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A user friendly guide to find out what type of fan you are

By Matt Napolitano, Staff Writer

Many take the summertime to relax and break away from the stress of exams, term papers and empty containers of Adderall.  As for myself, I use it to catch up on my two life loves, my aspirations of being a federal bikini inspector and being a fan.

There is nothing for me like taking a breather, followed by the massive coronary that is watching a Mets game.  For others, it is being enthralled in an exciting Game 7 between the Celtics and Lakers, where you can either pahk ya cah in the Hahverd yahd or set your car and a couple storefronts on fire.  And maybe, just maybe, you were pulling for Cameroon in the World Cup and found yourself and your buddies forming a vuvuzela orchestra.

Let's face it, there is a variety to fanhood and sometimes in life, we are at a crossroads and just don't know who we are.  Well, boo-hoo for you, but I want to look deep into your mind and figure out just how much allegiance you have to sports.  So grab a couple Kleenex while we investigate your fan psyche. 

The Huh:  You are oblivious as to what is going on.  Your idea of football is watching that video from "Glee" of the team dancing to "Single Ladies".  If someone were to ask you about Hard Knocks, you would be the one belting out Jay-Z or, if you're truly foregone from the world of sports, the song from "Annie".  Other common characteristics include having more than one Lady GaGa song on your iPod or rooting for teams based on logo or color.  We recommend for you The Oakland Raiders, since their fans dress similarly to GaGa.   

The What Else Is On:  You're the one who picks up the remote to change the channel from a game in overtime to whatever drunken shenanigans Snooki got into.  If you were watching the Super Bowl, you are the person in it for just the commercials.  Other common characteristics include going to bars just for the food and paying no mind to Rex Ryan's miraculous gut in HD.  I recommend for you The Pittsburgh Pirates.  I figure since you don't care about the game, you may as well root for a bottom dweller.

The Guilty by Association:  More commonly known as "dating".  In many cases, you will cheer for a team just to make the BF or GF happy.   After all, teenage love is forever.  This is also common with wanting to be accepted into a circle of friends.  Folks, that's what they invented beer for, so pick a side.  Side effects may include not voting because you don't want to hurt the other guy's feelings.  I recommend any team in Kansas City or St. Louis, since you're already in the middle of the road.

The Fan-in-Training:  You're getting there.  You may not be at Stump the Schwab levels of sports knowledge or go to watch a game live, but you're picking up speed.  Your efforts don't go unwarranted as I'm sure when you come into money, you will see some live action.  Another common quirk is trying out for some kind of club team or playing flag football.  For you, I recommend that you become an Indianapolis Colts or New Orleans Saints, just for the likability factor.  I mean, if you hate New Orleans, then you hate America, then you voted Bush.

The One Sport Wonder:  You can't be bothered with all these sports.  You have your team and you like it that way.  That's no big deal.  You also probably only like listening to your iPod in the car and you may aspire to be your own boss.  Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!  Another common association is an obsession with single player gaming, and single player miscellaneous activities (Yea, that's right…Solitaire).  I recommend…you know what, you're on your own.

The Sadist:  You, yes you, the person who just put down your twelfth White Castle, as you're trying to get over the sadness of another loss.  Your taste in teams is messier than Hasslehoff with a chesseburger.  If your team has made you cry yourself to sleep, you are a sadist.  You may also be used to disappointment.  You are Charlie Brown.  I recommend for you to root for any New York sports team that has not won a championship in the last 20 years, or heck, the Chicago Cubs.  If you choose the Cubs, ask your doctor about Ambien.

The Nomad:  You're more the fan of an athlete and not the team.  Where your favorite player goes you go.  This can be a fun ride, especially if you're a Herschel Walker or Deion Sanders fan, and it takes you to different sports.  Then again, you don't really have a home.  You wander from Atlanta to Dallas to San Jose to Moscow to…you get the point.  For this, I suggest rooting for the Miami Heat, since every good players want to take their talents to South Beach.  Meanwhile, I consider that a way of saying you want to retire since you're fairly close to Boca.

The Debater:  You probably watch The O'Reilly Factor in a loop.  All you do is argue that your team is awesome and that everyone else is an idiot.  Guess who's wrong after all?  If your team shows the slightest bit of success, you make them bigger than Jesus.  Other characteristics include lack of any knowledge beyond your team's active roster and Hey Arnold like shrines of attractive athletes.  Guess what Yanks, Pats, Red Wings, and Lakers fans…this one's for you.  And by the way, other fans have feelings. 

The Line Crosser:  This is to the fan at the stadium who takes root, root, root for the home team to a whole new level.  Here at Hofstra, we have learned to specialize in this, be it through screaming "Look at Me" to opposing players or dancing in a banana hammock to distract during foul shots, (P.S. Hofstra Speedo Dude, keep on shining).  Anyway, be it through body paint, potty mouth, or some kind of distracting wardrobe or lack thereof, these are the fans that keep us smiling.  Guess what line crosser, you are commonly a college sports fan, because this is a time to experiment with your fanhood.    

The Ultimate Fan:  The Grand Poobah of all fans.  The crème de la crème of fanhood.  You go to the games.  If you can't go, you watch on TV, listen on the radio, watch online, or even stare at little dots that resemble players.  You are not afraid to start the wave or the chants.  You are the most interesting fan in the world.  You may not always be perfect, but when you try to be, you are.  You stand by your teams through thick and thin, and for that, I salute you.

With the many types of fans out there, along with the several people who want to burn me in effigy after reading this article, I now enter a final thought.  In a world full of fans crossing paths and creating havoc amongst one another, there is only one question.  Why can't my #$#%?*&% teams win?  AAAAAAAAAAAAUGH!!!

Hofstra basketball fans cheering on the Pride. (Sean M. Gates/Hofstra Chronicle)

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