Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
This post was originally written as a guest blog for Alumna House, a company redefining women's game day apparel. The baseball box score and game were taken from early in the 2022 MLB season, but the overall strategy is the same all season long.
You’re a fan, but you only caught part of the game or maybe you didn’t watch it at all. I get it. Life is busy and even if you love watching baseball sometimes you just can’t fit it into your hectic schedule.
Just because you didn’t watch a game doesn’t mean you can’t talk about the game like a pro. Trust me, I am one. I’ve worked in sports broadcasting for 22 years and spent the last 15 years on the Seattle Mariners television broadcast team. I watch sports for a living, but even I don’t have time to watch every game in its entirety or see every highlight. Sometimes a quick glance at a box score is all I need to figure out what happened.
A baseball box score is packed with...
I understand the reaction. I know it can seem annoying. Fans (and I know you don’t want to call them that) who only become fans after a team gets good. Fans who don’t understand the pain of losing seasons, unmet expectations and disappointment or the angst that goes along with being a life-long fan. It’s tempting to write off bandwagon fans and believe they’re not “real fans.”
Wrong. There’s no right or wrong way to be a fan. You were new to sports once too. Everyone starts somewhere. And sometimes the winning team, the team that’s making the most headlines, the team that’s being talked about most, is the easiest place to start. You can’t blame a fan for buying into the hype created by winning team and engaged fanbase.
Here’s what you can do, help newcomers grow their fandom and move past being bandwagon fans into more interested, engaged fans.
There’s no one way to be a sports fan. There’s no time requirement you to have to meet to be considered a fan.
If sports seems less important to you because of world events or maybe life in general, it’s okay. It does not make you a bad fan. It could mean you’re less invested, but you always get to choose your level of sports interest and engagement. It’s okay if it changes. There will be ebbs and flows in your fandom. Cut yourself some slack in how you characterize yourself as a fan.
If you find yourself thinking you're a "bad" fan consider these questions:
Adjust the time spent consuming sports or sports news based on your answers.
Sports is supposed to be fun an “add-on” to everything else going on in your life. Sports can be a distraction or an escape from everything else....
The pressure new sports fans put on themselves is immense. From thinking they need an answer to every question or believing they should know more facts or data, new and novice sports fans expect more of themselves than most fans do.
It comes down to confidence.
Here’s what I mean, if you’re a long-time Seahawks fan who’s been busy at work the last couple days and haven’t had time to read about the latest roster move or read comments from Pete Carroll you don’t stop yourself from joining a football conversation and you don’t think you’re less of a fan. You think, and know, you’re a busy fan with more than your hobby vying for your attention.
New and novice fans, often lack the confidence to enter the conversation with that recognition and mindset. They more harshly judge their lack of knowledge or time spent on sports than anyone. And they don’t realize that all they need to do is define their area of expertise.