Rules for Sports Fans: College Edition
- Article by Michael Cogliano
- October 18, 2011
Many casual sports fans believe that being a sports fan is just that: a casual hobby with no real connection to mood, relationships, emotional well-being, or suicidal tendencies. For many individuals such as myself, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. I have 3 holes in the drywall of my apartment from last weekend’s football games. I’ve ended countless relationships over the past 10 years’ AL pennant races. It’s a heartbreaking part of a sports fan’s life and that is precisely why I feel it needs to be regulated. For whatever reason, people feel that their presence on a college campus throws out any restrictions on their loyalties. Most of us live and die with our teams, and that makes individuals who break the unwritten code of being a sports fan so unsettling. So, let’s make some of these “unwritten” rules into written ones.
1. If you haven’t watched at least 70% of a team’s regular season games, (90% for football) you are not permitted to celebrate a championship: Want to know how to spot a true sports fan? Look at the jersey they’re wearing. If it isn’t frayed at the bottom, ripped a bit on the sleeves, or looking like it hasn’t been washed in months, you’ve got a genuine wacko. Why? Because the true fans sit through every painstaking blown lead and near miss giveaway with nothing to comfort them but the nervous ticks of pulling and biting fabric. If you haven’t been put through this bittersweet torture, you don’t get to pop the champagne bottle and raise the trophy.
2. You must have at least one item in your house/apartment that you impulsively ordered after a big win: An abridged version of some of the Cleveland Browns memorabilia I’ve ordered over the years: A garbage can, santa hat, 5 jerseys, a set of salad bowls, stadium mustard. True fans know that after a huge, emotional win, you’ve never had more pride in your team. You’ve also never felt more sure that you need a Cleveland Cavaliers clip-on tie. If you don’t have at least one ridiculous item ordered on a whim, you’re not a true fan.
3. If you’re a girl, I’m sorry there’s nothing we can do for you. Check out the WNBA website, I think they’re still treading water financially.
4. If you ever skip an important game because you’re “too busy” or “have too much homework” you are not a sports fan (and I hope you get hit by a bus): For a true fan, watching your boys grind it out takes precedent over everything except a funeral (immediate family only). If you really feel that bad about being sedentary during the game, I’ll allow you to do the move where you have the book on your lap and give it a perfunctory glance between quarters. But if you’re posted up at the library while your quarterback is trying to orchestrate a two-minute drill, you’re a piece of shit.
5. You may be a casual fan of the professional teams from your college state, but your allegiance must always remain with your hometown squad: Listen, I know you live in Michigan for the majority of the year now, but if you think that means I’m going to let you throw on a Detroit Lions jersey and fist bump everyone at the bar, you’ve got another thing coming. You can flip the game on while you’re folding laundry, but if you’re not wearing your hometown threads by game time, we’re gonna have a problem.
6. You must, regardless of the setting, be wearing some piece of gear on the day of a big game: Some places where I’ve worn my Josh Cribbs jersey: Church, job interviews, leadership meetings, prom. I don’t care if you’re going to a black tie dinner at the White House, you better be wearing cuff links and socks bearing your team’s logo.