Are You A True Sports Fan?

By Alexandria Graig-Tiso

Women’s basketball has increased in popularity since 1982 according to the NY Times article increasing the “push to invigorate women’s basketball.” http://nyti.ms/2jFuJ4d. With this has come more competition and interest in the sport from fans. There is also another side to this that has also increased and is not always talked about: the underdogs.

UConn women’s basketball has had a winning streak for 792 days according to http://on.ncaa.com/2jNlvSO. This means that many other teams have not necessarily been competing for first place, but rather second place. This is the mentality that has been brought about due to the unbeatable UConn women’s team. Because women’s basketball has become so much more popular, this idea that UConn is unbeatable has become somewhat puzzling.

It’s not just about having hope, it’s about understanding that a lot of the frustration that comes with the underdog teams that can’t seem to beat the UConn teams of the world is mentality. Second place will never be good enough for fans or teams, as it should be in the sports world, so as fans let's stop settling for it. It’s not just about rooting for your team, and it’s definitely not about putting the other team down, it’s about believing in your team when no one else does. That is the definition of a true fan – having faith when there seems to be no reason to continue to move forward. We may think the past determines the future, however, history is never exactly relived, it is only understood better in the present time.

As a true sports fan it’s not just about being number one, although that does help with the competition aspect, but it’s also to remember what a fan is. Sports are meant to unite. When we allow other teams that seem to always beat our team to drag us down, into forgetting why we were fans in the first place, that is when that other team truly wins. As said in this article by Thomas Van Schaik, “some psychologists claim that fan psychology is rooted in primitive times when we lived in small tribes, and warriors fighting to protect our tribe were genetic representations of our people.” http://bit.ly/1dHoNln. As fans we are warriors and we need to remember to protect our tribes.

After remembering why you are a sports fan and why you root for the team you root for, go back to this idea that UConn is unable to be beat. How does this make you feel? Angry? Sad? Depressed? We all know what it’s like to root for a team and lose. With these feelings try setting them aside and now focus on the idea of being apart of a small tribe and being a warrior who needs to protect your people. Your people are the other fans that you stand with and your team that you root for. Take this idea instead of the anger and remember that the only way you will ever truly win is when you push through the bitterness and frustration and still stand strong for your team no matter what their rank.

The only time you truly lose is when you let the other teams allow division within your small tribe. Your team may not win the women’s basketball championship, but at least let them continue to win your heart. Once you allow yourself to keep falling in love with your team over and over again, the numbers fade away and the support that your team needs no matter how many games they’ve won becomes what is most important.

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