Fan Photo Appreciation 101: Unraveling the Inner Meaning
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. As usual, I have no idea who they are, or where they came up with that exact number, but it often falls short of explaining what’s really going on. There are many times a picture could use, nay, demands an extra 50-100 words or so to get at the heart of its true meaning.
At least that’s the theory we’re operating under today, as we take a look at some fan photos that, while at first glance may seem fairly straightforward, but upon closer inspection cry out for further explanation and interpretation.
Our first subject is an obvious fan of both the St. Louis Cardinals – and listening to terrestrial radio.
But if the man in this photo could talk, what else might he say? What was going through his mind at this exact moment in time?
No doubt things like, “They should replace ‘God Bless America’ with ‘Free Bird’ during the seventh-inning stretch, or anything by Skynyrd really, as long as it ROCKS…Pearl Jam does NOT count as classic rock! And it NEVER will! Same for Nirvana…Finally! I found the damn designated smoking area. ‘Bout damn time. Can’t believe I have to go outside the stadium to smoke anyway. Last time I checked this is still America isn’t it? …What in tarnation!? An RV made to look like a wiener? Gay…Am I out of blonde hair dye #64? Maybe I’ll stop at Walgreens on the way home and pick me up a bottle.”
Our next subject appears to be your average fan in the opposing team’s stadium.
But wait, the Cardinals aren’t playing the Cubs today. The Brewers are in town, and this guy is wearing a Cubs jersey and old-timey hat. But underneath the Cubs jersey reveals…(gasp) a Brewers jersey! This guy is somehow observing/violating multiple official Joe Sports Fan jersey rules at the same time. He’s a sports guybrid that’s also a jersey gypsy (i.e. wearing a jersey to a stadium from a team that isn’t playing.) Oh well, at least he has the right sport.
In any event, the underlying point he’s trying to make here is: I hate the Cardinals. I don’t want them to win. And I’ll drape myself in whatever NL Central division rival’s gear that gets this point across. Sometimes one opposing jersey just isn’t enough – a little extra kick is needed.
Our next photo should remind us all of a simpler time when we were all younger, and we unconditionally idolized baseball players in a way we never will again.
Yes, she loves you Rafael Furcal – in a way that only a 13 year-old girl from Chesterfield can love a relatively obscure shortstop that’s currently injured and has yet to actually play a full season with the Cardinals.
Our last photo depicts what on the surface would seem to be a typical Illinois fan – a typical Illinois fan harboring a deep, dark secret.
This man in this photo might as well be saying, “Hey, I may be forced to watch this floundering Fighting Illini football team right now, but my heart secretly belongs to Truman and the Missouri Tigers, and I’ve got the Missourah-style haircut to prove it.”
“Oh yeah, and this sweet ink. This orange and blue pom-pom I brought with me? It means nothing.”
“I-L-L? Z-O-U baby. ”