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Thread: Fandom

  1. #1
    GP OG Percussion's Avatar
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    maldives

    Fandom

    Can you truly appreciate a sport you haven't actually played?

    I'm not a real fan of any sport that I haven't competed or at least attempted on some level. Not saying it can't happen, but that's the question here. I think hockey looks great from afar. Wish I'd have played it in fact. And I get the concepts and can appreciate many aspects of it, but I can't find myself really absorbed in it or ooh'in and ahh'ing big time plays or moments like I can other games I've come to adore. I believe part of the reason many Americans don't really get wrapped up in big time club or international soccer is because they haven't competed at some significant level and experienced many of the nuances that come with the game. Golf is also like this for me. Though I've toyed around playing it a couple times I've never felt any real stakes or can relate to pulling off something spectacular in a high leverage moment.

    So ya, are any of you fans of games/sports you haven't really been involved in? Do you think it's a real impediment to enjoyment to not have done so?

  2. #2
    Suck it Fro's Avatar
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    Interesting question. Iíve never played padded tackle football that I can recall, but Iíve played playground tackle football. And thatís my favorite sport to watch. Probably the same with hockey. Iíve played ice hockey but not padded/full contact. Iím an extremely casual hockey fan anyway.

    Baseball, basketball, golf - these are sports I watch and Iíve played them more or less the same way theyíre played in the pros.

    I think itís an impediment, yea. Or at least you arenít as likely to be interested because you donít know the game. American Football is probably not a very international sport for this reason.

  3. #3
    Judge Virms - 9th Realm virms's Avatar
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    germany
    I can definitely get where you are coming from.

    I played most sports as a kid and quite a few into my high school years. Baseball, basketball, football, soccer, tennis and bowling that I recall off of hand.

    Baseball is my favorite and was the sport I was best at and identify the most with. I was absolutely huge into hockey and basketball as a kid and I enjoyed them more than any other sport but as I got older they just kind of teetered out of my viewing. Especially once the Jordan era was over in Chicago. Hockey couldn't be played in my area growing up. There were no rinks or leagues. A 2.5 hour drive to st. Louis would have been the only way to participate. I really always wanted to play. Although my dreams of that were shattered when I could never learn to Rollerblade lol

  4. #4
    Just one Ďship, ferda... Tyson's Avatar
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    canada
    Hockey. Because it was so fucking expensive, me/my brothers got the ďhockey or everything elseĒ ultimatum from our parents; we opted not to play hockey. I think the parents were happy with how it turned out, they probably would have hated the early-as-fuck weekday practices.

    No, you donít have to have played a sport in order to enjoy it.

  5. #5
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    Of course you can be a true fan without having played. Insulting to think otherwise.

    I never wrestled, yet I love wrestling.

    I never played organized baseball - the closest I got was catch, or maybe backyard wiffleball with maybe 5 on 5. But I love major league baseball.

    But I don't want to make this about me.

    Giovanni Hamilton. Philadelphia Eagles fan Giovanni Hamilton going viral for all the right reasons (espn.com)

    I rest my case.

  6. #6
    GP OG Percussion's Avatar
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    maldives
    No one said anything about not being allowed to be a fan.

    I'm not sure you actually even read the original post. Nothing whatsoever insulting there.

    Like I said, as much as I think hockey for example appears a fun and interesting sport I know certainly that I couldn't appreciate a terrific slapshot goal the way someone can who's actually pulled it off competitively. I'm of course allowed to watch and root and be a fan all I like. But I'm talking on a more visceral level. Too have an intimate knowledge of what it feels like to come back from getting knocked silly in a boxing match and really appreciate watching someone gut that out versus only ever having witnessed it that it must take a lot and getting excited watching it. That kind of thing.

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    Sorry, I know you weren't trying to be insulting. I had a longer post and got sidetracked, then I had to reboot my computer so I lost it and had to re-type most of what I tried to say before.

    The first two sentences of your original post are what prompted me to respond.

    Can you truly appreciate a sport you haven't actually played?

