Fan Culture: The connoisseurs of sports

Team+rivalries+are+an+active+component+of+fan+culture

Creed Bauman

Team rivalries are an active component of fan culture

Kylie Allison, Staff Writer

On Oct. 1, in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Los Angeles Dodgers faced the Milwaukee Brewers and were down by four. All of a sudden, the crowd went wild and the announcer erupted: “It’s a grand slam for Trea Turner! He ties the game! How do you like it?” 

What an exciting rush of adrenaline for people both in the stands and at home! Fan culture plays a huge role in the world of sports, giving fans a platform to express their love or hate for their players. These passionate supporters vary in each sport, showing their support in face paint and signs or even sitting right on the sidelines to ensure the athletes hear their every opinion.

Being a fan doesn’t mean watching a few games here and there; it’s about knowing enough about a specific player or team to evoke strong feelings of support or dislike. For example, the National Football League (NFL) Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs fans have a very popular rivalry, giving the fans one of the worst reputations of being violent and rowdy. Of course, there are better ways to gain a reputation for being a die-hard fan. 

Third-year Jalyn Devadoss spoke highly of fan bases around the country.

“I’d say that fan culture is largely positive. Although sports can be divisive and spark enmity over somewhat arbitrary loyalties, it’s usually good-natured. Fan culture can facilitate a sense of belonging and, as long as it doesn’t become a disordered source of identity, it connects people who otherwise may have nothing in common.”

A fan base becomes a culture of its own through practices and rituals like gathering for the World Series, creating fantasy football teams, or going all out for home games — like the men’s and women’s homecoming soccer games on Oct. 16 you should definitely go to. 

Our contribution to our favorites shape the world of sports, whether it be through the vast business promotions on social media or following a specific player through any trade or scandal. The Super Bowl is a great example of how fan input produces mass income and publicity for companies worldwide with their funny and ridiculous commercials. Someone like Lebron James, who has moved from the Miami Heats to the Cleveland Cavaliers and presently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, has single-handedly shifted advertisement profits with his followings of crowds and clubs. Amazing gymnasts like Simone Biles rile up the masses with celebrity influence, as shown when she stepped down from the Olympics due to mental pressure. 

Fourth-year former men’s soccer player Joshua Phillips exclaimed his love for sports as a self-proclaimed avid fan.

“I’m a soccer fan, and Premier League teams will have fans of all ages from every corner of the world. I have something in common with people who I’d otherwise have little in common with, and that is very cool.”

In short, each individual who supports a franchise or team influences a certain culture for our sports, regardless if it’s negative or positive. Morals can play a large role in how we support our teams but, at the end of the day, we will always have something to cheer for.

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