Football season is upon us!
For die-hard fanatics such as myself, this is the time that we countdown to all year. True, there are only about 8 months, give or take, in between the final game of a season, and the opening game of the next, but for those of us that spend every day looking forward to this, it is an eternity.
So, what’s the difference between a fan and a fanatic you ask? Fret no more. I have been kind enough to break it down simply enough that even non-football watchers will understand.
A fan will watch a game if they have nothing else going on, while a fanatic clears four months of their schedule just to ENSURE that they will be viewing, if not present at every single game, no matter the time or what channel is airing it.
A fan may get a little excited when their team scores a touchdown or completes a really amazing play, and they may even get upset if their favorite team loses a game. A fanatic yells so loud that their voice gets hoarse, possibly to point of losing their voice, slams beer bottles, slaps their buddies a little too hard on the back, and sometimes gets the cops called on them for being too rowdy, even if the play was a as simple as securing first down.
A fan might have one or two t-shirts in their team’s colors and you may see them at random times throughout the year, but they are normally faded with maybe a paint stain or two on it because it’s “just another shirt” to them, but a fanatic wears their team colors year round, to include, but not limited to t-shirts, polo shirts, shorts, tank tops, hats, possibly shoes, jewelry, keychains, license plates, phone covers, yard signs, and maybe their cover photo on Facebook. Fanatics do not paint in or do other household chores in their team t-shirts, especially if it’s a championship t-shirt. That’s just disrespectful.
A fan may join their friends at a bar or go to someone’s house to watch the games that are aired on PPV. A fanatic won’t think twice about paying the pricey $50 on PPV to make sure they won’t miss a second of this game.
Fans take advantage of the pause option on their DVR if that means they can go make a phone call or get distracted by some hot new Facebook group. Fanatics don’t believe in pausing the game on DVR because then they get behind on the live action, and God forbid you pause, come back, and then press ‘Live’. You just missed approximately 22.5 seconds!
A fan doesn’t mind getting up during the middle of a play to go get another beer, but a fanatic will either A)bring more than one beer to their seat with them, running the risk of having to drink it hot or B)wait until a commercial or halftime, whichever is closer, and literally Speedy Gonzalez to the fridge and grab another armful of thirst-quenching hops and alcohol to last until the next break.
Fans don’t mind if you show up to their house or the bar wearing the opposing team’s colors. A fanatic will refuse to sit at the same table with them, and if they’re friends, they’re not anymore. (In fact, if you have friends that are fans of your team’s opposition, ESPECIALLY the rival team, you may want to come to an agreement that you may have to resume your friendship after Christmas, or maybe even never.)
You starting to get the difference yet?
In all honesty, I think us fanatics should probably walk around with a warning label tacked to our foreheads just to let innocent bystanders know that this person will erupt at any given moment, with no hesitation or reason, into team-spirit yells, obscene gestures, and beer-guzzling champions.
If you’re unsure of the status of this person, please make note of how much team attire they are adorned in, how desperate they are flipping through the channels to find the game, or how frantic they are adjusting the radio dial to ensure minimum static so that they may hear the announcers clearly.
If there are any doubts about this person and whether or not they are a fanatic or a regular old fan, it’s best to take the safe route and avoid them at all costs, ESPECIALLY if their team just lost. If their team just lost (be careful of championship losses the most) they cannot be held responsible for the damage they cause you physically and/or mentally.
With all that being said, this is my pre-apology. The preventive “I’m sorry” that will follow after every excited whoop and holler that I may scream a little too loud over the course of the next few months. This is the “I’m sorry” that will excuse me from birthday parties, social drinks and dinners, answered phone calls, and any other event that requires a topic of conversation that is NOT football, LSU Tigers to be exact. But if I’m going to be honest with you, I’m really not that sorry. If you call me, or attempt to contact me during a game, I will ignore you. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I’m a fanatic. So the “I’m sorry” I may or may not issue you (depending on who you are and what you wanted) will really not be all that genuine. It’s more of a polite gesture to let you know that I may have attended your birthday party on another day of the year, but it’s your fault for scheduling it during a game. If our friendship suffers because of this, I really won’t be all that hurt, you knew what you were getting into when you became friends with me, but if you’re not a fanatic with me, it may be time for us to re-think our friendship basis anyways.
To every football fan or fanatic out there, have a great season! Be mindful of those around you, and it may not be a bad idea to go ahead and issue your pre-apology 🙂