Do you know when the games are on, especially games against rivals or games in your city if you live away from your hometown?
Do you set aside time to watch the games on TV at least for 10% of the games?
Do you know at least 3 starting players and one bench player on the team?
Does your team’s winning or losing make you unusually emotional?
Have you cried when your team lost a major game (even if only a little bit?)
Do you prioritize watching post-season or play-off games over all other activities?
Have you been a fan consistently and without even one year off during losing seasons?
Have you not switched loyalties for reasons of team competitiveness?
Have you not switched loyalties even though you have moved to another city, state, or country?
Do you own at least one t-shirt, sweatshirt, mug or keychain with your team’s logo on it?
Have you been to at least one game for your team in the last two years?
Does it feel wrong to own or wear clothes that support another team?
If you can answer yes to all of the above then congratulations, you are a "real" true fan of your team. If not, then sorry, you are not. It’s that simple. If you want to become an almost real fan, you can make up for most of the rules but not rules 7, 8, and 9. That’s alright though. Your team can still use your support. Just don’t pretend that you are a mega fan. Nobody likes a wannabe. True fandom is an earned privilege, not an occasional right.
Most of us work hard at what we do and many of us take satisfaction in doing our jobs. But every day I see society honor only a select subset of professions with extreme reverence and it’s getting a bit annoying. Apparently, some professions deserve holidays while others don’t even deserve a minute’s thought. Of course, jobs whose practitioners put their life on the line deserve extra support and honor. But for those professions whose practitioners don’t put their life at stake shouldn’t be put on more of a pedestal. It’s not that they don’t deserve to be honored and respected, but so does everyone else that does a hard day’s work in a way that contributes to society. They all do things that keep the gears of our society and economy turning. They enable other people to get their jobs done, survive, be healthy, be entertained and to lead happy lives.
In the immortal words of Whitney Houston, “the children are our future;” parents and teachers are important in getting kids educated and started on the right path. But what extra credit do the engineers who design the computers they use and the manufacturing workers who build the school buses get? None.