The gang over at Fanatics recently reached out to me with a challenge. They have developed something they refer to as the Fan-O-Meter that can gauge what kind of fan you are. With baseball season once again upon us as we wait for Opening Day to arrive I thought it could be kind of interesting to see how I faired on the meter.
With a blog name like Diary of a Diehard there is a standard you have to live up to when calling yourself a fan so I took it as almost a moral imperative that I take the quiz and find out the magnitude of my fandom. After all, it would be pretty embarrassing if according to the Fan-O-Meter I was a zero or a one. I’d have to rename my blog, call a psychologist that treated illusions of grandeur, and most likely change all of my social media accounts to something like, Diary of a Pitiful Fan, which just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
The Fan-O-Meter looks a lot like the thermometer my mom used to use when I started to complain that I was coming down with Baseball Fever. And for the record, my mother didn’t believe in Baseball Fever so I ended up having to go to school every Opening Day as a child. If I didn’t love her so much I would have turned her into child protective services for cruel and unusual parenting. We’ll start at the bottom of the meter and work our way up.
Level 1 – Fashionable Sports Fan – If I have to sit through the whole game, I might as well look good doing it. Maybe I’ll get on the Jumbotron. Ok, I have a confession to make. My closet if filled with Arizona Diamondbacks gear. I have enough shirts that I can wear a different Diamondbacks outfit from now until All-Star break without having to do laundry and that’s just with shirts since the Diamondbacks changed from Purple and Teal to Sedona Red, Sonoran Sand, and Black. In 2007 when the colors changed I was nearly suicidal thinking about not getting to wear my old gear. I have every jersey the Diamondbacks have ever worn in a game including the KC Packers jersey that they wore last season in the Cubs throwback game. I probably meet this level of the Fan-O-Meter although I do take exception to the comment about having to sit through a whole game. Who leaves a game early? Not this guy but we’ll talk about that later.
Level 2 – Social Sports Fan – Beer? Check. Wings, Nachos? Check. Good Friends Double Check! Now… Who’s playing? I have every concession stand at Chase Field in my phone by GPS coordinates so that if anyone asks where a particular food or beverage item can be found I can give them the location down to 5 feet. I like to think of myself as the man on the street that can provide help to visitors who happen to be at Chase for their first game. I once had the owner of Hungry Hill visit my seats to thank me for sending people to his sausage cart. I’m like the Wal-Mart greeter of Chase Field without getting paid. So far, so good I’ve pegged the first two levels of the Fan-O-Meter.
Level 3 – Adrenaline Fan – There nothing like the roar of the crowd when you’re right there in it. There is absolutely nothing better than being at a game in person. Granted the beer is probably cheaper at home but at least at the ballpark your wife doesn’t yell at you for throwing peanut shells on the floor of her living room. Every year just before the season starts I go to the post office to try and get a change of address form to have my mail sent directly to Chase Field Section 132 Row 9. Both the Post Office General and the Arizona Diamondbacks keep telling me to stop doing that. You can’t blame a guy for trying. I’m getting excited just thinking about the next game and walking through the turnstiles. Level 3? Check!
Level 4 – Generational Fan – My father-in-law is a Cardinals fan so I guess I’m a Cardinals fan too. Now was that baseball or football. I AM the father-in-law. I’ve told many a young man who attempted to date my daughters that we are a Diamondbacks family and mixed marriages rarely work. I’m still working on one who is a recovering Cubs fan but I see this as a missionary opportunity to preach the gospel of Chase Field and the Arizona Diamondbacks. I once wrote a letter to the Pope asking to make Derrick Hall a saint when he was able to get me a Diamondbacks hat I was looking for. There are now 3 generations of Diamondbacks fans in our family. Try to beat that ancestry.com!
Level 5 – Underdog Fan – I don’t have a team but I always love a good Cinderella story! I’m still trying to figure out who Cinderella is and what position he plays. It is a little confusing that halfway up the Fan-O-Meter we have a fan listed who doesn’t have a team. Who doesn’t have a team? Hello, there are 30 of them and if you are looking for the best value from a fan’s perspective you can’t go wrong with the Arizona Diamondbacks who were again recognized for having the lowest fan cost index for the ninth straight year. And given that the Diamondbacks are in the National League West with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants we are always the Underdog so it makes perfect sense. I think you will find that lost cleat fits perfectly on the Diamondbacks foot and given their starting rotation I am not sure that Cinderella isn’t our fifth starter.
