I love going to sporting events, especially baseball games.
And while I enjoy the competition and watching the talents of the players involved, there's another part of the game that also interests me.
Checking out the fans.
Fans come in all shapes and sizes, they have so many different personalities, and they cheer for their teams in numerous ways.
Whether it's at a youth soccer game or a Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park, something happens to people when you take them out of their normal everyday lives and put them in attendance at a stadium.
So what kind of fan are you?
Here are some of the many, both good and bad, I've experienced over the years.
The Secretaries of Scoring ... Usually these are moms or grandmas who bring their spiral notebooks to keep score of the game (even if there is a working scoreboard in operation). They may also be tracking the number of hits or points their child/grandchild has accumulated. And more times than not, they use the traditional tally marks.
The Hollering Halloweeners ... If they buy a ticket, they must dress up. They may wear a colorful wig, paint their faces, or go all out and wear complete team costumes. NFL fans are more apt to get creative with their attire (aka the Hogs in Washington and the Skulls and Spikes of Raider fans). Some current favorites include full bodysuits in fluorescent colors and retro outfits.
The St. Serious Sids ... These people are all about the game and nothing but the game. They come early, buy their program, keep score (the right way), rarely cheer, are seen with elbow on knee and pencil in hand (sometimes chewing on the end). While they may never help ignite a rally with loud screams, they are very knowledgable and can give fans around them valuable information about their team. Despite their quiet demeanor, they are loyal and true fans.
The Movers and Shakers ... Just try to keep them still. Whether they're young kids who need ritalin, teenage girls who must dance even without music, or college guys with an adult beverage or two, their mission is to entertain and be entertained. If there's a scoreboard that pans the crowd, these people want to be the ones shown (and when they do, they frantically wave their hands or jump up and down like a kid at Christmas). They are lively and bubbly, and may be a tad annoying to the St. Serious Sids.
The Fan of Fans ... This category is especially for my daughter, as she is one. While they do enjoy the game and have somewhat of an interest, they find pleasure in the mannerisms of fellow fans. In fact, because of what they do they earn nicknames. "Poncho Boy" continued to wear his raingear even when the precipiation stopped. "Ballot Boy" was the kid who grabbed a boatload of all-star ballots and punched out holes from the first inning until the ninth.
The Total Tagalongs ... Either the spouse, child or friend who is dragged to the game. You can tell they don't want to be there by their reaction to anything that happens. These people pass the time with Blackberry or a DS in hand. They prefer to leave by the seventh-inning stretch and couldn't tell you anything about the game the next day.
The Ol' Yellers ... Anything bad occurs and they will be heard. The score could be lopsided in their team's favor, but they'll still jump out of their seats and let their feelings be known. Words like bum, loser, and stupid are favorites although the four-lettered kind can also be uttered at times. Umpires and officials (even if they are making the right calls) are their main targets. Opposing players or fans of opposing players are a close second. They also like to use gestures with their sound effects.
The Nervous Nellies ... These fidgety folks have that look on their face that something is going to go wrong. They may sit on their hands or chew their fingernails. They hide their face, pull their hat over their eyes, or just turn their heads. They absolutely cannot watch the crucial moments of a contest. It's probably not a good idea to take their blood pressure while a game is in progress.