A taxonomy of the collegiate sports fanBy Niko de Leon, Judee Zabala
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Amidst screaming hordes of people, it’s easy to dismiss sports fans as just one big, loud, homogenous group. But take a closer look and you will see that there are just as many types of fans as there are sports and teams that they cheer for. Read on and find out which type of fan you are.
The glass half-full fan
What would the world of sports be without people who believe in winning despite the odds? These are your optimists. They root for their team or player with a conviction that good things can happen, no matter how bad the situation is—a hefty lead squandered in the blink of an eye or key athletes seriously injured.
To fellow fans, these people are a ball of positive energy. Nothing can dampen their spirits. To optimists, numbers and statistics don’t matter. It’s all about heart and faith.
Favorite line: “Kaya pa yan, guys!”
The glass half-empty fan
These fans are the yin to the optimists’ yang. The pessimists—these are people who lament all game long. They are also commonly known as the Negatrons or the “Sabi ko na nga ba” fans.
Terrible things don’t have to actually happen for them to react because they already have various negative scenarios mapped out in their minds. To them, anything can go wrong. And to some, it probably will. Being around pessimists can be physically (and oftentimes mentally) draining. They have that special ability to suck the fun out of everything.
Favorite line: “Talo na yan. Uwi na tayo.”
Numbers, facts, figures, data, statistics—these fans live and breathe these stuff. They are the analysts. They look at charts, tables and stats. And from these, they make logical and rational conclusions. These are the types of people who, before a game, obsess and rattle on about field goal percentages, number of turnovers, points per game, etc.
These fans are passionate but within the boundaries of logic and reason. They have a penchant for predicting game outcomes based on cold, hard facts. They may be wrong at times, but at least their arguments are heavily grounded.
Favorite line: “Ganito kasi yan. Based on the stats…”
Come hell or high water, nothing can steal their peace. At times, their facial expressions convey what seems to be boredom because of their stoic demeanor. A nail-biting, nerve-wracking game is something they handle with a certain calmness and passiveness.
Singling out these fans in a crowd isn’t a tough task because they’re as calm as a bonsai amidst a sea of raging sumo fans. It’s not that they don’t enjoy the thrill of the sport. These fans have the fiery passion of doing an eclectic dance of joy or screaming their hearts and lungs out—but they keep it all inside.
Favorite line: “…”
Age may have made some of them a bit snarky, but like the true pillars of the home that they are, these fans have seen it all and have remained steadfast in their commitment to their teams and their alma mater.
To them, the games are not just entertainment but a venue for them to come together and feel young again. Whether reminiscing the good old days or cheering on the next generation, these are the fans who were there yesterday and who will definitely be there tomorrow.
Favorite line: “Nung panahon namin…”
No, they don’t cling to anting-anting or any of those old-fashioned stereotypes. But these fans are ready to throw logic and reason out the window. To a certain extent, they believe that they affect the outcome of a game.
On some cosmic, mystical level, they believe they have the power to alter results of the game based on the clothes they wear, the number of times they clap their hands or whether they watch the game live or at home. Some people even believe themselves to be walking curses, so they just don’t watch the game at all. Irrational behavior is a common trait of these types of fans.
Favorite line: “Wait, wait… hindi ko mahanap yung… (insert lucky charm here).”
The FBI (Fan By Intention)
Just like the undercover agents of the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), you can hardly tell these fans apart from those cheering for their alma mater. If you look closely, they do exhibit tell-tale signs. But in between the passing glances, they blend in perfectly well.
Boldly clad in fan apparel as an evident show of support for their team, these people are fiery, fun and slightly raucous. Their loyalty may not be deeply-rooted, but they more than make up for it with their enthusiasm and gusto. And make no mistake about it, their intentions and the team they’re rooting for are clear as day.
Favorite line: “Win or lose, it’s the TEAM we choose.”
Imagine this. The game is down to the last two seconds. The opposing team is up by one point. Player X has one more free throw left, a chance to tie the game, and misses. “#^&%#&^!#%&#!!!!” Or a ref has given your player a bad call. “Hoy ref!!! #$%#% mo!!!”
Favorite line: [This comment has been rated inappropriate and censored by the MTRCB (Movie and Television Review and Classification Board).]
The news correspondent
They say that the news cycle nowadays is just 24 hours. And thanks to the social media trifecta of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, these fans keep you updated on the happenings of the game, whether you like it or not. They troop to the games carrying their most powerful tool—their mobile phones.
To them, the game happens in three phases: point, shoot and upload. Documentation happens well before the game begins and continues well after. If this kind of fan happens to be your “friend” or “follower,” rest assured you won’t be missing anything.
Favorite line: “What’s the password of the Wi-Fi?”
The one with issues
Think of all the types of fans that have been mentioned so far. Throw them in a bowl and toss them all together. This is your diehard fan on steroids—optimistic, pessimistic, loyal, obsessed with stats, insists on wearing the same thing to the game every time, sometimes zen, mostly manic. This is the fan in extremis. No one really knows what goes on in their heads. And frankly speaking, neither do they. If you happen to run into this kind of fan, you’ve been warned.
Favorite line: “THIS. IS. SPARTAAAAAA.” (Ano raw?)
The smitten/love-at-first- sight /head-over-heels fan
Mostly comprised of females and the third gender, these are the types who instantly become fans because of a good-looking player. It’s pretty easy to spot them, for you can only hear them cheer like mad whenever a heartthrob player scores.
It does not even require one to know anything about the sport or to be a student from the school the said heartthrob plays for—all it takes is for one to have a crush on a player and that’s it, voila! Instant fan!
Despite being swept off their feet whenever their crush makes an appearance, they usually learn more and get to love the whole team and the sport itself as time goes by.
Favorite line: “I love youuuu (insert good-looking player’s name here, over and over)!!!”