Ten Really Hardcore FansPosted by Jellio on November 21, 2006.
Charles Darwin defined his theory of evolution by natural selection as the principle by which variations of useful traits are preserved. So individuals best adapted to their environments are more likely to survive and reproduce. And if the abilty to procure a Playstation 3 was a useful trait, I'd be concerned for the 22nd century, if it weren't for the fact that I don't see a whole lot of reproducing going on with this bunch.
So why is it that certain types of people have to display their affection for certain things with such over-the top behavior. There's a comedy bit about a former softball player's declining skills that ends with...now when I play shortstop, if the ball's five feet away from me in either direction, it's a home run. That's the type of fan I am. (I think you're a good band and all, but unless you're performing in my kitchen, I'm happy just to download you off iTunes.) So it's only natural for me to look at people waiting in line for a week and think...lost a bet, huh? But no, these crazy-ass fans went through five nights of pouring rain (talk about luck) for a CHANCE to purchase a box of wires that plays a few new games because they're tired of the four million other games that already exist...makes perfect sense.
But gamers aren't the only hardcore fans out there. There's all sorts of weird behavior going on in the world, in support of celebrities, movies, sports, you name it. So I thought I'd point out ten of the larger groups, mainly because I wanted to see how many people I could piss off with just one article. But I hope no one is offended, it's all in good fun. And please note...the person writing this article went through all of high school being about half as cool as the guy who hangs out with Anthony Michael Hall in Sixteen Candles. And I don't mean Cusack. I mean the geekier one, the guy with the night vision goggles and bad skin...so consider the source. You go right on dressing like Lando Calrissian, I'll sit here on the couch writing articles that six people read...deal?
10) Today Show Fans
I'll start with one I personally witness whenever I'm in Midtown Manhattan. People...what is it about Al Roker that makes you all nuts inside? Is it the being on tv thing? Is it because grammy turns 96 today? She can't even see you...she's got glaucoma. And no one cares that it's Sleddog Day in Duluth, Minnesota outside of Duluth, Minnesota. You're in New York freaking City. We've got other shit. Go look at it. (Unless you've got a sign that says YesButNoButYes.com rules...then stand there and be quiet)
9) Big Lebowski Fans (aka: Achievers)
If there's any of these I even remotely came close to taking part in, it's being a Big Lebowski fan and going to LebowskiFest. I even have an achiever shirt. But then I think...what? Am I gonna meet a bunch of people and talk about one movie for four hours? It was good, but I mean...I don't have four hours of material on members of my immediate family, much less a ten year old Jeff Bridges flick. Speaking of that, Bridges doesn't even show up at these things, so if he doesn't want to meet these people...
8) Harry Potter Fans
They start'em young, don't they? I think this is like Bobby Sherman fans in the 60's. Only with MySpace instead of Tiger Beat. But it's not the 12 year old girls waiting in bookstores all night that concerns me, that's innocent enough, It's the 43 year old men waiting in line next to them...that's a little disturbing. But I dare you to find a better video source for future FBI child stalker cases. So actually, it's kind of a public service.
7) Wrestling Fans
Here's the one that could get me seriously injured. Do you think they've internalized that it's all fake, or are wrestling fans still in some hulkamania-induced denial (like me thinking my garbage pail kid stickers are gonna be worth a fortune someday) Oh, if only I had the Pabst Blue Ribbon concession at the WWF (or E), I'd be set for life. But pay money to watch guys hit each other with chairs? That's what YouTube is for. Besides, ever since Chief Jay StrongBow quit, it's been all downhill. But that one time, in bandcamp, when that guy smacked the shit out of Stossel...that was awesome.
6) KISS Fans
You think anyone's actually buried in a KISS coffin? Here's a scarier one? Think anyone's met St. Peter with cat make-up on? Jesus, a shiver just went down my spine. I never got into the KISS thing. I was more ACDC, but you don't se me wearing short pants and a beanie...well outside, anyway. But I gotta give it up to Gene Simmons, he's a friggin marketing genius, and he's been laid more than most NFL teams. And it's not really exploiting when you sell your fans a KISS bowling ball for $119.95. They'll be the hit of LebowskiFest this year.
