Confessions of a fair-weather fan

Story by Brian Miller

On Sunday, Jan. 23, for the first time in probably seven years, I sat down and watched, start to finish, a Green Bay Packers game. At first I was only there for the snacks, but when they beat the Chicago Bears something changed inside me. I am so, so, so excited to watch the Packers in the Super Bowl. I can’t even tell you who won last year, but this year I’ll be glued to my TV. I’ll admit it: I am a fair-weather fan.

And I’m fine with that. I know that there is plenty of negativity associated with the term, but I think it’s perfect.

It’s laughable how few of the players I could name, first or last, but right now I will talk about B.J. Raji like we are old friends. And hopefully nothing too technically complicated happens during the game or I will be completely lost. The only football term or phrase I feel comfortable using is “Go long!” which I know isn’t always applicable, but I plan to shout it at the TV anyways.

After assigning myself the role I decided to look a little further into what I would be doing. It seems like the things that people expect from fair-weather fans are:
1) Complaining about the team without the knowledge to back it up.

2) Wearing the jersey or rooting for a player you’ve followed forever.

3) Not sticking around for the next season.

OK, die-hard fans, let’s address these.

As far as complaining goes, I will try to keep myself in check. I’ll probably sometimes yell about dropped passes, interceptions and bad plays despite the fact that I hardly know what I am saying. But, you don’t have to be a musician to know when someone hit the wrong note. And, I can guarantee I will have even fewer nice things to say about the Steelers. So, let my ridiculous hatred of the opponent balance out any whining about the Packers.

Secondly, I may be a fair-weather fan, but I am still a broke college student. I’ve never bought a jersey before and I really don’t think I’ll start now. I’d much rather keep my $100.  Plus, I know that whatever number I picked, I would be questioned about every bit of that player’s life, going back about 10 years, by the ‘true’ fans.

No, I don’t know any of their stats. Yes, I just recently learned what position they play. But, sure, I would love to hear you tell me all about them! Raji’s hyperbaric sleeping chamber is something I did not know about before Sunday, but I am not going to forget that anytime soon.

And finally, let’s all just live in the moment. Who knows if I’ll still be cheering in seven months? I might be busy, you might be out of town, and you just never know. At this point in my sports fan career I can’t imagine the stress of following a team for an entire season, but maybe I’ll remember how exhilarating it is to watch your team play.

For now I just need to be ready for the Super Bowl, and I think I’m almost there. I’m reading Facebook statuses that trash talk the Steelers, I’m bothering people about borrowing a jersey, and I’m not worrying about anything past Feb. 6. I am a fair-weather fan and the weather is good. Go Packers!