Growing particularly aggravated by some of the fair-weather sports fans in the D.C. area, I recently started classifying other sports fans I know. This led me to come up with a whole list of different types of sports fans. Odds are, each fan is not one type in particular, but a combination of many of the below. Try to find yourself. Odds are there’s at least one or two below that apply to you. I’m also certain you’ll start placing friends/acquaintances in each of the categories while reading. I will reveal what type of fan I am at the end. Those who know me well will probably be able to place me as soon as they read the descriptions. Enjoy!
“Home Team” Guy
This guy roots for every home team. Doesn’t matter if it’s women’s basketball or minor league hockey. He’s got “pride” in his city/town, and almost obnoxiously so. Sometimes it comes to the point where he might even belittle people for not living in his city as long as he has or for not being born there.
This guy was not a fan until recently. He didn’t like the team when they were losing, but as soon as they become successful, he jumps right on the bandwagon and is suddenly the teams biggest fan. He memorizes the roster and starts watching all the games to prove he’s a real fan.
“Fair Weather” Guy
“Bandwagon” Guy and “Fair Weather” Guy are usually the same person. The difference is, “Bandwagon” Guy is a first-time fan, while “Fair Weather” Guy has been around the block before. Depending on how the win/loss record of the team is looking, he might follow them or he might not. He’ll leave for a few seasons, then come back when the team makes the finals.
This guy hibernates during the entire regular season. Then, as soon as the playoffs start, he’s back in full force. His season long nap has left him fresh and full of energy. He’s suddenly the biggest fan and is ready to root his team to a championship… until they lose. Then he goes back into hibernation until the next playoff run.
This guy knows every stat for his team and every player on it. He’s that Yankee fan that can tell you what Bernie Williams’ batting average was in 1997. He’s that Packers fan that can rattle off Brett Favre’s completion percentages every year from 1992 to 2008. Odds are he’s a numbers guy at his real job.
ESPN’s “The Schwab” is the pinnacle of “Stat” Guys.
“There’s Always Next Year” Guy
This guy needs a hug. His team is a perennial loser (i.e. Pittsburgh Pirates or Detroit Lions). He knows his team isn’t contending anytime soon, so his most hopeful time of the year is the offseason. He’s super into the draft, free-agency, trades, young players and, in the case of baseball, the minor leagues. He’s not overly concerned with the current team, because odds are most of the players won’t be there when the team actually gets good again anyways.
“Fire and Brimstone” Guy
He’s cynical, jaded and always expects the worst. This guy has been hurt by his team a few too many times. He’s seen this script before and knows where it’s headed: the toilet. Because of his eternal disappointment, he starts to keep his expectations really low. This way, if the team loses, he was right. And if the team succeeds, he is pleasantly surprised.
“Box Score” Guy
“Box Score” Guy has no interest in watching the games. He’s not even really a sports fan. He does however like to know what happened so he can chat about it with his friends/co-workers. He makes sure to memorize exactly how many points his favorite player had in order to convince you he watched the game.
“I Watched the Highlights” Guy
Second cousin to “Box Score” Guy, this guy makes sure to catch SportsCenter every morning. Just like “Box Score” Guy, he doesn’t really have much interest in watching the games, he just wants to know enough that he doesn’t look like an idiot in front of his buddies. So he makes sure to drop the “Did you see that play last night?!” line.
“I Watched the Highlights” Guy makes sure he catches SportsCenter every morning.
“Back in my Day” Guy
“Albert Pujols? He’s no Stan Musial!” Every player or team you talk about is no match for someone this guy saw play back in the 1960’s. You can cite every statistic you want, mention all the awards and accolades and what all the experts are saying. It doesn’t matter to “Back in my Day” Guy. The game is different these days, he says. Players are all roided up now, he says. Trust me, you can’t convince him otherwise.
This guy’s team is the best. He doesn’t care what you have to say. His team was in the basement last year? Doesn’t matter. His favorite player is 39 with bad knees? No worries. Trust him, they’re the best. This guy is unbearable to watch a game with because unless you are talking about how amazing his team is, he doesn’t want to hear it.
This guy commits the cardinal sin of sports in the Internet Age: he roots for his fantasy team’s players against his favorite team. Any real fan will gladly take a loss in fantasy sports to see his favorite team win a game. Not this guy. He’d rather hold up his make-believe trophy in front of his cyber-buddies.
This guy looks like a walking billboard. He’s always wearing hats, jerseys, t-shirts, jackets, etc that are dotted with the logos of his favorite team. Oddly enough, Gear Guy normally sports his best gear the day after the big game. You know, that big game he didn’t actually watch?
You might even notice “Gear” Guy sporting his gear at a game his team isn’t actually a part of.
“I Used to Play” Guy
Wait, you didn’t play high school football? You couldn’t possibly understand the game as well as this guy. He was third-string kicker his senior year. Good luck convincing him you know what you’re talking about. He saw the game first-hand from the bench, so he clearly knows more than you do.
“Social Butterfly” Guy
This guy watches or attends games with his buddies, but he’s not there for the athletic entertainment. He’s there for the social event. He wants to go to the bar and/or attend the tailgate with his friends, but has no real interest in the game and treats it more like a party. In an effort to fit in with the fans who are there to watch the game, he often takes on a similar appearance to “Gear” Guy.
No matter what just happened, this guy has a loud, obnoxious reaction. His team just busted a 2-yard run? Loud, obnoxious clap. Everyone look at him. His team got called for a penalty? Loud, obnoxious “BS!” He’s usually the displaced, out-of-market fan across the bar from you, watching his team’s game by himself. Like “Social Butterfly” Guy, he often takes on a similar appearance to “Gear” Guy.
So, which type(s) are you? Post what you think in the comments, and if we know you, we’ll chip in with our two cents. I myself am a combination of “Stat” Guy, “There’s Always Next Year” Guy and “Back in my Day” Guy. If you have any to add, by all means help us expand the list.