What is a fan?
Even through the trying times of a 1-6 type performance, being a Panther fan still means the same thing to me as it meant heading into the season.
Being a Panther fan still means having faith that Ryan Khalil’s prediction is not completely preposterous at this point. It’s having faith that superman has not lost his cape nor his mojo. It believing that even without Chris Gamble, the defensive secondary will still prevail. It’s having faith in Jon Beason’s knee, the lack of depth on the offensive line, that the run game is just one hole away from a breakout performance, that Brandon LaFell and Louis Murphy are capable of making game changing plays, and most importantly its faith in Ron Rivera.
In the sports world, nothing is promised. Each and every Sunday a fan must suit up in their team’s colors, wear their lucky wrist band, their worn out lucky sock, their favorite players jersey, crack open a can of their team colored Bud Light, and cheer as if each and every play is one snap away from the Super Bowl.
Is it easy being a super fan? The answer is no.
As if Mondays’ do not already suck, tack on another L from a last second play and see how glorious the sound of your alarm blasting seems. Try going to work and being surrounded by Falcon fans, try reading the Charlotte Observer with your morning coffee, try listening to ESPN when you are getting ready for work in the morning, and last but not least, try seeing your star quarterback get blasted each and every day in the media.
Being a fan means having the courage to take on all these obstacles on top of the things you have going on in your everyday life. It means never even speaking of the term “bandwagon fan,” unless it is to defend yourself completely against it. It means never giving up hope, or as the Panthers would say, it means to KEEP POUNDING.
But would true NFL fans change any of this?
Yet again, the answer is NO. Being a super fan means you have this deep rooted connection with your team. It means referring to the players by their first names, as if you’re talking to a family member. It means constantly yelling into the TV, as if your advice is exactly what the missing link is. It means being loyal and passionate. And last but not least it means believing each an everyday that no matter the record, your team is the BEST in the entire league.
Some may say that all these examples are just down right crazy. Those people are the bandwagoners that I was referring to earlier. However, the majority of NFL fans can relate to exactly what I am saying, and “us”, the select few of completely ridiculous fans, are exactly what makes an NFL season all that it is.