As we get into the big games in football, baseball season is approaching, and hockey and basketball are in full swing, I think it is important to recognize the difference between being a Fan and being a Fanatic.
I know that some of you may be thinking “fan is short for fanatic” and there is a level of accuracy in that assessment, but I think there is an important difference between the two. In my humble estimation, a fan is someone who really enjoys the sport, whatever it is, and has a team or teams that they enjoy watching and cheering on to victory. This is entertaining and exciting and a good time for family or friends who share this passion.
Then we have fanatics, and I view this quite differently. If you are willing to dump a beverage on someone because they are sitting near you and rooting for the other team, this is a fanatic. When someone gets beaten in the parking lot after a game because they are for the “wrong” team, this is fanatical. When people throw things at players from the stands, this is fanatical. All of these things are very poor behavior and really ruin the games we enjoy. These behaviors are what fanatics engage in and these are problems, not fun or even acceptable.
As we get closer to the Super Bowl and March Madness and the other sports are either beginning or coming down the stretch, remember that this is supposed to be Healthy Competition and Fun and be a fan, not a fanatic! Enjoy the game!