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A Tribute To Die-Hard Fans

Dictionary.com defines love as “a warm feeling of personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.” They forgot to mention a team or university. That’s the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of love.

There’s nothing easy about being a die-hard sports fan. It takes time, money, and tons of emotion. There are times your favorite team doesn’t give anything back, but you still continue to pump everything into them.It’s unique…there’s no doubt about it.

I’m obsessed with professional sports, but I don’t love any individual teams. I was born in Milwaukee, but I only lived there for a few years. There’s a very small part of me that pulls for the Brewers and the Packers. I also lived in Maryland for a few years, but I never developed a passion for any of the teams there. I finally arrived in Seattle and have spent most of my life in Washington. I root for the Mariners and the Seahawks, but it’s not nearly die-hard status.

My real loyalties hang on my alma mater Washington State University. I LOVE THE COUGARS! I really wish I could find a stronger word than love. I don’t think it explains how much passion I have for WSU.

It’s not easy rooting for the Cougs. The football team hasn’t had a winning season since 2003. They’ve only picked up three victories the last two seasons. The men’s basketball team had some recent success, making two straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 2006-2008. It was the Cougars first postseason berth since 1994 (1983 was their last trip before that). As for baseball, they’re winners right now. They’ve made back-to-back postseason appearances, but it’s the first time they’ve made the tournament field since 1990.

With that said, I can’t wait for the fall sports season to get underway. That means the next ten months of my life will be engulfed by Washington State sports. There’s nothing better in the world.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to love a perennial power. I’ll use the University of Florida as an example. The Gators won the national championship in football and men’s basketball in 2006. Are you kidding me?! The basketball team won the title again in 2007, and the football team followed with another championship in 2008. The baseball team has advanced to Super Regionals four times in the last seven years, and even played in the College World Series this season. I would love to wake up every day knowing that the team I love will more than likely win. It would make life much easier.

I could easily try to fall for the Gators, the New York Yankees, or Los Angeles Lakers, and celebrate championships every year, but I just can’t get myself to do it. I think rooting for the underdog all the time has made me hate the dynasties. There’s satisfaction pulling for a team that doesn’t have much success. It’s the sweetest feeling in the world when they do start winning games. Everything is right with the world. My house could burn down, I could total my car into a power poll, and my dog could die all in the same day, and I’ll still hold my head up high because Washington State is going to a bowl game/tournament.

Die-hard fans are an awesome breed of human being. They aren’t just here in the states…you can find them all over the world. We may not share the same passion for the same teams and we might even knock heads when we cross paths, but I respect you with every ounce of my soul. When it comes down to it, our true love is sports. Nothing can ever take that away from us.

I would love to hear who you root for and how much passion you have for that team/school. You can leave a comment below, connect with me on Twitter @lewissports, email me at tim@timlewissports.com, or even hit me up on the new Tim Lewis page on Facebook.

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