What Does It Mean To Be A Fan?

Christian AraosContributor INovember 9, 2008

What does it mean to be a fan?

It has become much easier to become a fan of any team in this Internet age. With fantasy sports, Web sites, message boards, etc. anyone can follow any team anywhere. It has become easier for people to root for any team they please.

There lies the problem.

Gone are the days of rooting for the team your parents rooted for, the days when the only team you cared about was your team, the days when you hated every player on your rival team's roster, and gone are the days that you lived or died with your team.

Nowadays, it is socially acceptable to root for the Patriots when you're living on Long Island (the heart of Jet country). It is possible for someone in California to wind up talking about the NFC East and for someone in Florida to talk about the AFC North.

It is hard to hate the people your team is playing because chances are one of them might be on your fantasy team. Fans don't live and die with their teams like they used to.

When the Dodgers lost to the Giants in 1951, Brooklyn mourned as if the president were assassinated. In 1955 when they beat the Yankees, they partied day and night. Now fans are far more fickle and cynical especially here in New York. Here no win doesn't get criticized and no loss doesn't get ridiculed.

I wish the days of fans treating players as if they were members of the family and fans not going on talk radio complaining would return. Will it happen? I don't know. In this era of information and analysis I highly doubt it.

Sometimes it's better off to be naive than to be informed.