5) Stern Fans (aka: Sterniacs)
Here's another on I've been on the verge of diving into. But you know the old Woody Allen line...I'd never want to be part of a club that would admit me as a member. Well it's like that for me and Stern fans, only the exact opposite (This'll go over big). I mean, a bunch of people that acually look forward to meeting people named Gary the Retard and Crackhead Bob...the Algonquin Roundtable, it's not. But come on, a Stern rally is always a great time. Think of all the chicks you'll meet. Oh, that's right. And the 8,000 guy to 1 girl ratio won't be a hindrance at all. You go ahead, I catch up as soon as I find my Elephant Boy lunchbox.
4) Oprah Fans
I once wrote a slightly disparaging article on Oprah, on how she complained about not being able to enter a store after it closed. There were about two dozen angry comments on that article, each one threatening to scratch my eyes out or something, for daring to question the power of the O. You think Rushdie was hiding, I was cowering next to Osama for weeks. I strongly believe that if we sent Oprah into Iraq with just 10,000 of her troops, we'd have Baghdad in time for sweeps. Why she doesn't run for Senator, or President, or Supreme Ruler of the Universe is beyond me. Probably just thinks it would be a step down.
3) Cubs Fans
The group I feel for the most. I lived in Chicago for two years, on the North side. And you could feel the anguish emanating from Addison Street every September. You know Seligman's theory of learned helplessness, when you zap a border collie with 10,000 volts so much he just learns to live with it. Yeah, that's a Cubs fan. And it's gotta be tough. Only thing tougher is being a Cubs fan AND not being able to control the going for a foul ball reflex..that's some life-changing shit, right there. Up until 2004, if the topic came up you always had the Buckner ace up your sleeve, but even that went away. Man...can't Oprah do anything.
2) Science Fiction Fans
Wait, he's mixing the Trekkies with the Star Wars geeks. Lumping the Lord of the Rings figurine owners in with the Marvel Comic Convention lifetime membership card carriers...KILL THE MOTHERFUCKER!!! Look...Gollum...if I listed you all individually, you'd take up all ten spots, and then no one else could be included. And that's not what the Force teaches us, is it? You'll just have to live at #2 with all your SciFi bretheren. Might even meet a few you didn't know about, like...I don't know...Rod Serling groupies. And remember, no trying to convert each other. That goes against the prime directive.
1) European Soccer Fans (aka: Hooligans)
And at #1...the most sophisticated of the whole bunch. I get a kick out of whenever people say Europeans are much more civilized than Americans. Right...what time's the Jerry Lewis marathon on again? Don't get me wrong,.Europe's cool. It's gotta be, I'm 100% Italian, and by law I have to think that or I'm left out of a half-dozen wills. But how civilized is it to beat the crap out of each other...over soccer...SOCCER. That's like beating someone up over badmitton. (No one gets this in Europe, do they?) I mean, they could learn a thing or two from the US on this one. We don't need to pummel someone to show our appreciation for the local team. We do the civilized thing and turn cars over and set them on fire. Much more chance of making the evening news...the flames make for good B-roll. But I gotta say, however misguided the tactics, the level of fandom is sincere, and so we give it up to the Europeans as having the most crazy-ass fans in all the world...kudos.
Now beat it, there's a Mythbusters marathon on and I can't find my beret.
SO that's it for fan groups. Please feel free to comment on how lame the list is because of the ones not mentioned ...I live for that. But then, check out YesBut contributor Jason's (aka: Aquaman) look back at some of the more famous individual fans in recent history, today at Mental Floss. Read both articles, and you'll have plenty to talk about at the Spiderman 3 premiere party...Live long and prosper.
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