Various levels of fanhoods in sports; The Involved Vs the Casual Fan

What exactly is a Fandom. Collectively fans of a particular person, or sports team or Movie/TV series are known as Fandoms.  Now what exactly is a Fanhood. It is an individual’s infinite knowledge about something of which he is a fan, A fanhood could be of a sportsperson or a sportsteam or even of a country.  Therefore a basic distinction is that a Fandom is collective while a Fanhood is individual.

Some well-known Fandom’s      There are various famous Fandom’s everywhere in the world. Potterheards are Harry Potter fans, who are members of the Harry Potter Community. Twihards are the Fans of the Twilight Series. Justin Bieber, a much loved as well as disliked International personality too has his own Fandom who are known as Bieleber’s. Similarly in sports too, there are Fandoms and Fanhoods as well, who are an integral part of Sport. Champions like David Beckham or Roger Federer or Rafa Nadal have their own Fandom’s as well as Fanhood’s of different levels.

Now what is meant by levels of Fanhoods. There are some who know absolutely all there is to know about a sport(s) or a sports personality. Others can be more casual and follow the game as a pastime, out of interest or simply because at that particular point of time they may not have anything better to do. Accordingly therefore we may conclude that there are casual Fans and there are involved fans and both impart their own imprints on the magnificent world of sport.

The extent to which Fans will go. This will vary from fan to fan. The most extreme example of course is the stabbing of Monika Seles by obsessed Steffi fan , Gunter Parche . This was most horrifying and changed the course of tennis history to some extent. There have been many examples too of fans stalking their favorite stars, which will definitely be unnerving for the latter.

How mega events impact different levels of fans differently In a different blog post i had written about mega events such as Olympics, Football World Cup and Cricket World Cup and how they are much awaited events. So much so that once one such event ends, the waiting for the next event starts. Is this so for both the casual fan as well as the involved fan.  Well, i would tend to think that mega events would affect an involved fan much much more than a casual fan. This is because an involved fan almost lives the life of the sports or sportsperson whom he is following. There is a sense of anticipation about the event and once it happens, there is a sense of elation or disappointment, depending on the result. On the other hand, for a casual fan the event indeed is important but the impact is considerably much lesser. Therefore different levels of reactions are elicited out of different types of fans for different mega events

Interestingly, the same fan can be an involved fan for some sports and a casual fan of another sport or sports. To give my own example, i am an involved fan as regards cricket and tennis and a casual fan of most other sports, such as football or badminton or chess or boxing. Therefore something in cricket or tennis may affect me more than say in another sport. I may also feel the need to take up an arguement on cricket or tennis if i perceive that my view on a particular issue is right and someone else is saying something which is not correct. On the other hand say if its on football or chess or Foumula 1 racing, i, as a casual fan may simply accept the view of someone who is an involved fan, taking his/her view to be correct.

Feeling of One type of Fan for another. An involved fan may feel contempt for the casual fan. He may feel that the casual fan knows hardly anything about the sport on which he knows so much more and has so much knowledge about. Probably more or less this may be true. Usually in most cases. However the involved fan should well understand that he/she may get bogged down by number crunching while the casual fan, since not emotionally involved may come up with remarkable insights. Therefore ideally one should not have contempt for another fan for in the fascinating huge-mega world of sport it is not possible to know everything. Rather attitude to learn will make an involved fan even more knowledgeable.

Which fan is likely to be more influenced by others, rationally or irrationally? In my opinion, the involved fan is likely to be influenced by others more rationally when confronted with logic and analysis which may not be properly understood by the casual fan. On the other hand the casual fan may be influenced by others, more irrationally. This is because basically for him sport is a pastime to be taken in a relaxed manner.

Which fan is more likely to learn ? Probably the involved fan. For he would like to understand different facets and nuances. While the casual fan would not be as involved. Since he is more relaxed and not as serious.

Is an involved fan always an involved one. Probably Not. For instance with age and experience, a fan may be say an involved fan of Formula 1 racing and football in young age and later focus less on them and more on another sport. Within the ame sport there may be dimensions. As say one may watch Football World Cup and Euro and hardly any Club Football. It may depend on venues. Say someone prefers Wimbledon to tennis at other venues. Probably with passage of time, priorities and love for different sports and games do change a little.

This is my perception of different levels of fanhoods, ranging from involved to casual fans. Do you agree ?


8 thoughts on “Various levels of fanhoods in sports; The Involved Vs the Casual Fan

  1. Very nice Ritesh Bhaina especially the reaction of the involved fan towards the casual fan. I am actually speaking from experience here. Please keep these stuff coming. Very refreshing to read all these.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. After going through your post I could understand the reason for changes in degree of emotional involvement of a fan in one particular sport or other. The benefit is that now I can analyse my emotions also logically. Many thanks.


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