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  • David Wilson

Are All Fans Alike?

What is a fan? Simple question deserves a simple answer. I am afraid it is not so simple. A fan is a person who put's his daily activity behind him and watch's his team perform. I grew up across the lake of the greatest sports town in history. I always came home from school in hope the skies were clear so I could get a good picture of WGN and watch the Cubs play. I can hear Jack Brickhouse say, "hey, hey." Even if the skies were cloudy and the picture on the tube was snowy, I did my best to watch. Sometimes, I saw shadows.


I grew up watching the Cubs and the Bears. On Sunday, I was blessed to enough to always be able to watch the Bears. I had 5 other siblings in the home and for some reason, no one ever took the television away from me. I perched myself on the floor as close as I could to not be interrupted by distractions. The little boy from Berrien Springs was born to be a Bear fan.


When you grow up as a fan, you love the team and the players and learn to admire the coaches. It just becomes a natural by-product of viewing them day after day. Even pre-season game was important to say, "goodbye" to my friends so I could go inside the house to watch the game. It was always fun as a child and a teenager, to talk with my friends about the game. I could quote anything I read or heard on the television. Yes, there were disagreements, but it was not like the disagreements I see people have today. Back then, the disagreements were casual and never got personal.


I might question the coach from time to time, but it wasn't that important for me to get upset over it. Yes, I yelled at the 19 inch zenith television but that was when it was in a middle of a play. I remember the Bears being underdogs to the Washington Redskins, and the Bears went up 21-0 at halftime. They ended up losing that game. As a little boy, it was hard to understand the polar opposite emotions of a loss like that.


It was in 1986 when I started studying the draft. Back then, you ordered magazines with all the write-ups on the collegiate players. Sporting News was my go-to periodical. I remember studying the needs of every other team. I wrote everything down, I didn't want to miss a thing. Why? Because of the challenge of trying to think like a professional. I was delusional to think, I could become the next Mel Kyper Jr. Now, I don't want to become that because in time, you learned that he was right a minimal amount of the time. But I did have my draft order ready, and the Bears never came close to drafting who I thought they would. I was okay with that, I would just go back to the drawing board the next year, and try again.


That is the fan part that I understand. What I don't understand are the people who think they know more than the organization. They become fixated on who they think the Bears should take, so fixated, that if the Bears don't take their guy, they will argue until the end of that player's career. I always moved on. It was much more enjoyable that way. I know these words are creeping their way under people's skin. Why? Because their mind is made up and it has become their redemption, to say, "I told you so." I see fans, who desire their team to do bad instead of them being wrong.


Seems like being wrong is not such a bad thing. First, you are not privy to the scouting reports

. Yes, you may have read an article or two, but you know very little about the player being selected. You have no access to medical records. Yes, I know, once the Kevin White's have an injury, you jump on your perch and make the proclamation, the Bears should have known about his bone density.


Fantasy football is fun to play, but it has become big business. With fantasy football, you have the sport, within the sport. That is the way it is with social media. Everyone loves to argue and it has become the game within the game. Some play for fun, but others play for blood. They attach their importance to being right. They have to be so right, that even when their team wins, they are able to pick the speck out of the fly shit. They will twist the plays and the players into their own little benefit. While the majority of fans are trying to enjoy the win, they feel desperate to be right. In my view, that is not much of a fan as it is an ego maniac.





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