Back in the 1980s, Hulk Hogan preached about the “demandments” of being a so-called “Real American:”
I think, as sports fans, it’s our turn to put demandments on our favorite teams. These are the core values we attach to our fandom. We should hold them accountable to these standards, from ownership to the players:
Demandment #1 – Have a Chance to Win Today
Is there anything worse than going to a game or watching one on TV that your team has ZERO chance of winning? Think about all the teams facing Johan Santana mid-summer. Brutal, right?
We demand that our teams have a fighting chance every single game. Yes, they may lose…but if they have “lost” before taking the field, what’s the point in rooting for them?
Demandment #2 – Sniff Contention
Only one team wins a championship, we understand. It’s REALLY hard to be better than the rest of the teams in your league/division/conference, let alone the best in your sport. However, you’ve got to at LEAST be considered a long-shot dark horse for much of the season.
We demand that our teams be in the thick of the fight for the majority of the season. Sure, they may hit a late-season swoon, but you can never take away those fun months of possibilities.
Demandment #3 – Have a Superstar
A team needs to have a minimum of one “superstar” attraction. Kobe Bryant, Albert Pujols, Alex Ovechkin. These are players in the prime of their career that are strongly affiliated with their teams. They are players of national relevance, keeping their teams on the first part of “Sportscenter” most nights.
We demand our teams have a showcase player that is part of the national sports conversation. Perfect example: LeBron James. Even when the Cavs were terrible, he was a top story.
Demandment #4 – Have a Plucky Underdog
Call them the “heart and soul” of the squad, if you will, but this player needs to stretch limited talent into maximum impact. They can’t be the best player on the team, just the one doing the most with the least. Brian Roberts had heart surgery as a kid. God Shamgod had a great name and not much else. There are millions of these stories out there.
We demand a player to root for, to cheer for, to experience the game through…a reflection of ourselves on the playing surface. While we all want to be the superstar, we can empathize more with the 25th man on the 25-man roster.
Demandment #5 – Have Quirky Personalities
Anyone remember Randy Myers? One of the greatest closers of the 1990s. What a strange dude, though. He kept live-action grenades in his locker. Blackjack MacDowell flipped the bird to fans. Popeye Jones had REALLY big ears. Caron Butler chews straws from McDonald’s. GIVE US MORE OF THAT!
We demand players that are oddball whackjobs. They bring color and depth to the public persona of the team. They bring normalcy by being so abnormal. And we love it.
Demandment #6 – Stadium Seating
Enjoying a team is more than just the on-court action…it involves the atmosphere you see them in. A stadium should be special, unique and…home. A home not just for the players, but for the fanbase, as well.
We demand a stadium experience, from construction to attendants to food to entertainment, that brings us closer to the team, that makes us feel like we are as much a part of their success as anyone else. Make the stadium a second home to us and we will never leave you.
See, sports teams, it’s not that hard. Give us those six things and you’ve got a fanbase forever. We WANT to cheer you. We WANT to love you. And we’re willing to invest time, energy and money in you if you make sure we’re taken care of.
Follow The Six Fan Demandments and we’re on your side.
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