Hello sports fans, I hope your team(s) is doing well this season in whatever sport it may be.
Last night I was watching the Saints methodically beat the Falcons when the camera panned into the crowd and there it was. You have seen it a million times if you are a sports fanatic, but it is synonymous with all sports. There was this lady holding up a large letter D and a piece of fence and chanting ... “D fence -D fence- D fence”. Funny I have never seen a fan either holding a can of mosquito spray or a sign with a picture of OFF mosquito spray and the same piece of fence. I guess the offense gets no love.
As the game continued I started thinking of the silly things you see during games; the rituals, atmosphere and of course those fans. Most dictionaries say that a fan by definition is an enthusiastic fanatic of something. Thinking about the whole fan thing, I continued to watch the game and found myself wondering why that one guy was wearing a Saints cone head or why this guy had a large gold whistle on his head. They are FANATICS!
Oh to be 20 again and full of fire and spit. Sports have a tendency to make us feel young again and part of something important. Whether it is simply wearing that Jeter jersey from the evil
empire or becoming something all together unrecognizable like most people you see in the Black Hole.
What I find kind of sad though are the multitudes of fans that show up for their teams only to be let down week after week. Those same Saints were called the Aints not too many years ago and the fashion statement was simply a bag on your head. I look at once proud franchises like the Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns and wonder how many of their fans want to just die. The black hole at Oakland on the average Sunday probably has at least two to three dozen convicted felons roaming the stands. Really all you need is something black and sharp and you are dressed for the game. Cleveland Browns season ticket holders are so angry right now some are planning a boycott of games until they improve. I don’t blame them, face and body paints are not cheap and where else can you wear dog masks and carry bones. By the way the Saints defense has scored more TDs than the Cleveland offense this year. Talk about brutal. Admittedly, I have been an Oakland Raider fan all my life and I still wear my Raider hat out and about, but not with the same pride as when I did back in the 80’s, thanks Al Davis. I have lived in Louisiana for nearly 20 years now and believe me dealing with the “wait till next year” fans got old fast.
What I love though is the fact that fans everywhere still root for their team through thick and thin. Green Bay was great then sucked then they were great again and lately have been just OK. When was the last time you saw an empty seat at Lambeau Field? Only a sports fan can make a large piece of rubber cheese, Viking helmet, hard hat, or last night…a giant gold whistle look good. Let’s not forget the timeless rainbow wig made famous by Rollen Stewart who donned the ‘Jesus Saves’ t- shirt and held up the sign that read John 3:16. He was probably one of the first innovators of fan attire. Ironically enough he is currently serving three life sentences for kidnapping…hence the word fanatic.
Everybody is a fan of something and wouldn’t it be funny to see people react to something they love like they do their sports. Imagine dressing up like a slice of pepperoni pizza when the pizza guy arrives cheering him on as he comes to the door. Arriving at the Harry Potter premiere dressed as Dobby or showing up at a Kiss concert dressed like…wait a minute see what I mean.
The second part of this blog will be about some of the stranger team nicknames and unusual rituals that happen at sporting events. Until next time sports fans…