Thursday, September 9, 2010

What Belt Have You Earned?

If you haven't been able to tell already we are obsessed with sports fandom here at the blog. A concept of badges in fandom was introduced at my favorite site that is often linked here. I wanted to introduce you to the concept and take it a step further.  The concept is simple.  There are degrees of sports fans based on your interest in the sport and devotion to your team.  There are teams that you root for no matter what and pledge your allegiance to always.  There are other teams where you are casually interested in their success and do not follow as closely. Hence I present the karate belt system for sports fans. The karate system is as here.

White Belt (lowest rank)-  You are aware that your team exist but can't name more than the star players and you lack the knowledge of your division/conference or schedule.  You have never purchased tickets using your own money to go to a game. 

Yellow Belt- You gather your news from ESPN and local affiliates and assume this is sufficient. You do not bother listening to talk radio much but can generally follow a conversation about the team. You would prefer to listen to music when you drive because that is what you are really into.  You are not even aware how devoid of knowledge local sports radio station is or main stream media. You have a generally idea of when games should be but you don't know the time or station because if you miss the game, that's ok. You would rather drink and go out anyways.

Orange Belt- You own 1 t-shirt of the team you like.  You can talk about you favorite team with the average sports fan and not sound like an idiot.    You have paid to go to a game before.  However, your friend had an extra ticket and was giving you a ride.  He was able to show you around and the drive was less than an hour from your house.  You keep tabs on the team by reading the box scores.  The season doesn't get interesting until the playoffs or until it reaches national significance.  In the playoffs you are closely following and watching games.

Green Belt-  You have a baseball mini plan for your team if they are near by or you make sure to catch every nationally televised game.  You enjoy the MLB network but won't pay extra for it or any other network to watch your team. You enjoy watching the games because to you they are just that: games.  It doesn't ultimately mean more to you than this.  When the game is over you can move onto whatever is next.  The feeling of excitement or disappointment lives in the bubble of the game you watch.

Blue Belt- You're a pretty good fan of your team, few people will dispute this.  However, amid your dedication to your team you can lose interest in the eyes of defeat.  Down by 2 touchdowns with 3 minutes left, you are no longer watching.  Baseball team is out of playoff contention late in the year, your doing something else. When your team loses to Appalachian State you go in to sports fan hibernation. Basically you are not going to live with the wretched ups and down of a sports fan.  You prefer to shield yourself from certain unnecessary pains.  Females can distract you from the game, and if the girl is hot enough you'll skip the game for her.

Brown Belt- By all accounts you a great sports fan.  You hardly miss a game. You will watch all the games you can but if you have something important to do you can grit your teeth and miss the game. Family does come first with you. When there is an important family event to go you go to the event.  you throw the girlfriend a bone on occasion and miss a game if A) the game isn't the be all end all and B) you'll be in the chateau bow wow if you don't.  You are knowledgeable and generally waste hours of you work day and free time discussing sports with other fans online and in person.  You make it a point to go to as many games as you can afford to go to.  Your cable/satellite package is selected based on your team.  To put things into prospective, you are a major fan, but remain reasonable and realistic when it comes to other aspects of your life.

Black Belt- People classify you as insane or nuts.  People who know you will never forget who your allegiance is to.  You will shun family and friends to watch the game alone if you have to.  "Hey we have to go to a wedding on Saturday." I'm not going, Michigan is playing UMass at 3. They should know better than to even ask me.  If your a black belt in sports things like 3-9 don't deter you.  A Matt Beech start is worthy of watching in September when your team is 25 games back.  Driving 10 hours or getting on a plane to see a game is par for the course.  Taking off work and standing in line for standing room tickets is something you don't question but just do. You will go through great lengths to watch your team play. You know where to find your team online/portable TV/Slingbox. 

You are irrational at times and will purchase tickets for games you know you can't go to because the idea of holding the tickets gives you a possibility of attending the game.  You are a masochist and will watch games when your team is getting embarrased.  You will suffer along with them because you feel it is your duty.  You can fully appreaciate the thrill of pure joy that other bandwagon jumpers cannot, and you have the emotional scars from painful defeats.  Your mood is heavily affected by your teams performance.


The system tries to reach broadly across all major sports, however it is impossible to compare baseball and football.  Watching all 9 inning of a 162 games season is unrealistic for anyone. 4 hours 13 times a year is a different story. If your like me it is probable that for different teams that fall into different categories. I root for the Phillies differently than I do for Michigan. 

This system was difficult to create you may find yourself in a few categories for certain situations.  However, your pattern of behavior is what I am judging here so assign accordingly. Generally assumptions are that the positives of each belt will carry over to the higher ranking.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent scale. There should be a rating scale for eveything in life, but society tells us otherwise. Society would give every shmuck with a Dawkins jersey that goes to chickies and petes on Sunday a black belt. People love to put themselves on a pedestal