Sport: American football fan types

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American football is one of the fastest-growing sports, with hundreds of thousands of fans flocking to stadiums around the country. The National Football League has grown this sport to compete with other well-established sports such as basketball. The importance of fans in the growth of this sport cannot be overstated, since they play a role in popularizing the game. A close examination of the fans' actions, on the other hand, reveals that they show distinct personalities in their support of a team or football in general. Die-hards, loudmouths, and bandwagoners are three of the most excellent forms of supporters. While all fans are essential to the growth of football as the signature sport in America, the diehard fans provide the most enjoyable company to attend a football match with compared to the loudmouths and bandwagoners

Many a person is fast to label themselves as diehard football fans incorrectly. However, to be declared a diehard extreme and absolute loyalty to the team is paramount. Essentially, diehards are very loyal to their team whatever the circumstances. They attempt to attend all the football matches whenever possible. They can forego or postpone an important family event that clashes with a scheduled competition so as to attend their team’s game or take leave from work just to do so. In the rare event that they cannot attend the game due to reasons such as the game being an away match in another state or travel logistics, one will find them catching the game live on television. A fanatic will most probably follow the game together with friends and fellow fans if available rather than follow quietly from the comfort of their living room. Diehards also stand with their team whether it falls short or not­-and are occasionally reduced to tears by the team’s poor performance in a season. Despite these heartbreaks, one can bet that they would still be there at the beginning of the next season. They predict a better future for the team and have expectations for greater success for the individual team members.

Owning of team paraphernalia and in large quantities also defines a real diehard. These range from hats, t-shirts, pants, magazines scarfs to books on tactics. They can be seen dressed in team regalia almost all year round while attending matches. They show some pride too in their preference of quality jerseys over cheap-looking replicas as they believe they are representing every fan of their team. Not only do they own these regalia but also attend the NFL Draft and matches in full team regalia. They are usually oblivious to price increases when it comes to owning team merchandise. A few down seasons is also unlikely to alter their consumption behaviors in large ways. Whether or not the team wins the championship purchasing as much paraphernalia as possible is primarily seen as a civic duty by any diehard.

In addition, diehards possess a substantial understanding of the game. For example, they understand how the opponents play, their strong areas and the football players that are crucial to the success of their team. They are capable of having intelligent conversations about football and roll off the team stats of the current and previous season(s) effortlessly. They know all of the rules of the game, records and possible tactics. In some cases, they have ideas on how to improve the team. Fundamentally they have grasped every aspect of the game and are not one to shy off from proving so though in the bias of their team.

On the other hand are the loudmouth fans who exhibit a somewhat different personality compared to the diehards. For instance, they express an opinion about everything while feeling that the opinions of other fans may not be as valid as their own. It is possible to hear them arguing about which player could be best at a particular position, a referee’s decision or the necessity of a substitution made by either team and in the process shoot down any dissenting opinion. There can only be one party that is right, which cannot be anyone else other than them.

These fans also readily trash talk the rival fans and belittle them for no reason. These loudmouth fans are fond of chanting rude comments to rival fans even when the rivals are not interested in returning the smacks. One may be right by suggesting that they enjoy the taunting of rival fans more than the game itself. They may flagrantly show contempt for a team by wearing colors of a hated rival to the home match of the other and go ahead to make a spectacle of themselves. This passes for an attempt at showing contempt.

Loudmouth fans are detestable and willing to pick fights and get embroiled in arguments with other fans. They keep talking rudely even when outnumbered. These comments are mostly baseless and provocative at best. They may also boo any action that an opposing player does with the ball in an attempt to drown out the rival fans. The harassment can start way before the game commences and last to the very end of the match or until their team is shutout. They only shut up when their team gives them a reason to do so by losing the match at which point they retreat. In this state, they can easily fight.

In sharp contrast to the diehard football fans are the bandwagoners-those who only support a team because of the recent success of the team. They may not shy off from jumping ship depending on how well the team does.

These fans like being part of the fandom. They want to belong to a popular football team. So they purchase a few paraphernalia of the team to be seen to really support the team just like die-hards do. They have no legitimate reason for rooting for the team. Instead, bandwagoners pose flimsy excuses to justify their support for the team such as the team having cool jerseys. These fans may be attracted because the team happens to be one of the most successful franchises present. In addition, there is no emotional attachment to the team by these fans such that if the team loses, that does not translate to a bad week for them.

Bandwagoners are often deceitful. They seem to have considerable quantities of team merchandise, but lack basic facts about the team such as the regular players and the team coach. In addition, these fans do not root for any team before the playoffs but rather wait and may randomly choose a team if the one they were rooting for earlier does not qualify. Such are capable of switching allegiances midway through the season and not loyal like the diehards. Their loyalty may be divided between rival teams, hence only revealing support for a particular team only if the team is doing well.

Besides, bandwagoners lack the basic understanding of the game. Their knowledge of the rules and records is glaringly non-existent. They may end up asking questions about the team or the game that are considered basic, yet they act like they have a grasp of football. They are not capable of discourse concerning the game, whether about tactics or method of play. In most cases, they are only able to follow the game based on the reactions and demeanor of other fans around them. Some of these fans may not really like football in the first case, hence are swayed by the crowd.

The American football is graced by different categories of fans with divergent behaviors. These fans are crucial in growing the sport to rival other established sports in the country. The die-hard fan is the most loyal, dedicated fan with a substantive understanding of the game. On the contrary, the loud mouth is keen on taunting rival fans as opposed to enjoying the thrill of football and the bandwagoner only seeks to be part of fandom. The die-hard fans are sure to provide the best atmosphere to a football match, and it is enjoyable to accompany them to a match as opposed to the two other categories discussed.

October 20, 2021

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