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Top 15 Worst Things About Being a Sports Fan

The life of a sports fan is one that is filled with ups and downs, and this is what makes it so exciting. No matter what your favourite sport is or which team that you avidly follow, throughout the ye

The life of a sports fan is one that is filled with ups and downs, and this is what makes it so exciting. No matter what your favourite sport is or which team that you avidly follow, throughout the year you will experience a roller-coaster of emotions which will affect you perhaps more than you let on to those around you. Sport is enormously popular all around the world, but for many of us it is more than just something to keep you entertained from time to time. Many of us ensure that no fixture is missed throughout the season and we may spend every waking minute pouring over stats, reading blogs and consuming everything related to the sport to keep us up to date and engaged. In addition to this, we may spend huge amounts of our hard earned money attending live fixtures, buying the latest kit or stocking up on memorabilia to demonstrate your die hard loyalty to your team.

When you are so heavily invested in a particular team or sport, it is inevitable that there will be some moments which will leave you frustrated or angry. Many of these can be applied to every sport, but they are just things that you have to put up with and hope that an up is just around the corner. These are the kind of things that non sport fans or casual fans simply don’t understand, and any attempt to explain it to them will be futile and only cause more frustration.

This culture of sport is ingrained into many of us and it may be that you are born into a particular sport or team, and this ensures that it is a large part of your life. The sport or the team’s latest performance may dominate conversation at the dinner table or be the first thing you talk about with a friend, but every sport fan also goes through moments of complete despair, but it’s all worth it in the end…isn’t it?

Here are the 15 worst things about being a sports fan.

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15 The lack of control

REUTERS/Jason Redmond

Although die hard fans will say “we didn’t play well” or “we should have done X”, the fans of course have no control over the team at all. We personally attach ourselves to the team, but at the end of the day the manager or coach isn’t going to listen to all your fantastic ideas about starting line-ups or tactics, and it will be up to them, the players and the owners as to what happens. This can be very frustrating for armchair managers and die hard fans, but surely the coaching staff knows best, right?

14 The added stress of fantasy sports

via usatoday.net

Most die hard fans will also play fantasy sports, as this gives you some control over the sport and allows you to use your expert knowledge to create the ultimate team. This can be great fun with a bunch of friends, but it also adds a huge amount of stress to being a fan (not to mention the additional time commitment). You will also find yourself torn in certain games where the outcome of a game is good for the team you support, but not so good for your fantasy team. This is particularly evident when you have a player from your rival team in your squad where you don’t know whether to cheer them on or not.

13 Envy that you are not a professional athlete

via fansided.com

All die hard fans will have grown up with aspirations of becoming a star player and one for your favourite team, but we become aware that this is not going to happen relatively quickly. This does not mean we do not occasionally feel jealous of these players earning millions for playing the sport we love and leading a glamorous lifestyle. The moment when you realize that most players are younger than you is also one which can be distressing.

12 When your team signs a player you hate

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

It could be their style of play, personality, mentality towards the game or any other reason; in every sport there will be a large pool of players that you cannot stand. When your team signs one of these players (or in some cases a few of these players) it brings up a range of emotions. We like to think that our teams have the same attitude and approach to the game that we do, but this is not the case. When your team signs a player you hate you will either have to give the player a second chance and hope that they change, or alternatively hope that they fail miserably without it impacting the team.

11 When your rivals sign a player you love

via asmonacofan.com

Similarly, when your rival team signs a player you like it can be irritating. This is multiplied if the player is also one of the best around, as you simply know that your bitter rivals will be much improved with them in the team. More often than not, once you see the player in question in the rival team’s colours then the respect you previously had for them goes out the window.

10 Missing games

Sometimes there are moments where you are unable to watch the game. You could be at work, at a birthday party, with the in-laws or any other kind of social occasion where the TV is off limits. This will leave die hard fans either frantically checking their phone every few minutes whilst trying to uphold social conventions, or alternatively record the game and go on an information lockdown as it is called in the popular sitcom The League (this is where you avoid the internet or communication with anyone that you usually discuss the game with). This problem is particularly prevalent for fans of the sport in a different country, as the time difference often means that they have to record the game and watch it back at a later date.

9 Watching games with non-fans who don’t understand

via time.com

There is nothing wrong with not being a fan of sports, but this can sometimes cause a problem whilst the game is on. There are certain rules that should be followed, which includes not walking in front of the television, not trying to start conversations unrelated to the sport (would you have a conversation during a film?) and not talking about how you don’t like sports and asking when it will be over.

