When I think of the word ''fan'' I immediately see a drunken fat guy painted in team colors yelling at the rink with pride. But what really constitutes a fan? In many occurrences in my life, I've been faced with people who allegedly cheer for a team, but when things go awry, they turn away and grab the reins of another club. Actually most of the people I converse with in person are like this, it is a frustrating affair. I do not think lower of the person, by any means, but I can't help but feel they've lost their roots and forgot the incredible emotions that team brought to them. This leaves me with the question of ' what is being a fan?'. This is an actual recognition to those I respect so much, rather than actually asking the question.
As a child, I was raised by my father to cheer for one team and one team only, I was practically constructed to be his third Habs supporter in the family. When I got older and grew an actual opinion on the game, these things really stuck with me and became my moto, so to speak, for this great game. To start my new found love for the game, however, I decided to part ways with my father and become a Leafs fan. A dastardly move considering my entire family tree consists of Habs fans. So, I was deemed the guy to rag on by the family. And this is what made me proud to be a Leafs fan. I endured it all, and this is what made me proud to cheer the Blue and White. The thought of proving them wrong and having superiority is what drove me. This eventually merged into an undoubtable, magnificent feeling of pride, excitement and respect for not only my team, but others who lace the laces of ice. Especially the Habs, who were the main contributor to my Leafs allegiance and ultimately, respect for the game.
So what is the point of that personal story? I believe this is what forms a true fan. Someone who endures the lows and highs all while thinking ahead. To truly appreciate the word ''fan'' we must first respect and learn the game as it was intended. So when you question your allegiance with your team, just think of the times where you felt you were one with them, and nothing would break your confidence in them. Everytime they fall, you fall, but how you rise up is what makes you a true fan.
A sad but magnificent story when it touches your heart, is the story of Elgin Fraser, a child who had the unfortunate misfortune of cancer, but his pride, at a remarkably young age, for his team was apparent and heart warming. Here's a dedication video to the little guy, R.I.P Elgin, you've changed the lives of many and put life in perspective for myself and many other people.
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