Sunday, November 22, 2009

What makes a REAL fan?

So today I joined my friend and colleague Jake Russell from to watch the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys match up at the bar. We began the day meeting up in McDonald's, me in my Cowboys jersey and Jake featuring his famed Sean Taylor Redskins jersey.

Needless to say, we caused quite a ruckus on the way to the bar with passing cars honking their allegiances and people stopping telling Jake that, "She's in the wrong colors." Granted, when you're a Skins fan hooking arms with a Cowboys fan, people will feel the need to correct you. My response: "Oh... Well, 'DC' stands for 'Dallas Cowboys'... Seeing as we own this city.

Once we reached the bar, Jake keeps calling out all the Cowboys fans not wearing jerseys, claiming they're "not real fans", including one in the bar I was sitting next to. He claimed to have been a Cowboys fan since the '70s. He just wasn't wearing a Cowboys jersey or shouting and screaming the whole game.

I then remembered this commercial that asks, "What's a real fan?" and then went on to suggest if it was the clothes they wear, or if it was how loud they shout it. The commercial concludes with the statement that "it's what's on the inside that matters..."

So I had to really think, what DOES make a real fan?

I mean we all know that I'm the Washington Capitals fan who has a thousand things to show the world that I'm a Caps fan. I've got jerseys, shirts, posters, rally towels, blankets, autographs, pictures with players, autographs, and the notorious Washington Capitals tattoo on my back.
At the Washington Nationals game in September with Jake

Thus, the question arises: "does that make me a real down-ass fan"?

I personally would say that having "things" from your team alone doesn't signify TRUE fanship. Because of course, one could just hide all those things or give them away once the team goes down the drain. So there must be more than things.

It's not just how loud they shout it either, because that can go away when the team goes down the pooper as well. Continuing with the Washington Capitals, the team built a really nice fanbase over past couple of seasons. They won the Southeast Division in consecutive years, and changed their jerseys in the 2007 season. Those things and a couple of other factors led the fanbase to grow in the DC area and now even outside the DMV area.

Now, imagine if the Caps played poorly (heck, even if they continued the season the way they play now) for the rest of the season... People, regardless whether they have paraphernalia, will shout a little bit less every portion of the season where their team does worse.

So I guess there must be more than saying you're a fan and wearing things that say that. It must be what's inside then. So what is inside that should count?

I may have A LOT of Capitals gear at home and in my room at AU, the car, my computer, etc. But think about it: I have accumulated all of those things over a number of years. For example, I have para from the 30th season in the franchise's history. That was about 5 years ago. I acquired my first jersey in the 1999-2000 season and then went up from there. Therefore, time following a team is factored into being a fan.

I also believe that knowledge about the team that you are following is important. While one may know every player on the team now, and know all the stats from the past 2 or 3 seasons, you have the lack of time following the team.

I think a bigger fan would know the past events of their team, featuring information like the founding date of their franchise, playoff appearances, championship history (if applicable - in my case it's just appearances lol), real rivals and the history behind the rivalries, division history, former players (at least the major ones), major stat leaders, and maybe miscellaneous facts here and there.

A real fan would also know the game that they are a supposed fan of; meaning that they would know the rules, know the current state of the team, and be able to participate in group discussions regarding their favorite team (if the situation calls for it - I mean I was silent for a minute during today's drudgery match).

Now granted, this is all a mon avi - in my opinion - but I hardly find reason to disagree with this criteria for knowing a real fan from a bandwagoner or a fake fan.

So at the bar I would say that the guy who Jake decided to question his Dallas fanship fits this criteria of fanship, even though he was not wearing Dallas Cowboy colors or a jersey. Hence, Jake just looks like a hater :P


Just to conclude the story, nobody was hurt watching this game. However, the atrocious 7-6 win over the Redskins by the Cowboys was certianly emotionally painful on both ends. Even though my team won, I became upset that the Cowboys only seemed to play with real emotion in the last 5 minutes.

Along with the fact that Dallas played an awful game, especially offensively and the defense gave up too many passing yards, everybody was irriated at the 500000000 minute hiatus between Jason Campbell's "out of bounds toss" and the missed field goal by Redskins' kicker Shaun Suisham*. I mean, I was happy that after all those shenanigans going over the play over and over again, the Skins missed a kick from 39 yards; but I was also mad that it took SO LONG, only to see a missed FG.

