As we progress through football season, I thought I might share a little insight regarding someone you probably know. You have at least one in your neighborhood, at your work, and maybe even in your home. You may have married into a whole family of them. Maybe you ARE one. Football fanatics.
I am not talking about your average fan, mind you. I consider myself an average fan. I love to watch college football when I get the chance. I played back in the dark ages for my beloved TCU Horned Frogs. GO FROGS! I used to be a little fanatical when I was
younger. I would be upset for days when we lost. I could ruin the entire mood of an outing based on a poor performance even if we won. Later, I based my vacation schedule on the team’s practice and game schedule so I could take a few days and watch. I dressed my kids in team colors for game days, but not every day. Ok, at least I never made them dress up like Horned Frogs. Ok, at least not after the first time. Ok, I don’t anymore. The oldest one goes to a different college after all, so how awkward is that? The younger one is still a fan, but let’s just say we differ in our choice of school colors now. But that’s fine. It really is. It’s not like I’m BITTER or anything!
Today I am the guy who follows the game and can tell you whether his team won or not. I cannot quote the stats. I am not able to go to many games but I watch and listen when I can. I don’t fly to the bowl games, follow the tweets of each player, or monitor their facebook pages. I no longer want to live on campus with my family…… just to be close to the team…..in case they need some advice.
No, that’s not me anymore. The fanatic I mean is the dyed in the wool, tattooed with the team logo, flag waving, horn blowing, tailgaiting till the cows come home raving fanatical fan of their favorite team. College, Pro, High School. It doesn’t matter. You know who I mean. Painted head to toe in team colors. Sitting shirtless in a snowstorm. Screaming until they have no voices left. And it it may not even be the wildmen. It may also be the statisticians; the guys who can quote you stats for the first, second and third team quarterbacks during their team’s 1973 season.
“Really? Nobody can do that.”
Oh yes they can. Sherman?
“Yes Sir. You MUST recall 1973. That was the last year they allowed us to sit on the field and guest coach at What-the-heck-are-you-doing U. Never was the same after that. Jonny Q threw for 1247 yards, ran for 997 (darn last play against Evil Incarnate cost him the 1000 yard mark) and the third team played 210 different downs under the guidance of underrated QB Buck Stinker. Remember? He’s a Stinker! He’s a Stinker” What a great cheer. (SIGH) But they had 4 different running backs, so of course he was a stinker. How can you NOT know this?!”
You know these people. They know their team, the Fighting Earthworms, better than anyone else. In fact, they know more than you ever hoped to know about the good ole Worms because, as they are quick to share, you weren’t there in the glory days. The days when nobody dared come into Fertile Field and take the Worms lightly. Serious business, my friend. Not like today. Those were the days when you could streak across the field and nobody cared as you long as you were painted in the team colors. God forbid you supported the visiting team. You might never be found.
“John was a good man. If only he could run a little faster. We told him not to try it with the twisted ankle but that’s just who he was. He was a real true fan of the Mighty Butterflies. He will truly be missed. Salute!”
“Flutter flutter flutter flutter”, hands waving in the Mighty Butterfly position. So sad…….in so many ways.
Fanatics don’t view things like normal people overall but on game day, there are only a few rules they follow.
Fanatic Rule 1: There are no “good calls” that go for the other team. All calls that favor the other team are “The worst call I have ever seen!”
Fanatic Rule 2: If their own team, which is infallible by default, gets a flag, it’s obvious that the ref is being bribed. No question. Move on.
Fanatic Rule 3: All referees are blind AND stupid. They must also be accused of being unnaturally intimate with their own mothers at least twice each half.
Fanatic Rule 4: If the visiting (evil) team does something good, the home team (perfect angels) did not mess up. See rules 2 and 3.
Fanatic Rule 5: Your coach is great when the team is winning, but is the dumbest man on the planet when losing. After all, any idiot could see that last play was NEVER gonna work!
Fanatic Rule 6: It is always the coach’s fault, regardless of how stupid the player is. I can say this because I was a player and I know that some of them are dumb as a rock. For some reason, fanatics protect their players, but they can crucify the coach in an instant.
Fanatic Rule 7: You (fanatic) know more than anyone else. Any idiot knows this after all, particularly anyone sitting at the bar watching the game on tv.
After all, the real coach only makes 5 million a year for his job. Why wouldn’t he listen to you, the raving lunatic with a giant claw tatoo on your belly? Obviously, he is taking bribes and a total idiot.