8 The cost

via astriasuparak.com

Being a committed fan is certainly not cheap. It differs with different sports, but going to watch a live game will always set you back as tickets are often expensive and there is then travel, food and drink to consider too. Of course it is not just the occasional live fixture that will cost you; there is also television subscriptions so you can watch games at home and then the cost of merchandise (any true fan needs at least a few items).

7 The injustice

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Every team can claim to have a fair share of injustices, but because you watch every game your team plays it seems like it is always your team that is the unlucky one. This could be a dodgy referee decision, a particularly tough stretch of games, losing despite being the better team amongst all kinds of other painful injustices sports fans have to go through. In addition, when you support a team that isn’t one of the best then your team is seen as the underdog and one with a plucky spirit. To see your favourite players come up short can be painful, and particularly to the teams that are expected to win as these teams have all the talent and everything always seems to go their way.

6 The offseason

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The season can’t go on forever, but unfortunately the offseason has a tendency to drag on and on no matter what sport you follow. There is only so much that you can read about transfer rumours, training camp stories or things to look for in the upcoming season, as being a sports fan it is really all about the competition at the end of the day. You will find you have a huge amount of free time on your hands during this period, which may give you the startling realisation about how much the sport dominates your life.

5 Crushing losses

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

The regularity in which you have to go through this will depend on who you support, but sometimes your team will suffer a defeat so crushing that it (momentarily) makes you question your commitment. These heavy defeats are often followed by completely avoiding social media, sports websites and any of your friends, and you may find yourself pursuing other hobbies for a few days in the wake of the defeat. This could be a game against a bitter rival, a match that you threw away or a crucial fixture in the season. Despite these loses, you can be sure that by the next game day you will be sat there in your team colours and fired up once again.

4 Dealing with rival fans

via inflexwetrust.com

Some banter between rival fans is all good fun and should be encouraged, but there are also times when you simply do not want to hear it. Losing a game to a rival can be stressful enough, but when you then have a rival fan who is also a good friend in your ear for hours after a game it can become unbearable. You will always find some rival fans who understand when their team plays poorly or when they were outplayed, but of course most rival fans are just waiting for an opportunity to rub your face in it. Still, if the shoe was on the other foot you know you would be doing exactly the same.

3 Fair-weather fans

via thescore.com

This is particularly frustrating for die hard fans, and particularly for those that have been with a team through the darker days (more on this later). It is inevitable that every sport has them, and they will only emerge once a team begins to succeed or is taken over by a billionaire willing to throw money into the team. Whether it is for your own team or another, fair-weather fans will have little knowledge of the game which can make for some very frustrating conversations and particularly as “their team” will most likely be the best in the league. “Plastic fans” or “glory supporters” as they are also known are inevitable in sport and will irritate lifelong fans to no end.

2 Showing support through the dark days

Maribeth Joeright/MJoeright@News-Herald.com

True fans will stick with their team through the dark days. In these times, victories are few and far between, the style of play is less than inspiring and each game seems to demonstrate the gap between your team and the successful ones. Everything the team tries seems to fail, and at times there is no light at the end of the tunnel. The way in which most sports work, every team goes through periods where they struggle immensely (for some teams this seems to be an eternal struggle), and being a supporter through these times is tough. Not only is watching the games difficult and infuriating, but you then have to put up with the inevitable teasing from friends after another lack lustre performance. This creates more stress than enjoyment from the sport, but you may also find that it unites fans of the team that little bit more.

1 Fans that are damaging to the game

via npr.org

Sport can encompass and celebrate many positive things, such as hard work, teamwork, competitiveness, creativity, respect and sportsmanship. Unfortunately, in all sports you will find fans that ruin the integrity of the game. Although a minority, every single team will have them and they can ruin the fun for everyone. This might include violence, sexism, racism, taunting which is taken a little too far, derogatory chanting or language and generally creating ugly scenes.

This is particularly evident in soccer in Europe, with the recent examples of Chelsea fans pushing a black man off the Paris metro and the anti-Semitic chanting by West Ham fans prior to a game at Tottenham. Behaviour like this goes against everything that is so great about the game we love, but it is unfortunately still a problem that plagues sport as well as society.

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Top 15 Worst Things About Being a Sports Fan