Fandom brings the weirdness out of us all.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
People have their quirky ways of cheering on and bringing good fortune to their favorite team, whether it be a lucky seat, a favorite hat or the old-fashioned rabbit’s foot. Supersitions bring solace to fans who want to feel like they have an impact on how their team plays, even though they know deep down that they don’t.
So, this is why we see fans, rational and intelligent individuals outside of the sports realm, do the dumbest of routines for slight mental comfort.
And as they say in the Bud Light commercials, “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work.”
I’m one of these fans, and I have no problem admitting that.
I know in my inner most thoughts that no matter what I do when I watch University of Alabama football, it won’t change the outcome of the game — I mean I must know this right? However, that doesn’t stop me on Saturdays as I break out all the little stops to ensure they get a W.
Sometimes though, the real world gets in the way and demolishes a full-proof strategy.
This past Saturday, I got scheduled to cover the Princeton High football game for the Trenton Times. Sweet work if you deem a solid paycheck and exposure to be important. Whatever.
The issue though is that your typical high school football game runs two-and–a-half hours, and with a 1 p.m. start in Pemberton, a 45-minute drive from the College meant that I’d return home almost an hour after the 3:30 p.m. kickoff between Alabama and Texas A&M.
Fiction: My personal decisions affect Alabama’s performance.
Fact: When I don’t watch the entirety of an Alabama game over the last four years, the Crimson Tide are 0-3.
So, naturally when I get home and turn on the game, the score was 20-0 in favor of the Aggies. God dammit.
Mind you that this came a week after I concocted an ingenius gameplan — Bill Walsh would have been proud — to wear a different Alabama hat than usual while I watched the game because last year when the Crimson Tide played LSU in the regular season and I wore the old hat, they lost 9-6 in overtime.
I think it’s pretty obvious that my hat choice gave T.J. Yeldon the strength and determination to score a 28-yard touchdown off a screen pass with 50 seconds left in what ended up as a narrow 21-17 Alabama victory.
However, a loyal fan’s hat selection can only do so much for a college football team, and it was unfortunately deemed meaningless by the fact that I didn’t watch the whole first quarter of this past weekend’s game — Johnny Football may have had something to do with it too, maybe.
When all is said and done though, this is what I know: I missed a whole quarter of the game and they lost.
Conclusion: Alabama’s loss and, most likely, their crushed hopes of repeating as National Championships, are due to 15 minutes that went unwatched.
You’re probably reading this and thinking, “This guy’s out of his fucking mind.” But remember, “it’s only weird if it doesn’t work.”
Fandom brings out a lot of things you’d never see out of people — this guy included — otherwise. It’s crazy, it’s batty, it’s bonkers, it’s wacky, it’s kooky. Hell, it’s even daft.
Yet as berserk as it is, I’ll continue to break out whatever strategy
I need to feel at ease mentally for the rest of Alabama’s games this season.
Fandom does bring out the weirdness in us all, but I say so what? I say, through the words of Adam Demamp, “Let’s get weird.”