    I'm not a real fan of any sport that I haven't competed or at least attempted on some level.
    And the last two

    So ya, are any of you fans of games/sports you haven't really been involved in? Do you think it's a real impediment to enjoyment to not have done so?
    The stuff in the middle is where you address more of what you're trying to get at - you're wondering if never participating impedes the ability to fully appreciate or enjoy it.

    I would love to be able to say I appreciate anything in life as much as young Giovanni Hamilton appreciates football.

  8. #8
    GP OG Percussion's Avatar
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    It's genuinely great that that kid gets to connect with his favorite players and the like. And it's a fair case to make that his enthusiasm and passion for the game can't be eclipsed regardless of playing or not. I accept that.

    But there's still a sort of horizon he cannot cross in terms of first-hand experience that adds a very particular degree of appreciation. This isn't to belittle him or anyone else. As I said this is something I lack for certain games, and something I very much wish I could attain but in all likelihood never will. And I guess it's the latter there that made me create the thread, something that I feel is missing because my experience competitively playing other games and that added degree I get from it tells me it is. But if other people don't sense that then ok.

  9. #9
    Pissed Off
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    usa
    I think you can be a fan at any level whether you have played or not. I have not played hockey but I love hockey and can really get into it. I never played organized football(played in PE and pickup games), organized basketball(played in PE and tons of pickup games and had a hoop), organized baseball(played t-ball, softball, whiffleball, etc), and some other things like tennis or whatever. Yet I can get into and I am into those sports just as much as I am into soccer which I did play on various organized levels.

    I see what you are saying but disagree. I can appreciate that slap shot, 3 pointer, 65 yard TD catch or run as much as a goal from 30 yards out.

  10. #10
    GP OG Percussion's Avatar
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    maldives
    I can appreciate a terrific slapshot, I know I've seen something so well executed when it happens and I can cheer excitedly for it.

    But I don't believe I can fully the same way someone who's pulled it off can, someone who knows what the weight of the stick feels like sliding across the ice or the distribution of their weight and just how precise it needs to be and can still feel the puck coming off the stick immediately recognizing that perfect trajectory toward the net.

    I don't believe I can appreciate that all the same.

  11. #11
    Рэндольф Randolph's Avatar
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    china
    I played baseball until junior high and played football til my senior year. I also was on the first varsity bowling team and love watching bowling.

    But the closest thing to hockey I ever played was in a street hockey league I created with friends, but I still love hockey. I root for the Redwings and all Florida based teams.

    I would never tell anyone they can't root for teams in a sport they've never played. The vast majority of women don't play organized football and they're still fans of the sport right? You love what you love.

    I think the same for people being fans of teams of colleges they or other family ever went to. Most Michigan football fans never went to the University of Michigan. We call them Walmart Wolverines.

  12. #12
    GP OG Percussion's Avatar
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    maldives
    Quote Originally Posted by Randolph View Post
    I would never tell anyone they can't root for teams in a sport they've never played.
    Nor should anyone else..

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    Judge Virms - 9th Realm virms's Avatar
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    germany
    I'd tell people to not root for the cardinals.

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    E-Bow The Poster Rancid_Planet's Avatar
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    I think this is a generally interesting question and by and large I'd say the answer is no.

    The Predators have an amazing and dedicated fan base here in Nashville. Also Nashville is a transplant city. I don't know ONE local who cares about hockey. They just seem confused by it in general.

    I mean we try. God knows. But it doesn't get cold enough here to ice skate on ponds. No kids grow up skating. It hurt the ability to play as a child.

    Meanwhile who didn't play football, basketball or baseball growing up? I don't mean organized. Just kids on the playground.

    Now having said that, there are some sports culture issues as well. Soccer for instance, is never going to catch on in the U.S. and you might point out how many kids play soccer these days. And then I'd point how the soccer boom amongst kids has been going on for 20 years and none of those, now grown, kids have any interest in soccer as adults.

