Why I Love Being a Fan

It’s not just about supporting a team through thick and thin

By kncitom on April 17, 2023
Tom and a longtime friend of his and Pat’s, Shane Kittle (photo: Tom Mailey)

Win or lose, at its very best being a fan is about being part of a community.

It’s sharing a collective love of a team, with strangers that you might not otherwise have much in common with. You might have differing political views, musical tastes, parenting philosophies, but, when it comes to the Kings, or the Giants, or the A’s … or whatever the team is, you’re all for one and one for all.

After setting a record in professional sports futility, our Kings-a team that was nearly taken away from us- are in the playoffs for the first time in 17 years. Saturday night, they beat the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors in game one. And forget for a moment that there are still at least 3 more games. This city has lost its collective mind, in the best possible way.

Heading into the game, I wasn’t sure I wanted to watch it with anyone other than my wife, I was that wound up. But a few hours before tip-off, I got a text from an old basketball friend, a massive Kings fan. Shane Kittle had reserved 50 seats at a place in old Town Roseville and was putting out the invite to everyone he knew. Vickie and I decided, you know what, let’s go. Win or lose, it’s probably healthier to be around like-minded people for an event like this.

And I’m so glad we did, and only partially because we got to share in the joy of that 126-123 victory. For a few hours, we got to share a room with other wound-up Kings fans, most of whom we didn’t know. Together, we have all waited 17 long years for just such a night, and a chance to re-capture the magic of those early 2000s teams. We cheered. We yelled. Shane picked up the tab for a Warrior fan at a back table. And when the Kings won…? We were high fiving and hugging and dancing around like idiots. It was one of the best fan experiences I’ve ever had. And, again, it was only game one!

It seems like we’ve lost a lot of commonality in our country but I don’t think we have. Despite what our leaders or the media tell us, there are way more things that bind us that don’t. Could be a hobby. Could be a TV show. Or it could be a team. Whatever it is, be like my buddy Shane and, literally or figuratively, reserve some seats, send out an invite and focus on a shared love of something, rather than a shared dislike of something else.

Focus on the positive, Be The Good and, what the heck, pick up the tab for an opposing fan.


Around the site