The question at hand seems to be: "What is a sports fan?"
One definition I found was, “an enthusiastic devotee (as of a sport or a performing art) usually as a spectator”. Another more simple definition was “an enthusiastic devotee of sports”.
I have been blogging /contributing to this blog for over seven years now. Although it has been a while, I have personally written close to ten articles for this blog. I created the current banner image at the top of this blog along with the one used before it. I have also helped monitor this blog for approximately three years. I have spent time with and become friends with great people from this blog. I fought for this blog. When others left I stayed loyal. When other blogs were created, I stayed loyal. When SOUP/86 had his own blog wars with former posters, I fought along with him to protect this blog and his name.
I do not mention these things to gloat or seek praise, I mention these things to illustrate a point…I am loyal. I do not run when things get tough or when things do not go my way. I do not mind being called a hater or a negative nancy. I have clearly earned those titles. I do not mind going back and forth with any blogger no matter his/her status on this blog. I do not mind the indirect jabs and cheap shots that are taken at me on this blog from either its owner or some dude lurking around it. No, those things do not get to me.
I do not believe ANY blogger on this or any other blog has the right to question another blogger’s fandom or to suggest that they are somehow, some way a bigger/better fan. Does going to games make you a fan? Do attending CaneSpace outings make you a fan? Does sending money to the University make you a fan? Does purchasing merchandise make you a fan? Or does pouring your heart and energy into your team make you a fan?
My grandmother is the reason I am a Canes fan. She is the woman that got me started all those years ago. She was the biggest Canes fan I knew. She never attended a single game her whole life. She never wore a single Canes shirt her whole life and if us kids ever did you better believe it was found at a thrift store. My grandmother cannot tell you the names of all the great Cane players that have passed through. She cannot tell you the coaches’ names who won those 5 national titles. But what she can do, what she can show, is an undeniable devotion and energy to and for her Canes.
When the game was on she was glued to our television, screaming during every play. Everyone knew to be quiet. If we were not at home, the game would be on the radio in the car. Her passion for the team was very evident. Same with the Dolphins. No one in my family would dare question if she was a fan. We knew. But according to different bloggers on this blog she is not a real fan at all.
I’m not a fan because I have a ton of Cane gear. Im not a fan because I watch the games on TV. I'm not a fan because I make it to a game or two a year. Sure those things are all great signs I’m a fan, but I am a fan because I love my Canes and I pour my heart and energy into them. That love is what makes me blog day in and day out about them for years. It’s that love that causes me to be seen as negative when they are doing bad.
Despite how bad things have been with my Canes, I have never wavered in my support. I have never wavered in my love for them. I do however speak about them a little differently these days. If my shifting opinions during the programs current state make me an “arm chair coach, so be it. I have earned the right to complain. But does that make me less of a fan? Or does the sting of the pain show I am a fan? This blog is for the fans. Not for “positive all day every day fans” or “were gonna go from 6-7 to 12-0 fans”, but ALL fans. Or at least it used to be.
We all share in this blog because we are fans of the Miami Hurricanes, the greatest program in history. We all spend our time, energy and emotion on our Canes and this blog. Some want to stay positive in the midst of the down time while others share their frustration with sarcastic comments about how bad we have become. Both sides are still fans. You see it’s NOT about what us bloggers say, it’s about us being on this blog day in and day out saying anything. It is that devotion, that emotion and that energy that prove we are ALL fans… not one bigger than the other and not one better than the other.
CaneSpace rule #305: Never question a bloggers fanhood.
Because if you do, and you know how we roll in the 305, you just might wind up on a stick at someone's BBQ tailgate party. And I'm not jus sayin...