A fair weather fan, by definition, is someone who is only interested in a sports team when it is doing well. As a general rule, fair weather fans are heavily criticized by people who regard themselves loyal fans, sticking with a team through bad times as well as good ones.
Before I moved to Indy, I think I was less interested in whether a team was winning or losing; I rooted for the teams in the city that I was currently living in. And I was faithful…until I moved. Another day, another LIDS hat. So, I’m coining a term I’d like to call, “Location-Based Fan.” Or LBF.
Sure. Hate on me, dudes. I know it’s wrong. But it’s really hard to root for a team when you’re long gone and so far away! You feel disconnected from other fans. No one else around you is wearing your team colors or knows your corny cheers. And everyone talks smack about your players!
Here are some anecdotes from my forthcoming (fake) novel called, A Tale of Four Cities: A Girl and Her Many Teams:
Chapter one: I played tee ball when I was younger before soccer became my main sport. When my crush Sean joined a rival tee ball team, I panicked – how will he know I love him if my loyalties lay with another team? Consequently, I totally lost a game for us by ‘forgetting’ to run home from third base because I was chatting up the third baseman, Sean the hot six-year-old. A case of LBF? Not really, but definitely a desperate woman.
Chapter two: College? That doesn’t count because I went to the best school in the country (nay, world) and have just as much or more love for my Tar Heels than I do for Mark and pulled pork. In this instance, I’m not a LBF, because I bleed blue for Carolina. College sports are different. There is a deeper loyalty that comes with your alma mater’s athletics programs. So deep that when I see someone wearing a Duke shirt, I automatically roll my eyes. It’s intrinsic. I can’t help it. Make sense? I thought no.
Chapter three: Cities. I have lived in Youngstown, Charlotte, Chapel Hill, New York and now Indianapolis. I have “loved” the Browns, the Panthers, the Hornets, the Knicks, the Mets, the Giants and the Yankees. But these weren’t fulfilling relationships. They were the LBF kind. I rarely learned players’ names (save for Alex Rodriguez – can’t forget his name, wowza) and could really care less about the upcoming seasons, though I pretended like I did. These moments of lust weren’t like my relationship with the Tar Heels. I didn’t go home from games Googling stats or get in arguments online about a botched play. I didn’t make time for that.
But then Indy happened. I moved here and I settled, but not like Mindy’s settling for Ders (she should be with Danny, come on), but settle in the, “let’s get comfortable” way. I like the Pacers. And I like the Colts. And the Indians. I’m learning to love them. And not because the Pacers are doing well, and not because I simply live here, but because they are so awesome to watch. Watching them play and defeat other amazing teams on the court is awesome. Watching George Hill is awesome and beats Rodriguez any day, girl. Watching them dedicate their time to the community I now call my home is even more awesome. I think when you start to put real roots down as an adult, you want firmer ties with the people and leaders in your community. Maybe that stuff didn’t matter to me when I was in other cities? Not sure. But it does now.
I know this thing with the Pacers seems sudden, but we’re taking it slow. We’re in the hand-holding stage now, you know? But I have a good feeling about this one. And whether or not they beat the Heat, we’ll stay together.
Blaire Huntley is a writer, a runner and a hopeful cook. She works for ExactTarget, and can’t imagine herself anywhere else. Blaire graduated from the University of North Carolina, having studied communication, and currently studies human behavior through Instagram. She’s obsessed with eating and all things downtown Indy, where she lives with her boyfriend Mark. She is also the community organizer for Trade School Indianapolis. Check it out and teach, learn and barter. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @rareblaire.