Level 6 – No Spoilers Fan – Don’t tell me the score, I’m gonna watch it tonight. I can’t hear you, La la la la la. Ok, this is where I am going to admit something that I find kind of embarrassing. Even though I have Season Tickets and go to every home game I also record them on my DVR. After the game when everyone goes to bed I stay up and watch the game I just got home from. What’e even worse, last season when the Diamondbacks lost 98 games I secretly rooted for them while watching the recordings as if I thought that the game outcome might be different on television than it was at the ballpark. Don’t tell my wife. She already thinks I am crazy enough as it is, this might just be the piece she is missing to having me committed. It may be safe to say I have aced Level 6 of the Fan-0-Meter.
Level 7 – Hidden Earphone Fan – What? I’m listening in on a conference call. I have admit I’ve placed calendar items on my work calendar for fictitious meetings with Mr. Spalding, Mr. Wilson, and Mr. Rawlings so that I don’t get interrupted with business meetings during day games. I’ve changed the GameDay icon so it looks like an Excel spreadsheet so I can still watch pitch by pitch while working.
Level 8 – Call in Sick Fan – My boss hasn’t figure out why I’m sick every March & October. Bit I still tweet under a fake handle in case he get’s wise. I have a standing doctor’s note that I take into my family doctor every Opening Day and for every day playoff game just in case work ever asks me for a reason why I seem to be missing work those days. And to quote a like from Office Space, “I wouldn’t exactly say I was missing work”.
Level 9 – Fan Overboard – My Daughter’s Name is Jeter. It was either that or Magic. My wife put a stop to it when I attempted to name my son Bank One Ballpark and she even nixed “BOB” for short. Porbably just as well since I would have had to change his name to Chase a few years later. I did name my car Chase since that is the only place it goes from March through October. I’m still working on my daughter who is expecting her second child. I think Sedona Red would be a beautiful girl’s name but I would live with Sonoran Sand if she chose that.
Level 10 – The Ultimate Fan – If we win and NY loses, and if we don’t have any more injuries, we might have a shot at the playoffs, I’d reschedule a funeral to see this game! Boy, a guy makes one mistake an no one ever lets him forget about it. And for the record, I still don’t think it was a mistake. The year was 1999 and the Diamondbacks were on their way to the greatest season in franchise history. On a Sunday in July the Diamondbacks traded for closer Matt Mantei and we had to be there to see his first game. Before the game my wife found out her grandmother passed away and the funeral was the next day in Idaho, a 17-hour drive. I made the family wait until the game was over before leaving for the funeral. It was an amazing game that the Diamondbacks won and some fan won a million dollars by predicting that Jay Bell would hit a grand slam. We ended up driving all night long and arrived at the funeral 15 minutes before it was supposed to start. Somehow my clothes got left home so I went to grandma’s funeral wearing shorts and a Diamondbacks jersey and hat. I’m pretty sure grandma understood even if the rest of the family didn’t. To this day I have to hear about this and my whole family thinks the movie Fever Pitch was based on my life story. That’s ridiculous I could never be a Red Sox fan. Based on the glares I still get at family reunions I’d say I probably achieved Level 10 on the Fan-O-Meter.
Level 11 – Turn it up to 11 – Face painting, jersey wearing, foam finger pointing, hotdog eating, season ticket holding… You get the picture. I did once get my face painted at Chase Field but that’s not really my thing. There was a six-year period where I didn’t miss a game (even when family members died). I send a letter every year to my congressmen and the commissioner of baseball asking for baseball season to be a year-round sport because the off-season is just too painful. I’ve asked contractors to bid on what it would cost to make my house have a retractable roof. And when my wife wanted a new lawn put in I told her I would only do it if we could use BOB Sod. I may be beyond level 11 and according to my wife and kids I may be beyond help.
Well on the bright side I think I can safely keep my blog title to Diary of a Diehard. I’d like to thank the great people at Fanatics for the fun graphic. Every once in a while its good to assess your priorities and determine what kind of fan are you?