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Real fans vs. fair-weather fans

A fair weather fan will usually tune in to watch big games such as: The Superbowl, The World Series and Playoff games etc. Credit: lookatthissportsfan.com

By: Rene Howard-Paez, Staff Reporter

Every person has their favorite team–the one that they love and follow for most of their lifetime whether the team is winning or losing.

Hours will be dedicated by these die-hard fans cheering, crying and pouting over the performance of the team. People may miss many important news events because they are watching their favorite team play.

There are exceptions, however.  On the opposite side of the spectrum is the fan who doesn’t know anything about a certain sports team. They cannot name one player, nor tell you any relevant facts regarding the team. But if that team were to ever win anything significant – a championship, a playoff series, etc – they would be the first person claiming to be their No. 1 fan.

In the Windy City and surrounding area, we have many teams that attract loyal and fair-weather fans—Bulls, Blackhawks, Bears, Cubs, White Sox and Fire, to name the major sports franchises in town.

The problem is that sometimes fair-weather fans can bother loyal fans.

Senior Nick Lopez wholeheartedly agrees. “I don’t see them as real fans. They only support them if they win and, once they start losing, they exaggerate how they feel to make themselves feel welcomed about it,” Lopez said.

Many fans share his perspective. The underlying question for a fair-weather fan is: If you didn’t like the team in the first place, why would you start “liking” them now?

Although I consider myself a loyal fan for many of Chicago’s teams, I will play the devil’s advocate and confess that I have been a fair-weather fan.

Before the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you three players who skated for the team. But once they started winning, I was one of the many claiming Hawks pride.

But does that make other fair-weather fans “bad fans”? At times, jumping on the bandwagon can help build a strong sense of community. There is no denying that any championship in Chicago brings people together. Let’s not forget the dynasty years of the Bulls and how everyone took pride and satisfaction in the success of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and the team’s string of NBA championships.

My point here is not to bash loyal fans or fair-weather ones. Instead, I am just trying to say people should be able to enjoy a sports team regardless of the intensity of their interest and level of their following. We all have our teams that capture loyalty, but we have all been a fair-weather fan at some point.

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