  15. #15
    GP OG Percussion's Avatar
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    maldives
    Quote Originally Posted by Rancid_Planet View Post
    Now having said that, there are some sports culture issues as well. Soccer for instance, is never going to catch on in the U.S. and you might point out how many kids play soccer these days. And then I'd point how the soccer boom amongst kids has been going on for 20 years and none of those, now grown, kids have any interest in soccer as adults.
    This isn't really true though. MLS has the third highest avg attendance among US team sports, above the NBA and NHL, with over 20,000 per game.

    And these aren't just passive casual spectators..


    I get the sentiment though. We've been told for decades that one day the sport will be big here, and by and large that has never seemed to ring true. But in all that time some pretty legitimate growth has actually taken place and I think supporters of today have turned a real corner in terms of enthusiasm, knowledge, and sheer numbers of them around the country. Games from European leagues are broadcast most every weekend, there are dedicated pubs in just about every larger city to watch matches domestic and international, and we have a large and continuously growing pipeline of players jumping overseas to play in the all of the big 5 leagues. I wouldn't suggest it to ever be the biggest sport here, that's a bridge far too far, especially with MLS being a sellers league. But I think it's finally crossed a line from some odd novelty act to being a real deal sports market here.

  16. #16
    E-Bow The Poster Rancid_Planet's Avatar
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    Well surely some of that has to do with NBA and Hockey needing to be played at indoor arenas which tend to be smaller and soccer being a sport that can be played in much larger open stadiums but I take the point and I'm glad to see the growth.

    But regardless of ticket sales it looks like (on a very quick Google search) that the average NBA game does about 2.25 times the tv audience that the average soccer game does. While hockey does even worse than soccer overall but hockey is so damn regional. I bet the numbers for preds games compared to say, Red Wings games look nothing alike. But perhaps I'd be surprised there too.

    Who knows? Maybe the big 4 will be NFL, MLB, NBA AND MLS one day soon. And I guess the growing latin population in the U.S. would be a reason to believe that soccer is only going to get more popular here.

    But going back to the original point, that will be because of kids growing up with it or people bringing it with them as part of their culture to this country. Billy Bob down the road ain't never going to a soccer or hockey game.

    But maybe his kids will.

  17. #17
    GP OG Percussion's Avatar
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    maldives
    Right, our generation were teenagers when the world cup was staged here in 1994 and we saw a legitimate 1st division league installed from it's inception to its current successful state. Our generation also saw games arrive on our tvs regularly for both MLS and leagues across the globe for the first time so we could follow more easily. The stars we only used to see shine once every four years and storied clubs we'd heard of were becoming household names. Once it was determined that money could be made there's become more and more availability for fandom to take hold and it has. It's been pretty neat.

    The average age of a baseball fan here is almost 60.

    The average age of a soccer fan here is about 40, so roughly my age.

    All the talk about the sport arriving here was really about our generation growing up and keeping with it. And a very many of us have. And we'll watch with our kids who also play.

  18. #18
    Рэндольф Randolph's Avatar
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    china
    I get the support of all major sports in the US, EXCEPT soccer. I even played in soccer leagues as a kid, but it was never engrained in me to ever support a local franchise. I didn't even go to a local high school game. I never see or hear anyone in Michigan talk about soccer or even know if there is a MLS franchise in Detroit. I don't think I ever will.

    Hockey is different in Michigan. It is not just a Canadian sport, but a northern sport. Michigan is probably second only to Minnesota in supporting hockey. There are three minor league hockey teams within an hour from where I live. Most colleges have hockey teams here. My alma mater doesn't, but we have a hockey club. Here's hoping they get NCAA status someday. I know where all the local skating rinks are and I know the high schools that have teams. It doesn't get the local support like football does, but certainly better than it does in any neighboring state. The guy from Port Huron who designed a lot of NHL goalies' masks is a minor celebrity.

    Transplants from Michigan, Maine, Minnesota, and Canada have really been the biggest supporters of hockey down in Florida. The Lightning and Panthers are my second favorite teams after the Redwings because of my small roots in Tampa. I hope the Panthers finally do something in the playoffs this year.

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