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Front Page » January 8, 2002 » Sports » The Sports View
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The Sports View


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By KAREN BASSO
Sports writer

By now I'm sure that everybody knows what a huge football fan I am, particularly for the Oakland Raiders. That is why I felt compelled to write an article not about how terrible Raider fans feel after the devastating end to the regular season, but about how emotionally attached sports fans become to their favorite team.

If anyone should know about this subject, it would be me. In my 23 years of life, I have been an avid sports fan. Not just football appeals to me, but many sports. Even the sports that are not thought of as being real athletics, such as professional wrestling and rodeo.

Through the years, I have watched teams and individual athletes mature in the sport they compete in. I find myself growing with these teams and athletes; emotionally.

The last time the Raiders won a SuperBowl was in 1984. I was only six years old at the time, and I won't lie and say that I remember the day the Raiders won the biggest title a football team can win. In fact, I probably didn't even know what football was at the time.

That's why I was so excited at the beginning of this season when the Raiders opened up strong. I, along with the millions of Raider fans across the world expected our team to go all the way. After the game Sun., Raider fans felt their hopes and dreams shatter with the completion of the 54 yard field goal completed by the New York Jets to win the ball game.

Some may laugh and say what's the big deal? I'll tell you what the big deal is.

After following the Raiders and cheering for the team for countless years, I find myself disappointed in the end of this season. At one time, we were unstoppable.

We were one of the first teams to clinch a divisional title, but finished in a wild card playoff game to start the post season. Our one time first round bye has turned into nothing. (The way the team is playing now, the only way they would make it to the second round is through a bye.)

Now don't get me wrong, I still love the Raiders and will stick by my word that we will win the SuperBowl this year, but only because I am a die hard fan, not because I want to admit the truth.

I know that it is not just me that gets worked up over sports and a team. Millions of sports fans do the same thing. Come game day, fans will sit around the television watching in awe as their favorite team competes. The occasional cheering for good plays is heard amongst the screams of "bad call" and "what kind of play was that" rings through the air.

Fans tend to refer to the team as "us" or "we." I won't lie, I do that too. In fact, I know I raved earlier about our team that has somehow forgotten how to play football in the second half of the season.

Fans will do anything for their favorite team. I am no different. Fans will wear some of the most hideous things to games. They will buy hundreds of dollars worth of memorabilia and display proudly in their homes and on their clothing.

I own several pieces of clothing that adorns Raiders emblems. I must admit, my husband, a die hard Niners fan is sure embarrassed to be seen in public with his Raider's wife.

Hard core fans will pick a fight with anyone that seems to feel that the fans team is not very good. In fact, my biggest fights with my husband usually surrounds footballand the topic of who's team is better than who's.

It's somewhat funny how fans hold on tight to the team or athlete they cheer for the most. It seems as if sometimes, insulting a persons family is more forgivable than insulting a fans team. Being a fan is an art form of sorts. The artist however is the fan, who tends to pick and choose what is best for the team and expresses this through wild behavior.

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