What Makes a Sports Fan… FANATICAL?

Obviously, ‘fan’ is short for FANATICAL and sports seem to drive people to do fanatical things. There are too many instances to mention, but one recent fan brought victory celebration to the national forefront. Last weekend University of Georgia fan, Michael DiNardo, literally jumped through a glass window after the Bulldogs came back to score against the Missouri Tigers to win the game. He wound up in the ER with numerous stitches, but he manned up about it and while he admitted it wasn’t the smartest thing to do, he plead guilty to being a huge Georgia fan. If that’s the worst thing he does, then he should be ok.

WARNING: Contains brief explicit language.

It’s not just a Southern thing – people around the world across the sports spectrum go over the top when it comes to supporting their team, and their actions through the ‘thrill of victory and the agony of defeat’ are expressed in many ways. I mean, you’ve got to be a little crazy to paint your face and body and go shirtless in arctic temps for an entire football game to show your fanhood, right?! After living in Florida, just the thought of sitting through a game in 50 degrees stretches beyond my limit of fanhood. I’ll watch on TV.

Chicago Bears fans
Chicago Bears fans bearing the cold

With the crazy and funny and wildly bizarre stories, you also have some that border on psychotic. Sad, but true. The poisoning of the trees at Toomer’s Corner still leaves me speechless (and I ALWAYS have something to say). That exceeded all sense of sportsmanship. I’m not even an Auburn fan and I STILL can’t make sense of it…

I AM a Mississippi State fan and we’re crazy enough to stand at a game constantly ringing a cowbell to the point you lose hearing for several hours afterwards, your head is throbbing and you relish in the fact you evolved as an amazing lip reader because it’s impossible to carry on a conversation without doing just that.

More cowbell for State fans!
More cowbell for State fans!

I’m guilty as charged in being a sports FANATIC – I sometimes feel physically ill when we lose and I’m on top of the world when my team wins. I’m obnoxious to the point I can’t watch our games in public – I watch from home because I pace, I yell at the TV, the refs, or whomever I think is out there listening. I jump, clap, have to step outside at times and of course, ring my cowbell. All in a game for a sports FANATIC.

I wouldn’t necessarily advocate jumping through glass, but the GA student was living in the moment of the thrill of victory for his favorite team… so I’ll cut him some slack for that. I would imagine he will celebrate a little more safely in the future.

Please do support your team, but please be careful and always show true sportsmanship!


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