Who cares what kind of fan you are?

The Compass - - SPORTS - Ni­cholas Mercer Ni­cholas Mercer is a re­porter/ pho­tog­ra­pher with The Com­pass. He lives in Bay Roberts and can be reached at nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Sports fan­dom is a funny thing and is di­vided into dif­fer­ent clas­si­fi­ca­tions.

There are the hard­core fans. They’re the guys who splash their walls with team gear, wear their fan­dom on their sleeves and are vo­cal about what their teams should do.

The hard­core crowd are fol­lowed by the ca­sual fan. They’re the ones who fol­low along dur­ing the sea­son.

They have their opin­ions, but rarely share them for fear of being chas­tised for not being “real” enough as a fan.

What comes next is the bot­tom of the fan­dom bar­rel by most peo­ple’s stan­dards. That’s the band­wagon or fair weather fans.

They’re the ones that come around when a team is do­ing well. They say they’ve been a fan for years, but in re­al­ity, they’ve only started watch­ing since the play­offs started.

But, they dare not crit­i­cize the team if they’re only “band­wagon” fans. They couldn’t pos­si­bly un­der­stand the in­ner work­ings of the team. Here’s the thing. Who cares? What does it mat­ter if one guy watches ev­ery game of the sea­son and the next one only watches dur­ing the play­offs?

Hav­ing more eyes on the team is re­ally all that mat­ters. The team doesn’t care about the per­cent­age of band­wagon fans watch­ing ver­sus hard­core fans.

Chances are when peo­ple filed in the Juras­sic Park out­side the Air Canada Cen­tre in Toronto dur­ing the Rap­tors play­off run, there were some who were not Rap­tors fans.

There were prob­a­bly some who didn’t like bas­ket­ball. Yet, they wanted to ex­pe­ri­ence the at­mos­phere and the ex­cite­ment any­way.

Distin­guish­ing be­tween dif­fer­ent lev­els of fan­dom is like try­ing to de­cide the best brand of bologna. Pick­ing be­tween Sun­rise or Maple Leaf bologna is as asi­nine as try­ing to dis­tin­guish be­tween what type of fan you are. It re­ally doesn’t mat­ter. A fan is a fan, no other way around it. Whether they start watch­ing in Fe­bru­ary rather than Oc­to­ber is in­con­se­quen­tial.

And, start­ing a fight online or in real life over the mat­ter is even dumber. Most peo­ple don’t care if you can list ev­ery start­ing lineup from 1995 up un­til now.

Most peo­ple en­joy cheer­ing on a team and not car­ing about its past. Know­ing all of that in­for­ma­tion may be im­pres­sive, but it’s not per­ti­nent if you just en­joy watch­ing a team play.

Chastis­ing some­one over his or her lack of knowl­edge doesn’t make you a su­per fan. It makes you an­noy­ing.

All you should re­ally care is that some­one is watch­ing with you.

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