People that do not follow sports think that those of us that do are pretty nuts.
While I do not associate with many non-sports fans- not purposely, it just happens, - it is apparent by the looks on their faces when the subject comes up, that they just don’t get it. It takes a certain breed of person to emphatically and passionately devote their time to watching sports.
As we all know, casual fans are few and far between. You are either all in watching your team week in and week out, night after night, or you could care less, and just show up to viewing parties for the food and conversation.
Occasionally you can run into someone that knows the ins and outs of a particular sport, they just choose to not immerse themselves in the day to day operations of a real fan. Those folks are unicorn-esque and are rarely seen around the water cooler.
Loyal fans and aficionados of any sport usually inherit the sports crazy from someone in their family. Whether it was their father, uncle, grandfather or cooky aunt Phyllis, somewhere along the line they were introduced to the sport and team and in turn, the crazy.
Rituals, superstitions and traditions are all a part of being a sports fan. These can manifest themselves in many ways, and have varying degrees of bonkers to them. Here’s a look at just some of the things sports lovers do and believe, to ensure a victory or keep a streak alive, all in the name of fandom.
Jinxing- We are all guilty of believing in the jinx, as if something a person says or types actually affects the outcome of a game. Just yesterday, I had just reiterated that Peyton Manning had not thrown an interception yet in the 2013 season, when poof, he was picked off by the Dallas defense. My next door neighbor, who mind you had already thrown back a few gin and tonics, started yelling at me that the interception was entirely my fault. Guilt darts were thrown at me from all around and I actually felt badly. For about a second, then reality set in.
Jinxing can work both ways as well. When Dallas got the ball back after Denver tied the game up at 48’s, I tweeted, “Now would be a great time for Romo to remember that he throws picks”. One play later, Tony Romo did in fact remember his past and was intercepted by Danny Trevathan to give the Broncos the ball and the eventual go ahead, winning field goal.
As a true fan, I actually took credit for that pick, as if I was actually on that field, reading the route and getting in between the receiver and the ball.
Physical Superstitions - These are perhaps the most common form of fans showing their battiness. There are people that will not cut their hair or shave a beard while their team is winning. I know some women that will not shave their legs or lady parts while on a winning streak. Friend of South Stands Krissi “Bex” (@Krissibex) is under a current nail polish jinx, where she will not change her picked, half-on nail color since the Broncos have not lost while she has been sporting the current color.
Another friend of the site, Marcelo Duran (@guyincognito), wore the exact same clothes for every playoff game during the Broncos first Super Bowl run out of fear that the team would lose if he changed it up. Luke Binder (@303luke) actually takes his shoe off at every kickoff to avoid the opposition running it back for a touchdown.
Sure, when you actually type it out, it all sounds completely ridiculous, but to a sports fan it makes total sense.
Twitter Trolling –A fairly newer form of fan lunacy, taking to twitter and other social media to rage against other team’s fans has become quite popular in recent years. While it makes no sense to me, it is part of the sports landscape and doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon.
While this is not a tradition or superstition, it is still a form of fan crazy that seems to be gaining steam. Twitter battiness can also work in the form of hubris as well. People are so fanatic about their team, that they spend countless hours tweeting praise and adoration about and to the individual players on the squad.
While social media is an amazing format to be able to connect with and reach professional athletes, going to the extreme of yelling at a guy for dropping a pass or proposing marriage to player that you have a crush on comes off as nutty as a fruitcake.
Superstitions have always been a part of the sports realm, and are very commonplace in society. To outsiders- those who do not partake in cheering for grown men playing boys games- such rituals are complete lunacy.
However, to those of us who stand on one leg for a field goal, scream at the television as if they can actually hear us and eat the same meal for every single game of a winning streak, they make a difference.
I did in fact, cause Romo to throw that pick and I stand by it.