When Kev and I first started dating, he had a tv in his bedroom, and when we started spending the nights together, I realized that this was pesky. Kev liked to fall asleep listening to White Sox highlights, which was problematic for two reasons:
1) I am a Cubs fan.
2) Falling asleep with the tv on gives me a raging headache when I wake up.
After many negotiations and general grouchiness, we've given away the tv, and switched to sportsradio before bed. I feel this is a good compromise. Kev gets his sports fix, I don't get headaches, and The Score talks about all kinds of Chicago sports, not just the White Sox. Everybody wins.
Last night, a caller called in and made the comment that "White Sox fans are real fans, and most of the people who go to Cubs games treat it like going to a bar where they can get drunk and check out babes." I could make lots of comments here about the general jerkiness about this statement, however it's one that I've heard lots of times- from Kev, from other Sox fans, from other callers on the show. However, the comment also made me start thinking about how you define what it means to be a "real" fan of a team. When I dared to comment on Facebook about my love for Blackhawks hockey during the playoffs this year, my brothers quickly labeled me a "bandwaggoner" despite the fact that I have put in three solid seasons of watching most of the games, sometimes with Kev, sometimes with our rabid hockey friend Colin, and sometimes by myself.
I have thus decided that "real" sports fans are the fans that meet two criteria:
1) A real sports fan can identify AT LEAST 5 current players on the team.
2) A real sports fan has watched/listened to at least 20 minutes of a game their team is playing in by themselves at least one time in their lives.
Real Fans are fans that are interested in what happens to their team every year. Not when their team is good, not when their team sucks, not only when it's trendy. A Real Fan is interested in the team for the love of the game. The Real Fan enjoys going out with a big group to watch a game, but they can also enjoy listening to the game on the radio in the car by themselves on the way home from work, or on their couch covered in cats. They don't base their fandom on who else is interested, or are only interested if they have a cute shirt to wear. They love it for lots of reasons that they have decided make sense for them.
I'm sure Kev is going to give me grief about daring to write about sports. I'm sure my soon to be law student brother would find a million ways to argue with these two simple rules, but I don't care. As far as I'm concerned, if you pass these two categories, you're a real fan of whatever team you pick.
Go Cubs, Blackhawks, Bears....or whatever you like. Just be real.