Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What Is A Fan?

The beginning of the 2013 football season, in particular the college football season, brought a reminder to me about being a fan.  

The start of every sports season brings with it excitement and anticipation.  Every team is undefeated.  Fans can point to two or three areas of strength for their team, and those strengths will surely outweigh any weaknesses the team may have.  We love the preseason hype, offering our opinions to rival fans as we banter back and forth as we anxiously await the start of the season.  

Then one of two things happen.  Our team either wins, or it loses.  At the conclusion of the game we have many opinions, most of which are probably just that, opinions.  I’ve heard a lot of opinions from Hawkeye and Cyclone fans over the last few days.  Many have been negative, blasting comments, from both camps, that I just don’t understand.  Either you’re a fan or you’re not.  Now, to be fair, this isn’t about Wildcat fans at all.  I was prompted to think about being a fan by what I heard the last couple of days after college games on Saturday.  

I think being a fan means supportive of the team through thick and thin.  A fan is defined as “a person who is enthusiastically devoted to something”.  The key thought in that definition is to be enthusiastically devoted.  To take it a step further, when you look up the word devoted the word loyal comes up in several of the definitions.  One step further?  Loyal means to show continuing allegiance.

To summarize let’s look at what a fan should look like.

1 - enthusiastically devoted
2 - loyal
3 - continuing allegiance

There are a good, if not great, number of fans who can be described using the terms above.  I would just suggest and encourage us to be true to our school, and in particular the athletes who put themselves and talents on the line night in and night out to represent the school that we support.  Our ability to be a true fan should not be measured on whether our team wins or loses a contest.  Sure, it helps to win, but we need to constantly keep things in perspective, win or lose, and support the effort.  

There are four roles available at athletic contests.  You’re either a participant, a coach, an official, or a fan.  It’s best to limit yourself to just one.  When you step from one role into another there usually is some sort of negative reaction associated with it.  

Wildcat fans, let’s’ lead the Raccoon River Conference, 3A/4A,, and the state in how we support our programs.  I would encourage us to constantly keep things in perspective.  Parents, enjoy the moment and the opportunities you have to watch your child participate.  They are gone in what seems like a moment.  Watching them compete is very special, but the memories they create for themselves are directly measured in how much support they feel from those closest to them.  

I have many great memories of competing in high school, but I think one of the reasons for that is because of sharing those times with my family.  One of the things I remember the most is talking to my mom after the games, getting a hug and a smile. (See, it’s always “Hi Mom” for the camera) She was always encouraging and supportive and just liked to watch me play.   If I can remember that 33 years after my high school career was over, it must have mattered.  

Let’s continue to work to be real fans Wildcats.  Let’s cheer for our team, support our team, and do it in a way that matters and will help our athletes enjoy their experience, create lasting memories, and be proud to represent CHS.  

Have a great week.


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