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Monday, October 10, 2011

What sort of a fan is a FAN?

One of the questions I tend to think about more often these days is what does the fan in me feel with the passing of time? There are many types of fans out there, fans who can spot the statistical changes in every attribute of every show and fans who feel for what happens in front of them. Who is the bigger fan and who is a show off and how much can we be in the middle of both?

For me being a fan is to like the person/team for what he does during the sport show. I don't care if he dated the Miss Universe and broke up with her the next day because her sister was better in bed, but I do care if he acts hurt to death when a defender caresses his shoulder(in soccer). I am not learning to shape up my individuality but loving what I see in the show. I don't give a shit if the driver who won a world championship shows his back to Formula 1 for WRC and do not smile inside with schadenfreude when he fucks his career up there too, but do so when the pilot of an F1 team whines like a cry baby race in and race out on why he can't finish strong. I don't exactly know how many titles Ferrari F1 team has won, or more than ten drivers who have raced in their cars. I also don't know who won champions league title every year for last ten years or the high points of Liverpool's club history. But what makes me happy and smile is when something like Gerrard coming in as a sub in the Carling cup match having missed for more than six months due to injury. He is not the most gifted midfielder in the world but he has a charisma of passion in him that makes supporting him worthwhile. Same holds for Novak too.

For me, supporting Novak has been exact mini series of my life, happy go jolly young ears as with the mockery shows in Australian open '08(by the way, I seriously thought he would get Maria's attention and would fuck up his tennis career dating high profile star but was happy to be proved wrong), to brilliant forehands but tired fifth sets in Wimbledon and French open in 2010 wondering what would happen the next minute, the thrill of winning and losing, to taking on huge responsibility of being the world number one and getting severely hurt by the time it happened. It was painful to be his supporter, he would win Federer in an insanely awesome way like the US open 2010(I still can feel the awe I felt that day watching some one can come to a match point deficit against Roger and win that match) and be a very boring finalist versus Nadal to lose ordinarily. I was waiting every point during the semi-finals and finals of US open 2011 thinking it would be the last and being very afraid when he lost the third set versus Nadal, but could go the rest of the day with a smile and joy when he thrashed the match on the fourth. I consider myself a big fan.

People have told me that if I am a passionate fan I should be very good with the statistics but I beg to differ with an argument of being half bridge decent is enough. What you feel and what you enjoy watching the favorites do is what matters. Yes I know about the Manchester United-Liverpool rivalry, but only very recently knew Kenny Dalglish's golden years. When I learnt Rafa was the one who made Gerrard play behind the striker in the famous AC Milan Champions league finals that changed the style of the game and was a significant point in bringing the match to a draw at the end of extra time, I couldn't believe they would send him before his contract expired as the team became lousy for a season. It had been a steady decline but that is not the point of argument, it was that I didn't know all the statistics but still felt for the team.

Michael Schumacher has been entirely different ball game. My support for him was like support for my family, he could do wrong, park in middle of the circuit during qualifying, hold number one spot in the team but I would still support him for who he was for me. He was my first hero, the one who could steer a car in speeds greater than 300 kph and still come out overtaking the rest. He was like my own family as my interaction with his driving dates back to my early youth. The first time I watched him drive was during the qualification for Monaco grand prix 1995. The beauty of the place, the sound of the engines and the noise of the cars speeding by got me glued to the screen. He took the pole and was acknowledging the crowd and a new fan was born. I clipped the next morning daily for his picture and was going to support him during the race when he crashed out during the first lap and I was sad. I have supported him ever since and come rain or shine I would never oppose him altogether.

So yes as much as I would like to collect statistics to the point of winning every quiz on the team I don't have enough time or memory to do that. I am very passionate when I support any team and would never do when I don't feel enough. So whoever memorizes every single information from wikipedia on their favorites and pretend that they are a bigger fan than I am, please stop. I know how much my day gets shaped due to a win or loss and I don't give a damn on what they think of my faith on the people who I love watching play.

The above post is concentrated more on my sports interests, but in my other interest - sci-fi/fantasy novels, I loved Ender's game by Orson Scott Card. I even thought Songmaster was good (which were reviewed average in Shelfari), with a homoerotic relationship as center of the story. I then read about the homophobic quotes from the author  by chance and that disgusted me as an individual. Anyone who has a non-open thoughts cannot be accepted in the new society, but that doesn't deter me from re-reading his novels and enjoying his writing.

Footnote : Really hope Liverpool to finish top four this year, and Ferrari second in constructors championships.