The word fan, those that like something and not the device that provides air, came from the world fanatic. While that’s the case, fans and fanatics should be considered completely different from one another.
Fans are people who post on Facebook or other social media that they can’t believe a call against their team or that they just won the Superbowl. They gripe and complain or cheer about decisions made about the team.
More than likely they have gear to wear to show their pride in the team, even if they currently are losers.
Every sports team has their fans, but some fans are in a category of their own. They go to the extreme, whether the team wins or loses, and give a bad name to fans all over.
Fanatics are fans, but they are the worst kind of fans and should not be truly considered fans because clearly they are just crazy people.
GQ magazine did a piece in 2011, that resurfaced and gained attention recently, that listed out the worst sports fans in America.
The list of insane things that these people that claim to be fans do is almost unbelievable.
The local Oakland Raiders are known to attract a crowd that would be at home on an episode of “Cops” and get into fights, with both fists and weapons, anywhere they go in following their team. They’re so bad that the NFL called off a game versus their bay area rivals the 49ers in 2012 because of preseason violence.
Fanatics of the West Virginia University Mountaineers shout obscenities during network broadcast games, threw metallic objects at the face of an opposing coach and led the nation in celebratory arson as they intentionally unleashed 1,120 street fires from 1997 to 2003.
The worst part is that those two teams only took third and fourth on the list of 15 worst sports team fans.
In the first and second spot were two Philadelphia teams. The Eagles and the Phillies being those teams.
Hands down they do hold the title for the worst fanatics there are, with booing anyone and everyone to a drunken fanatic intentionally vomiting on an 11-year-old girl.
It’s not just a 2011 thing or before thing either.
Let’s look at the San Francisco Giants fans for example. After their 2012 World Series win, fans set out to the streets of San Francisco and began to riot, setting off fireworks and lighting bon fires. The same thing happened in many cases after their third World Series win in October.
Those people are fanatics, not your average fan. Yet in many cases the media and those that are not fans of particular teams lump the two together.
Raider fans are not all thugs and criminals. Not every person that follows the West Virginia team or the Philadelphia teams wants to burn things or vomit on children.
Major games and those against rival teams tend to bring the fanatics out in full force. Who can forget the long lived rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees?
Playing against a rival team, you want nothing more than to win and be able to gloat about your team beating them. It’s human nature to want to back winners and be able to rub it in the face of others, the desire to be superior.
There is nothing wrong with that.
What is wrong is taking that desire to win and gloat and taking it to the level of violence, destruction or sheer insanity.
Go cheer for your favorite team. Enjoy the games. Leave the anarchy at home and stop giving fans as a whole a bad name.