Mega Fan or Sports Nut?

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A sports event seems to be the only accepted occasion to be painted blue and scream at the top of your lungs. Yet there may be a fine line between the ultimate sports fan and the nut case with a giant letter etched on his chest.

There is an almost sacred bond between athlete and fan. It’s a volatile relationship that can bring out the best and worst in someone. When it comes to being a diehard sports fan, volume of voice and layers of paint won’t crown someone as the ultimate fan. Students and athletes weigh the options and cast their vote on what makes a great fan.

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BYU fans cheer on their basketball team.
“You don’t have to be crazy,” said Tyler Hildt, an avid sports fan and junior studying accounting. “A true fan is determined by loyalty to his or her team and knowledge of the players. You can’t be embarrassed or a fair-weather follower. You have to be proud of your team.”

Beyond loyalty, Hildt also stressed the importance of just having a love for the sport being played. He said true sports fans don’t always care who is playing. They just love watching the game.

As athletes describe what they look for in a fan, they point out that being over the top isn’t necessary. However, they do admit strong emotions from the crowd can translate into strong motivation for the players.

Doc Fullmer, a sophomore from Syracuse, Kan., and sports enthusiast, said he loves a cheering crowd while competing.

“They always inspired me to play better,” Doc said.

Oakey Stanley Emedoh, a self-proclaimed Nigerian soccer fan and athlete, said when it comes to supporting a team, not everyone reacts the same and it doesn’t really matter.

“People support their team differently,” Emedoh said. “Some are kind of fanatics, while some are fans.”

Finding out how to act during games depends largely on those in the stands. Both Hildt and Fullmer agree it’s best to fit the atmosphere. It’s important to not be the obnoxious and hated individual, but at the same time not to be silent during a big game.

When it comes down to it, the formula for being a great fan is pretty simple. It requires a love for the game, a little energy to motivate favorite players, and like Emedoh, a healthy addiction to the team.

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