The amount of time spent over the last few months of slowly counting down every milestone has been dreadful. Draft Day, Free Agency, OTAs, Rookie Camps, Training Camps, and now Preseason football have all been checked off the list. Now with the regular season just around the corner, there are many questions that need to be asked. Yes, the rosters will be filled and the starters will be announced. Injuries will be had and cuts will be made. However, all of that is out of our hands. Those things are done on a professional level that of which the average person just can not achieve. The things that you and I have to figure out is what kind of fan are we going to be throughout this new NFL season.
There are many types of fans out there. Each sport has a stereotypical type of fan base with many sub categories of each the NFL is no different. You have new, casual, gambler, homegrown, transplant, die-hard, bandwagon, and so forth and so on. The question then lies in what category will you fit into this year? How will you go about this season cheering for your team? Are you new to the NFL and are trying to find out what an offensive line does and why the zebra looking dudes are always throwing that yellow thing? That type of fan needs to head online and read a few NFL 101 pages before going out in public. Don’t be that guy who yells out goal when someone scores a touchdown, please. Or you can invite a friend over who wants to help you clear up the confusion between False Start and Off-Sides, that way you both can enjoy it together. Are you the casual fan? The one who watches it because the other sports are in the off-season and you kind of just want to watch something, and it is kinda fun to follow. This is another type that needs to find other causal fans because if you hang out with a hardcore/die-hard type, you might not be friends after the game is over, let alone the season. Just some friendly advise. The gamblers are an interesting group. No alliances, no biased, just straight cash homie and individual play. Fantasy Footballers tend to fit this category, and want individuals to succeed, with no real vested interest in the outcome. If you are one of the Die Hard fans, do yourself a favor and stick with other die hard’s. Only they will feel your pain and frustration. If you hang out with the gamblers, it will only upset you when they cheer after a score against your team and they say, “What? He’s on my fantasy Team!” That again, will probably end friendships. Die hard fans can also be over optimistic. If you ever hear one of them say, “Hey, there are 3 minutes left in the game. They can get an onside kick and score the two point conversion. Then get a fumble returned for a touchdown and a two point conversion. THEN get another onside kick recovery that gets returned for a touchdown and a two point conversion it would be a tie game. It’s possible!” Just nod your head and agree. It wont happen, but then that one time it does happen, they will say they called it! Avoid trying to reason with them, over optimistic fan is entertaining and frustrating at the same time, just let them be.
No matter what kind of fan you want to be this year, just remember to be a fan. This is a game, the decisions you make mean nothing to those on the field. All they want you to do is cheer, spend money, and come back with a friend. Continue to keep that in mind when going to a game or out to a bar or wherever you go to watch. Keep things into perspective. It is only a game that we all enjoy watching at every degree of intensity. With all the craziness going on in the world today, sports needs to be the one thing that can bring us together in one accord to say in one voice, this is awesome. The NFL has the power to bring the world in and slow things down, even if only for 3 hours of your week, and make everything OK. Forget about politics, race, gender and brutality just for a minute and enjoy what this game is all about. Hard hits, big plays, turnovers and touchdowns are what we live for in the NFL. So no matter what fan you decide to be this year, just remember respect and sportsmanship go a long way and that we are all people when the clock reaches 0:00. Yes, even those Cowboy and Eagle fans, they are people too.
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