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Opinion

Mindset of a typical sports fan

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November 18, 2011

If you have not seen some videos of sports fans going completely bonkers after a loss, I implore you to go to Youtube and type in “Giants fan,” “Browns fan” or “Clemson fan.” You will be treated to three of the most epic fan meltdowns on the Internet.

Although, the Browns’ fan is more funny than a meltdown. Millions of people have these reactions, off camera, to sports every day. Why do we react this way? We, as regular people, had nothing to do with the team or the outcome of the game. And yet we see reaction of immense happiness and sorrow, depending on the outcome, after sports games.

Why is it when our teams lose a heartbreaker we feel like our heart has been ripped out? I remember back in 2005, when the Indianapolis Colts lost the divisional playoff game to the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was one of the worst feelings I ever had after watching a game. Of course, it was a little worse since I attended the game. I can only imagine that fans of the Minnesota Vikings felt the same way after losing to the New Orleans Saints in 2009 (sorry to remind you of it Vikings’ fans). In both of these instances neither you nor I played
a down in these games and had no impact on the decisions made either. Yet we react with anger, disappointment and, in some cases, we go a little crazy.

Conversely, when our team wins, it feels as though we are on top of the world.

That is the case with Green Bay Packers’ fans right now. When teams have success, like the Packers, some fans go a little overboard. Let me say this right now, this is directed at you overreacting Packers’ fans, Aaron Rodgers is not the greatest thing since sliced bread! He will struggle, and the Packers will lose eventually, but I digress. I would rather be watching my team win and have to listen to the crazy people say that this is the greatest team ever, rather than suffer through a 0-10 record through this point in the season.

The most baffling thing for the Colts, to me, is people referring to a professional team as “we.” I know I do it sometimes, but I have been trying to stop. Unless you are actually on the payroll for said team then you should not say “we,” plain and simple.

So why do we invest so many emotions into a sports team? Honestly, I couldn’t tell you. Maybe it’s because we invest so much time into a team. For example, if you follow a football team religiously, like many fans do, you will give at least 48 hours of your time simply to watching games. Then there is the time we spend listening on the radio, reading blogs and buying overpriced merchandise and tickets. We invest a lot into these teams and expect the payoff to come in the form of wins on the field.

And, yes, I also get rather involved while watching my beloved Colts. There have been words said, things thrown and tears shed. OK, maybe not that last part, not yet anyways. There really haven’t been any positives for me this football season. Trust me, if the Colts win a game this year, a big if, I will probably run all the way across campus and back with joy. So if you see a Colts victory is imminent, look for me and my Peyton Manning jersey out your window and you will see an extremely happy fan.

So why is it that we react in such crazy ways because of sports? I honestly don’t know. My best answer is: because it’s football.

Benjamin Lamers is an alumnus of UW-River Falls. He was editor of the <em>Student Voice</em> during fall semester 2013.