Sports, huh? You grab the ball and run it to the goal line for a score and then BLAMMO! Hot girls are falling all over your fat stacks of cash. For sports fans, it makes perfect sense. But for not-sports-fans it can be a little bit of a confusing exchange. So how do we get not-sports-fans to become sports fans?

By shouting thinly-veiled threats loudly at them because of the t-shirt they are wearing. I mean seriously, you’re wearing a Yankees shirt? Are you even from New York, man? Because I’ve never seen you wear a Yankees shirt before and now all of a sudden you’re all “Go Yanks!” What a wanker.

…wait. That’s not a way to endear yourself. In fact, that’s literally the opposite. For ages, some say since the dawn of time itself, sports fans have held themselves high, spewing platitudes (or was it platypuses?) from their soap box called “Fair Weather.” The time for this is over.

What is a fair weather fan?

A fair weather fan likes a team that is doing well, rather than picking one team and following it with the kind of religious zeal that is usually contained only to Kool-Aid cults. They are the bane of the ‘true sports fan’ existence.

But they exist for a reason.

When a team does well in sportsland a few things happen. First, they get a pretty ring if they win the championship. They also get more notice in the sports media. They also get more notice in the media in general, which means MORE TV TIME. This means that if I, a person unknowledgeable about professional indoor soccer, start to watch the sport, I will see the good teams more often than the bad teams. I will be more familiar with their players. I will recognize their jerseys. I will learn about their history from the color commentary.

Why do sportsfans hate fair weather fans?

This might sound crazy, but the fair weather fan hatred is actually a misappropriation of the BEARD Principle of Sports Fandom. Here’s how it breaks out:

Better than thou : Sportsfan thinks he’s suffered through more and emerged stronger for it. He’s wrong. In this case, the B really stands for bitter.

Educated on a narrow field : Not a literal field, probably. Maybe. that’s not really important. Sportsfan knows his team, and that’s it. He doesn’t like basketball. He likes the Nuggets and can identify Kevin Durant by the name on the back of his jersey. His opinions on the NBA are, therefore, largely a waste of your time. The E stands for Empty-headed.

Always late to the party : Sportsfan thinks you missed out on the fun because you came in so late, and that your less-fun-having self is inferior. But sportsfan is actually just an Assclown.

Red, Dirty : Sportsfan thinks that your divergence from traditional American values means you are a communist. The R stands for Really confused and anachronistic.

Die-Hard Deficient : Sportsfan lives and dies by his team, which isn’t all that great of a way to be when you have literally no control whatsoever over the results (unless you are the GM). The D stands for Dumb.

Why aren’t fair weather fans the irredeemable Balrogs of sportsland?

I’m a hockey fan. I have been since middle school. In high school, I went to Blackhawks games for $8 a ticket. It was… well it was actually kind of terrible. I saw Petr Bondra score his 500th goal in front of what seemed like 18 people in the entire United Center. Sure, I could go to games for cheap, but the games were full of UIC bros that didn’t know a thing about hockey and cheered “Detroit Sucks” like a bunch of drunks with an inferiority complex. Which, to be fair, pretty much captures it exactly.

Fast forward to today. The Blackhawks sell out every game. I don’t make it to games anymore because I’ve been priced out. Everyone wears Toews, and Kane, and Crawford Jerseys and they never had to suffer through the horror that was the ABC line in the mid-2000s. But they are at games, learning how hockey works. The fandom of the sport is growing, and even if they don’t follow the Bruins or the Senators or the Coyotes, they are at least supporting the sport and helping it grow.

As a fan of hockey, there is nothing I want more than to see hockey in people’s minds. Now their kids will play hockey. They will grow up watching hockey. They will bring their physical talents to hockey to push the game to greater heights. Hockey is better for their fair weather fandom.  

Sports aren’t the only field that simultaneously complains about not enough interest and too many amateurs. I’ve seen long-time Blackhawks fans refuse to explain the game to new fans because… well I’m not sure why. I guess they are the sworn protectors of the knowledge of icing or something?

I don’t get it. If you want to learn about hockey, or baseball, or football, or any sport really, email us at the Gentleman’s Guide to Everything. We don’t care if you’re a fair weather fan. We just care that you’re watching–and playing–at all.

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