483. “Does Being a Fan Help Define Who You Are?”

In response to The New York Times article “650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing.”


483. “Does Being a Fan Help Define Who You Are?”


“No se cambia la camiseta.”


My uncle taught me that you can’t change your jersey. Sometimes you pick it, sometimes you are born with one.


Cities have sports teams. Countries have sports teams. Clubs you go to have sports teams. Teams represent these places. They represent you. And you represent them, when you wear the jersey.


Sports are anything most people talk about. It is thrilling to see athletes perform, make a goal from half field, roll a strike, hit a foul ball into the stands, or score a TD in the last seconds of a game. Memories are made. We become the games we see and talk about.


Yes, being a fan helps define who you are.


“Oh, Joe’s a Cleveland fan.”


“She’s a Saint’s fan.”


“You watch baseball?”


Immediate impressions.


I’m a Texan. Am I a Texans fan? Or Cowboys? These names.


Real Madrid, or Barca? someone asks. Arsenal, or Man U? These teams separate you, mark you, make you.


And when your team loses? The pain hurts, as if it were on your body.


But when they win? We get high, and float for days.


The uncle who taught me about jerseys has a house with a TV always on fútbol. It’s the first thing you see when you walk into the house. He’s a fan. And he has passed on the passion to his children, my cousins, my brother, and me. I may not be as fanatic, but it’s impressive to see people who are. Admiration, like passion, is contagious.


Are you a fan? What fuels you?

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