Story by CALEB STRANGE
When thinking about football, some people immediately name specific players and teams. What makes a great football team is the fans. If the team doesn’t have great fans, it will not be a great football team.
There are so many great fan bases to choose from, but the question is, what makes them great? Fans will show their support in many different ways that is extremely unique. While there is a lot of upside to being a fan, there is, however, some downside.
When your team loses a big game, it breaks the fans’ hearts. Fans can either be one of two things — happy or sad. There is no in between.
The main question is what it truly means to be a fan of football. According to the Bleacher Report, “A true fan is one who supports the team through thick and thin, good calls and bad calls, good plays and terrible plays.”
So being a fan of a team is being loyal to your team no matter what ups and downs it faces. Think of being a fan as like being in a relationship. You are loyal to one another, you would never cheat/root for another team, and you always support the players no matter what.
Zach Robinson is a 19-year-old student at the University of Utah. Robinson supports the college’s team, the Utes, as well as the Denver Broncos.
“The worst part [of being a fan] is always crying over a big loss, or when your teams sucks, you just want your team to be good,” he said in a Zoom interview. Robinson grew up in a football family in Utah. He will often attend Ute games, but has never been to a Broncos game.
“It really just depends on the person. Also make sure to ask friends for help if you want to get into this type of stuff. Do not be afraid of meeting people at the tailgates and other things,” he said.
Jesse Wier, 21, is transferring from Lonestar College to Texas A&M University in College Station in spring 2022. His favorite teams are the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Texas A&M Aggies and Oklahoma Boomer Sooners.
Wier discussed in a Zoom interview what he loves most about being a fan. “The ups and downs, because you can’t appreciate the highs without experiencing the lows.”
He is a very passionate fan who loves the game. He explained what he thinks is the most misunderstood thing about being a fan. “I think that it’s got to be passion for sure, when people see someone who’s very passionate usually, they don’t understand it, so I would have to say passion.”
Matthew Hinrichs is a 22-year-old student at Weber State University. Hinrichs supports the Weber State Wildcats and the Denver Broncos.
Hinrichs described what it meant to be a fan. “What’s something that you really care about and that you want to give your heart and soul for, that is what it means to truly be a fan,” he said in a Zoom interview.
He grew up in a football house, always going to Weber State games and Denver Broncos games. “I think the biggest thing for me is having an appreciation of the game, like understanding everything that is involved. It also allows me to have a great connection with my dad,” he said.
But Hinrichs said there are drawbacks to being a fan. “Heartbreak, and how you have to sit there and know there is nothing that you can do to change the outcome.”
He said some people just don’t understand fandom. “It gives you something to live for and show emotion with. You also get an appreciation for something you didn’t know you needed.”
Football teams wouldn’t be as successful without the fans. Fans have always had an impact on the game, no matter how you look at it. But this is a topic that hasn’t been talked about for a long time because some people still don’t understand what it truly means to be a fan.
“Being a fan of a football team,” Matthew Hinrichs said, “is like a romantic Dumpster fire.”