Football season is an appropriate time to discuss fanatics, or as we refer to ourselves, fans. And boy do we like to talk not only about football, but about ourselves and our dedication. We're not fair weather fans but love our school and follow the players and coaches no matter what. Even though we're upset when our team loses, we support their efforts and the program and proudly sport their colors. Rain or shine, if we can possibly afford it, we show up early and tailgate. If we can't afford it, we're happy to watch the game on television. We're the "real" fans.
Sometimes, we're not sure about fans from other teams; they're obnoxious and delusional. We don't know how in the world they could possibly cheer for that particular school or wear those colors; however, don't let the fact that we have an opinion fool you because we honestly don't care about their "lucky, not such a big deal, opposing team was terrible anyway" wins or their "THANK GOODNESS!! YAY, serves them right for talking trash to me" losses. Apparently, that's all part of being a real fan.
Everybody likes the WIN, but some sports enthusiasts take the LOSS a bit too far. They start a FIRE THE COACH or BENCH THE QB campaign, Tweet derogatory comments to players and coaches, pen lengthy e-mails which include their coaching expertise, make plans to withhold all money presently being sent to the program, and sadly .. send death threats to the kicker? Yep. It's nothing new and happens at EVERY school. Maybe not the kicker, but there's usually a death threat to someone after a loss. This is when we stand up for our team and exclaim they're not "real" fans. I tend to agree; however, according to the dictionary, they are, indeed, "real" fans.
1- usually as a spectator. Shortened from FANATIC.
They're definitely enthusiastic, and even though they don't act devoted, they usually don't stop following the team. They may not admire the coach or the quarterback after a loss but quickly change their tone after a big WIN. So, if they're "real," maybe we can label them as "bad" fans. For a writer, bad is too weak. Here's my opinion. Remember, every team has one. They're self-centered and childish. Every game, win or lose, is about them and their pride and desires. If they can't have their way, they take their toys and go home. Others don't matter.
Being a "real" fanatically enthusiastic devoted follower of football takes effort, but we believe it's worth it.
What about being a "real" fanatically enthusiastic devoted follower of Christ? What does that look like? I talk and write about my devotion to Christ. I'm willing to make an effort to live by his Word. I support my local church and its enthusiastic followers and even own a few t-shirts. So, I must be a "real" fan of Christ, right?
Then Jesus said to the crowd, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me." Luke 9:23
Take up my cross? Yes, I believe I'm devoted to Christ. Turn from selfish ways? Do I actually have to think of someone other than Katy?
Leave it to Jesus to remind me it goes beyond talking, writing, fellowshipping, and supporting. Apparently, when I follow Christ, I'm to be enthusiastically devoted not only to him, but to people, his creation. And in Matthew 5 and Luke 6, Jesus' instructions to me are reminders that if I want to fanatically follow Him, my zeal should go beyond the normal limits.
People will know I follow Christ if I love them. Whatever I do for them, I do for Him. I'm supposed to do good and pray for those who hate, curse, and hurt me. When others are rude, I don't need to retaliate; instead, I should treat them exactly as I want to be treated. How am I different if I only love those who love me. What good is it? I must be compassionate and forgiving, not condemning. People will know if, in my heart, I'm their fan by the words that flow from my mouth or from my pen. Just because I call him Lord doesn't mean I will inherit his kingdom. Why do I call him Lord if I don't do what he says?
Blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! James 3:9-10
No matter how much I admire Christ or write and teach about Him, it's impossible to daily take up His cross and show my devotion with selfish ways and pride. My actions and words to and about others tell whether I'm a "real" follower of Christ.
Win or lose, it's not about me. It's about how fanatic I am about them, even if they're fans of another team,