By Faustino Galante
I was born into one of the best fan bases in all of sports: I was raised a Buffalo Bills fan.
Call me biased. If you think your fans are better than Bills fans, though, I have a challenge for you: go watch the Bills-Pats game at McFaddens Tavern in Manhattan next week. You won’t be disappointed.
Durring my first four weeks at Fordham, I have found that many people root for random teams across the country. Some have good reasoning for not rooting for their “home team.” What enrages me is the fact that many pick other sports teams for no reason. A week ago I was talking football with a guy during the Thursday night Bills-Jets game.
“So you must be a Jets fan?” I asked. He said no. Logically, then, he was a Giants fan. Guess again. He revealed to me that he was an Arizona Cardinals fan. I, then, proceeded to ask him if he had family there only to find out that he didn’t. “So, why a Cards fan?” I asked.
“Because they are good,” he responded. I almost stopped talking to the kid. In my eyes, it is sports blasphemy. A valuable lesson here, if you want to be a good sports fan, do not, and I can’t emphasize this more, be like the Cards fan I described above.
Regardless of the sport, there are a few main qualities which all good fans carry. The first, and arguably the most important, is loyalty. Good sports fans root for their teams through thick and thin and never even consider changing their allegiances. Secondly, good sports fans practice tradition. Those who don’t execute and support their team’s traditions are not true fans. Thirdly, sports fans must have a reason for liking their team. Bandwagon fans are the worst kind of fans. One should not ever consider acting like one.
Three fan bases stand above the rest when it comes to loyalty: Buffalo, Cleveland and New York sports. All three of these fan bases have had to deal with a lot of disappointment over the years. Those in Cleveland’s case though, the years of disappointment finally paid off this year. Regardless of how bad the heartbreak, fans of these sports teams have never given up. I have never seen the Bills in a playoff game, but nonetheless watch them play every Sunday.
It’s always annoying to see good sports organizations whose fans couldn’t care less about their teams (I’m looking at you, Seattle). Furthermore, fans who abandon their teams when they play poorly are no better. 49ers fans have basically gone into hiding in the past three years. The same could be said about Arizona Coyotes supporters. Through thick and thin, good fans will always watch their teams, whether they have winning or losing seasons.
Tradition is another important aspect of sports and fans. Sports teams may hold some of the most peculiar and bizarre practices, but it is the fans’ duty to support them.
Look at the Detroit Red Wings, for example: at certain home games, fans will bring octopi to throw on the ice. Why? Because someone did it in 1957 and now it’s something they do. The Bills hold a strange tradition as well. Unlike the Red Wings’, this one is a bit newer. One of the new tailgating practices of Buffalo Bills fans is jumping onto party tables and splitting them in half. Usually, this tradition is practiced under the influence. Does it make sense? No, but I absolutely support it. Whether it’s something as simple as singing your teams song or throwing an octopus on the ice, to be a good sports fan you need to practice your teams’ traditions.
All in all, I challenge sports fans to live by these three principles. I’m not telling you to be a fanatic but just to root for your teams responsibly. Don’t leave them when they’re losing, don’t stop practicing tradition and don’t be like the Cardinals fan. To end this article, I would like to highlight one more important point: GO BILLS!