Sports Fans: What makes us, us?

We all know that one guy, you know that fan of their favorite team who knows “everything” about his team. He could tell you every highlight from his team’s most glorified season. He subscribes to ten apps that send him notifications of whats going on in the sports world, even though they’ll all say the same thing. I’ll be honest, I am that typical fan who’s absolutely crazy about his teams, although I am no longer 18 so I don’t really have the time to still follow 5 different sports so I mainly stick to NFL and my San Diego Super Chargers! ( most glorified seasons is a toss up between ’94 and ’07). Anyway back to the topic at hand and what makes us so crazy about our teams? Why do we plan our lives around a team that we have absolutely no affiliation with? Is it because we are ultra competitive and have a serious need to connect to similarly minded people and use it as a way to “fit in”? Is it a way to fit in with the local community? The possibilities are honestly endless but I am going to just dive into a few different possible reasons.

Let’s start off with a bang and dive into the most obnoxious, committed fans in all of sports. Oakland Raiders fans. I know they went to a super bowl not all that long ago, but what have they had to cheer for this past decade? To be honest, nothing, they’ve gone through more Quarterbacks than Adam Sandler’s gone through bad movies. However year in and year out, there stadium is packed to full capacity, roaring and making it difficult for any team that comes to the bay area. Outside of having an actual personal connection within the organization and those fans that have been around since the glory days why is it this way? I think especially with the Raiders it has a lot to do with identity. What I mean by that is wanting or needing to be a part of something bigger than yourself, have a strong identity that you can relate to with thousands of other people around the United States. We as humans since the early days have always stuck together in groups of people who are similar to us whether it’s our standards or interests and I think the same reasoning applies here. When you become part of a group, not only do you have an identity, you have a common goal and in this case its that Lombardi Trophy and that is another reason we tend to spend hundreds of dollars every year if not more on tickets and our teams gear. Don’t worry Raiders fans at least your not Bills fans who probably still have the words “wide right” stuck in their heads, at least you have something to look forward to (Derek Carr, and the retirement of Peyton Manning).

Another reason were so crazy about sports, which I think is my probably my favorite is debate. Who doesn’t love a good debate about who’s point guard is better, or who has a better defense, or heck even who has a tougher schedule? Whether your at home with your friends on a Sunday night or at the local bar, or at school, or work you can strike up a debate with one sentence and it could go on for honestly hours. For example when I was in the service back in 2010 on one monday, one of my old SSgt’s(boss) came in and knew that the previous friday a few of my friends and I had talked a lot of trash about who’s team is better and my team the Chargers were playing the Packers and I had said how Rivers was better than Rodgers and said we would win. Turns out the game was a barn burner and the Packers won on the final drive and the score was something like 45-38. So all he did was come in and say, “Go Pack Go” and at the time I just lost it! In a non threatening way and we talked literally all day long and I tried to convince everyone that the chargers should’ve won, and to this day my SSgt will message me and make a comment about that day.(Rodgers won the MVP that year) maybe even the Super Bowl as well! Just my luck.

The last point I am going to make is that sports tends to be a release or even a escape. If you have ever been to a professional sports game you have felt that adrenaline pumping through your veins, ready to explode at the drop of a dime, having the time of your life not caring about the $200 you just spent on your ticket. At the end of the day, its entertainment and nothing beats a great sports game. For some people it can be a release because they were that “if coach would’ve played me in high school I’d be pro” and they need to stick to their fantasy. Or for the more normal person it allows you to do something that I can’t wait to do in about 4 years when I am able to teach my son, Ryan how to throw a football and what better way to do that then to show him my favorite team. Not only do I get to teach my son one of America’s greatest past times, I get to try and convince him to hop on and join me as a fan of my favorite team(not mom’s). Sports can be a release for some because of so many different reasons good and bad. You might be depressed and the only way for you to get excited is to see your favorite team throw a no hitter, or to go see your favorite player sign autographs and get a picture. You may have relationship problems, might want to escape from your real world problems for 2-3 hours, or just want an excuse to go crazy every Sunday!

At the end of the day, do what makes you happy, live life to the fullest, and if that means go crazy for a few hours then so be it! Go Chargers!

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