It was a rough game to watch, but oh well: a win's a win, and I can be upset right now that Dallas played poorly for 55 minutes, but I can only hope that my concerns will be quelled by Thurday so I don't spoil my Thanksgiving dinner.

Side note

I just have to state that today was cardiac-Sunday for a lot of fans in the early games - including Lions and Browns fans. As I saw someone tweet today, this was the battle for the "Loserweight title" LOL! But for real, it seemed really entertaining, and congrats to the Lions for the shootout win: 38-37.

I'm also going to congratulate Real Salt Lake for winning the MLS Cup tonight against the LA Landon Donovan-David Beckham Galaxy.

And yes, I know. I blogged today, even though I'm extremely busy, and I probably should be working on something else. But I had to keep the masses entertained! Hope you all enjoyed, and if you have any comments regarding what constitutes someone as a real fan, feel free to comment below and put your input.

Oh well, after this loooong post, I must say a tout a leur until I finish this project, or if something pops in my mind for an easy post. Stay fresh!

*** Somtimes I type too fast and make mistakes lol.


  1. ouch @ your DC comment

    clever by you, yet painful to hear for some of us Chocolate City dwellers

    but no one can get mad...there are, unfortunately ;) , many Cowboys fans in the area

    I'm guessing the Dallas won helped you get over the Caps loss? Ovie looked mad after missing the gimme in the shoot out...heard he broke his stick in the locker room over it.

    me? I would have taken a DC Day of Wiz, Caps, Skins wins....we still got one more with you guys to get that ;)

  2. Ha! I mean, it is true, and someone did humbly agree with me as well. lol. I mean it sometimes also as a double-meaning as well: That Dallas historically has defeated the Skins more than vice versa, and that there are so many Dallas fans in the area that we do roll deep here.

    And it helped. The fact that Univ. of Miami won and the Cowboys winning yesterday def made me feel a lot better, but not so much, seeing as a Caps win would trump all of that. It would make me feel better had the Caps won and had Dallas lost (although I wouldn't be too happy either lol).

    The Caps kind of failed in the two games. Taking a first lead and then playing catch up. Can't play every game like that. Caps need to work on pushing that puck up I keep saying that! Frustrating, man!

  3. It's soooooooo funny how DC has Dallas fans and like 90% of them never set foot in Texas LOL!!! Yet they claimed that they are hardcore fans. I know now I'm a diehard skins fan but that wasn't always the case. My childhood football team was the raiders (I know they super suck now). Started out with Bo Jackson then later with that traitor Charles Woodson LMAO! I think the player that won me back on da hometeam was Sean Taylor!! I been following this guy since da UUUUUUUU lol!!! He puts his HEART into every game! Most of my favorite players play defense anyways. One of my current favs (eventhough he is not a skin) is PAT WILLIS from the 49ers. In my opinion he is the future of football. Anyways looking forward to the next SKINS vs (lil)BOYS game lol

  4. Now hold up hold up... DA UUUUUUUU???????? Are we both Univ. of Miami fans??? Now THAT'S what's up! lol.
    So you started out as a player fan, and then turned into a team fan?
    Now how are you going to tell me though that someone who hasn't lived in the area of their team can't be a die-hard fan? You have many old 49'ers fans in Boston, Texas, DC, Florida, etc. and you want to tell me that they aren't real fans despite them having all the gear and knowledge and constant love of the team?
    First off, I'm setting my foot in Dallas this summer for my Zeta conference. So that will change. But you're a fan of the team. Not the place. I'm sure you're not a fan of Oakland, Cali. but you were a fan of the Raiders lol. It's not too outlandish to be a Skins fan from France you know. If that was the case, you'd recant your statement.

  5. Well since you put it that way you do have a point! I guess you can be a fan and not live in that area lol! AND WOW AT THE FACT WE BOTH MIAMI U FANS! That cheered my day up :). But sometimes I just love to watch even though my team is not playing. Im just a mega sports fan in general!