Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Are Kentucky Fans True or Fair-Weather Fans?

This was written by a friend of mine who is a Michigan fan.  He's of the opinion that Kentucky fans are more likely to be "true" and, thus, less fair weather than UM fans because of their situations.  Give it a read:

All summer long, all I could think about was Michigan’s opening game against Alabama at Texas Stadium.  My team upsetting the #1 team in the nation, it was going to be spectacular.  But when that night finally ended about a month ago, all I could think about was how much Michigan sucked and how disappointed I was in their performance against the best team in the land.  The following two weeks, I followed Michigan, but with much less intensity when they beat paltry Air Force and UMass.  Call me fair weather if you want, but once a team loses in college football, it takes a week or two for me to regain that winning type attitude.  Should fans like myself be shunned by “true” sports fans, or should we be allowed to express shame when our beloved teams are struggling?

What fan in their right mind, whether fair-weather or not, wants to cheer for a loser?  Nobody wishes for failure or defeat.  It is a fact of competition that one team will win and one will lose.  The losing team’s fan will leave disappointed, some more than others.  A true fan will continue to cheer and have faith in their team even if they are destined to fall short on their next competition. 

Many of my friends are Kentucky fans.  During football season, Kentucky fans who have to put up with mediocrity at best.  Fans of Kentucky football have to accept moral victories as positives, not necessarily wins.  Take for instance, last year, when Kentucky beat Tennessee in their final game of the season.  Kentucky was already ineligible to qualify for a bowl, but beating the Vols that day ended their twenty-six game losing streak and made their season.  It also caused the Vols to become bowl ineligibible, an added bonus for UK fans. 

In previous years when those two teams played, I witnessed Kentucky fans root for their team, but only leave in defeat and most of the time end their season with a losing record.  I could only think that these people were crazy for wanting to cheer for a losing team.  Maybe these are “true” fans, or maybe it’s just easier for consistently mediocre teams to not seem fair weather.  I mean, after all it’s hard to be “fair weather” when it’s always raining.  I guess we’ll have to wait for UK to be ranked in the top 10 to see if more fans come out of the woodwork.  Since we’re not talking about basketball, we may have to wait for a while. 

Fair-weather fans like myself can’t stand to root for a loser.  Growing up a Detroit sports fan, the Lions have forever–until last seaso–been the ultimate loser.  A winless season a few years ago topped off a string of consecutive losing seasons.  After they started 0-3 I really had no reason to cheer for them or even care that they even existed.  A fan deserves to see success from their team and when it doesn’t happen, all that we can look forward to is next year.  It’s the only thing that keeps fair-weather fans like myself continually coming back for more action.  I’ve been lucky enough to hear “next year” when it comes to the Detroit Tigers for eighteen straight years, between 1988-2005. Eighteen straight post-seasonless years of mostly below .500 baseball.  I must admit though, the wait was much worth it come 2006 when they made their run to the World Series.  I can only imagine what Cubs fans feel. 

By: Craig Emmert