This goes out to all the wives who've ever asked, "What color are we rooting for, honey?" This is for all the girls who've said, "Hey Dad, which team do you want to win?" and been completely perplexed by his answer--"I'm not really a fan of either team." What do you mean, "not really a fan"? And why even watch if not?
This is for any man, woman or child who has ever asked--what does it mean to be a fan?
Yesterday I was driving down a tight city street and the Mercedes in front of me had a silver Longhorn decal on his bumper. Not only did it strike me as a classy way to express one's fan-ism. (I find the flags and bumper stickers a bit gauche) but it got me thinking, why do I get excited when I see...ya know...
Am I a Longhorns fan,or do I only like them because they're from Texas? I mean, in any given game between the Longhorns and--anyone, I would root for the Longhorns. But I don't know who any of their players are. Same goes for Dallas.
The other day I waited on a guy with a tatooo of the state of Texas on his arm and I said, nice tattoo. Then he took off his Dallas hat and asked if I liked his hat as well and of course I said, "Oh yeah! My husband's a big fan! We love them." But why did I say that? I don't like to watch sports on television. And I spent much of my teenage years denying that fact because I thought guys would think it was attractive that I would watch sports with them. However, I can say now with a sudden rush of clarity that I never really watch sports--even if I'm looking at a television screen where sports are being played. I look at the players, the fans, the ground--but I can safely say that nothing about the way they are moving a ball interests me.
So you may be thinking, "No, cara. Give it up. You're not a fan."
But wait one minute there. If the Longhorns lost to the Gators, I would not be happy. But then if the Gators lost to the Seminoles I would not be happy either because I think FSU has a boring logo. See! There are no sports in my head when I think about football or basketball or anything else. There are only colors and players.
Take the Yankees. Of course I'm a Yankees fan--born and raised. And I will admit that if you take me out to the ballgame I will watch in rapture for at least 10-15 minute intervals. I like the Yankees because my dad likes them. So I want no other team to win, even in a game between the A's and the Braves. But I digress.
I feel like a fan because I like the team. Can it be left at that? Do I have to watch the games and keep the stats and wear the colors? (Well I do have a Longhorns tank top that I bought at HEB in San Antonio) Once I wore it to school and a girl had the nerve to ask me if I worked at the popular food chain, Longhorn. "No! This is my team! Longhorn has no S and no football. It's just a restaurant!" Okay, I didn't shout at her but, come on. I'm a fan no doubt about it.