Sunday, November 6, 2011

Delusions of fandeur

The term "fan" is an abbreviation, one which derives from the polysyllabic word, "fanatic."

How accurate, indeed. Fans truly are fanatics. As such, I really don't consider those who share passing fancies for particular artists or teams fans. They're fanciers.

And to insert the crazy peg into a higher notch, sports fans are people who harbor irrational, emotional, indescribable loyalty and admiration for other people and groups they usually don't, and likely will never, know. Fans project a group's successes and failures as extensions of their own lives, even though the fan influences a contest's outcome equally to a three-year-old toddler in Uzbekistan.

Sound like the behavior of a delusional miscreant? Does to me. It sounds downright nuttier than a box of ice cream drumsticks with those delicious chocolate plugs as the sugar cone's crunchy swan song.

Sorry. Anyway, yes, these people are crazy...and I'm one of them.

It always begins with the color purple. Oh, no, not that movie featuring a young lazy-eyed Oprah in her acting debut, I'm talking about the actual color. Once my head pops through the neck hole of any apparel which happens to include the combination of purple and the single letter, "W," a slightly altered mindset occupies the wild-haired noggin which emerges.

At that point, I have become a University of Washington Husky fan. My team has become "we." Everyone else would be "they." If I'm walking through Target clad in the Husky splendor of a t-shirt or baseball cap, I can spot the wearer of a WSU hoodie from the far end of the lunch meat aisle. I'll assert my superiority over the Cougar merely by scooping up two packets of Buddig chipped beef to his one.

He is obviously humiliated. I then return home with two envelopes of meat and not the coconut shampoo I had been directed to purchase.

Saturday night, my fanaticism reached a fever apex when the University of Washington football squad hosted the sixth ranked Oregon Ducks, a team Washington has squared off against ninety-six times. The night's contest would be the last game held at ninety-one-year-old Husky Stadium prior to a two hundred fifty million dollar renovation which will render the site unusable until 2013.

My brother and I, Huskies both, delivered ourselves into the center of the tempest, an expansive tailgating area outside Husky Stadium, awash in a sea of purple with specks of diseased green and yellow. Of all available colors, Oregon had apparently long ago chosen hues to represent renal failure and profound sepsis.

The UW still maintains a sizable advantage in all-time wins, although they have not beaten the Ducks since 2003, an era when Nike founder and child labor superhero, Phil Knight, decided to inject Oregon's football program with so much cash, he's allowed to shower with the players.

With the Big Swoosh as the program's benefactor, the Ducks have branded themselves by never donning the same uniforms twice in a season. Their helmets alone have been painted black, yellow, grey and about seven different shades of green. And all are as attractive as what you might see produced by the morning's first nose blow.

Oh, and by the way, none of the U of O players attended high school in the state of Oregon. Hmmm.

After a highly enjoyable day of walking around campus, reminiscing and tailgating with old friends, we strolled the half mile for the main event at the stadium. The air was electric and the hot dogs were bad, and the only slight hiccup of a fantastic experience was Nike's 34-17 victory over the good guys.

That's how fans talk sometimes.

No comments :

Post a Comment