fans look like?
Obviously, there are many different kinds of fans, but I feel like it boils down to 5 main types or levels of fans. In this 5-part series of articles, we will exploring each level of fan. If you don’t know what kind of fan you are, maybe these will help you find where you belong.
To start the series, our first level of fandom is an Original.
An Original is a fan that has been a fan of a team for as long as they can remember. Often times this kind of fandom is passed down through the generations. This means fandom goes from dad to son, mom to daughter, grandparent to grandchild, or crazy uncle or aunt to nephew or niece.
I feel the most common example of an Original can be found in the grandparent to parent to child, passing of fandom through the generations. I mean how often do you hear “I’m a fan of (Insert Team) because my dad/mom was a fan.” The odds are they got that fandom from their parent and so on and so on, depending on how long a team has been in existence.
Original fans are probably the politest. They have seen the lowest lows and the highest highs of their team. They know success comes in waves or phases and they know you just have to stick it out while in those lowly lows. Originals, generally, appreciate other teams and other fans. However, they will still hold on to any idea of superiority they can, especially when going against rival teams.
Early in my life I was a Cubs fan because I would be at my Grandma’s house and we would watch Cubs games together. I got caught up in the crazy voices of Harry Caray and Steve Stone. For anyone that watched the games, you can’t say you didn’t sing along with Harry’s rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”? Cubs home games are the only time the 7th inning stretch is televised. It was spending those summer days at my Grandma’s house where I came to understand the plight of being a Cubs fan. It was those times on the floor where I was learning to emulate Mark Grace, Ryne Sandburg, Shawn Dunston, Greg Maddux, and Doug Dascenzo.
While on the topic of the Cubs, did you not find it heartwarming in 2016 when Cubs fans were going to the gravesite of parents or grandparents? Most the time all they could say, through watery eyes, was “they finally did it”. There was even this story of a man who traveled from North Carolina to his father’s gravesite in Indiana just to listen to game 7 on the radio “together”.
When the Philadelphia Eagles finally won a Super Bowl, the Eagles fans set the whole city on fire. Our guy Josh even did an article about that, click here to read about that more. The love of sports and sports teams seem to transcend location, time, and space. Much like Cubs fans, there were Eagles fans that visited a loved one’s gravesite. Just so they could share the joy in the Eagles Super Bowl victory.
The human psyche is an interesting thing and love will lead people to some interesting places.
Being a fan of a team can lead to so much heartbreak and, on the contrary, so much jubilation. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. The Cubs went 108 years between World Series championships. The Eagles after 84 years of existence and 51 previous Super Bowls finally found the “Promise Land”.
There are so many teams and fans that are still waiting that moment, their moment. Fans who’s team that has never even been to the World Series, the Super Bowl, Stanly Cup Finals, The Finals, or insert other championship final/title name. They may be waiting for a while still, but hey, Loyola Chicago got to the Final Four again…eventually.
People connect themselves with a team so much that they feel they are a part of that team and that team is a part of them. When the team wins, they win. When the team loses, they lose and someone has to pay!! HOW DARE THEY LOSE!!! FIRE EVERYONE! THAT GUY IS A *expletive deleted*, GET HIM *expletive deleted* OUT OF HERE! WHY THE *expletive deleted* WAS MIKE GLENNON THE BEARS STARTING QUARTERBACK ANYWAY??? JOHN FOX!! ANDY REID!!! HUE JACKSON! DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON DUSTY BAKER AND MIKE MATHENY!!
Which leads me into our next level of fandom…