There are several tiers of fan-class status in the world of sports.
At the highest level, there are the people that the word fan actually derives from: Fanatic.
These are the people that truly love their team. They literally live each pitch, each swing, each basket, each sack, each goal and each save. Forget about names and positions, fanatics can recite stats from their team of preference's third-string running back from 1988. They know who was on the mound that night when that guy hit that home run. Fanatics, are sports. They would probably miss their first-born's Christening if it interfered with a playoff game. They eat, breath, sleep and if it were legal, would consummate their love with their team.
The next level down on the hierarchy of fan-worthyness, is, well...the fan.
These individuals love their team. Although, not to the extent as our ultra-obsessive fanatic. They watch the games, they know the players. They feel genuine disappointment when their team loses, and joy when they pull out a win. These people, again, not as outrageous as a fanatic, are respected. They wear the jerseys, the T-shirts, the hats, but it's okay. They are true fans. They have paid their dues.
As we go lower, we get to: The Casual fan.
The casual fan likes sports. They root for their team—which is probably the team their group of friends or family liked while growing up. The casual fan knows some of the players and where they play. They usually know how well the team is doing during the season and which players are having a good year. The casual fan will probably watch about a quarter of the games throughout the season, and might even attend a couple live. Nobody really bothers with the casual fan, because after all, they're just casual, and they know it.
Finally, we get to fan that nobody likes: The front-runner.
Front-runners get no respect. None. They don't care about records, players nor rivalries. Front-runners don't understand why they can't root for the Eagles one year, and the Giants the next. Front-runners will start out hot-and-heavy in the beginning, but as soon as their "team" fails, they will kick you to the curb just like a one-night-stand. Front-runners, who usually come around during playoff time, will suddenly show up to your party wearing an Eli Manning or Derek Jeter jersey—replica of course.
Everyone hates a front-runner. They would be the lowest form of fan possible, if not for this next group of individuals
October Yankee Fans.
October Yankee fans are as respectable as Michael Jordan's baseball career. We hate you. As a devout New York Yankees fan, I am bred to hate the Red Sox and their fans. However, I would much rather be stuck next to a Red Sox fan in Game 7 of the ALCS than an October Yankees fan.
You see, the Red Sox don't have this phenomenon of fans. The Red Sox have one of the most dedicated following of fans in all of sports.
Even the lowly Mets don't have this problem. For one, they never make it to October, and secondly, their fans endure 162 games of agony every single season. That's just too much for a "fake" fan to go through.
Why do these horrible human beings find it necessary to update their Facebook status and away messages with their opinion on the Yankees in October, when they haven't done it once in the previous five months?
Why are you so eager to lend your voice on Nick Swisher and how terrible he is or Joe Girardi and his over-managing(a term you probably heard on Sportscenter,) when you just found out Bernie Williams retired?
And if you're reading this and don't quite understand what I'm saying...odds are, you're an October Yankee fan.
So October Yankee fans, do me a favor, take your A-rod T-shirt you bought at Modell's, and crawl back into whatever hole you've been in since April and spare us from your existence.
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