Wayne Norman on what sports fans signal:
- Hey! you and I like the same team or sport, so we have something important in common… and maybe more; or at least we don’t have to fight each other.
- Hey, you like a different team than me: we have to fight!
- Look at me, I love this team, I bleed their colors, whatever you think about this team (and its brand) you can think about me.
- You may think of me as a serious, professional, no-nonsense kind of person (or a nerdy anti-social kid…); but look, I’m passionate about this sport, so I’m actually a more normal, approachable person than you thought. …
Even couch potatoes who watch most of their games at home alone on TV feel themselves to be a part of a shared cultural experience. What happens in the game matters to them in part because of all the ways it matters to others. It may form part of their discourse with others at work or elsewhere; but even if it doesn’t they participate in a simulated discussion through debates shows on TV, and whatever they can read in papers and blogs.
While I can see that some folks might want to say such things about themselves, I don’t feel much inclined to say such things about me. Which I guess helps explain why I’m not much of a sports fan.