The Sports Superfan Dilemma: How to blend in when you can’t


The beginning of a big sporting event is a cornucopia of emotions.  The intensity is cranked up, the atmosphere is tangible all throughout the city limits and there is virtually nothing that a fan can do that is seen as going overboard short of committing a felony.

But throughout our years of studying the behavior of extreme sports fans, we’ve always been curious as to how one deals with defeat.  Not the emotional aspect of it – we’ve been there plenty of times ourselves – we’re talking about the physical remnants of the high you experienced a few hours earlier.  If you were so jacked up that it was perfectly reasonable to paint your body head-to-toe, what’s the next logical step after you suffer a gut-wrenching low? We’ve gone over the scenarios before on this site, but we still don’t have an answer. 

Do you stroll into the postgame drinking spot and wonder why the other patrons don’t want to receive one of your consoling man hugs?  Do you wake up 12 hours later and realize you’ve soiled your sheets with, not only tears, but black and gold sweat? Do you take a long Crying Game shower and watch all the glorious expectations you had earlier in the night swirl down the drain?

Regardless, at least things like body paint or full body Zubaz suits are removable.  For many, the high that justified breaking out their most fanatical tendencies isn’t as easy to shed.  In some cases, you can’t even slink back home without everyone knowing that the person they’re watching drive by them is suffering even more publicly than they are.  Basically, we’re talking about whoever brought this to the game…

Pulling into that parking lot 8 hours before game time, blaring your gag horn and watching those giant Tiger ears dance in the wind, you were the hit of the party.  After the game, you’re just the clown sitting in traffic behind the wheel of a hurse that belongs in a Frosted Flakes commercial.  Everyone who loved you earlier now thinks you’re a loon. 

It’s a thin line. Just don’t be surprised if a tough loss plants on the wrong side of it. 

The words “blend in” don’t apply in a case like this one.


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