Confessions of a teenaged, distraught, broken Superfan
Published: Sunday, November 13, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
Like so many of my fellow Eagles, I declared myself pre-med for a solid three weeks at the beginning of my freshman year. I'm not a doctor, and I probably never will be (unless I eventually get my act together and start working toward that Ph.D. in wumbology). That being said, I think I'm wise enough to diagnose an illness that's currently being passed around campus. The symptoms of this so-called disease are subtle, yet severe enough to affect even the healthiest of individuals. The easiest way to catch it is by engaging in conversation, so unless you break out the bed-risers and construct a makeshift fort under your twin-sized mattress (everyone does it, it's catching on), then you're screwed. Of course, the wretched plague that I'm highlighting is Football Fan Stress Disorder.
Although its symptoms are similar, don't be that guy who mistakes FFSD for mononucleosis. The "kissing disease" is child's play compared to the misery that FFSD, both chronic and incurable, will bring you. While a gallon of water and a few packets of Emergen-C are enough to ward off the cough that mono brings, there is no suggested amount of fluid to reverse the pick that Chase Rettig just threw. Hooking yourself up to an IV drip will not change the 38-7 slaughter that FSU put us through. Pepto-Bismol may treat nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, and diarrhea, but it cannot foster any improvements in the wins column for the 3-7 Eagles.
This past season has been a perfect example of the debilitating effects of FFSD. Diehard Superfans are lethargic in the student section, and the Superfans that solely make the trek to Alumni Stadium for social purposes don't even show up. As I glanced at the tepid student turnout for Saturday's game against NC State, I wondered if the extent of FFSD was as devastating as I had initially thought it was. Sure, a decent amount of students were displaying telltale signs of the disease (loud, guttural sighs, or vulgar exclamations upon a BC mistake), but the majority seemed invested in other issues – exams, Facebook default pictures, burgers, and Nutella cake at the post-game tailgate. In fact, most of the kids rocking maroon and gold had their necks craned away from the field and toward their own side conversations. That booming, rising clap that the Superfans issue after the band plays "O Fortuna" seemed more like a casual acknowledgment that football was being played than the engaging expression of team pride that it's meant to be. Are students even suffering from FFSD, or has the mediocrity of this season simply caused some to not care at all?
Unfortunately, the most common Superfan shows up on Saturday because "it's what everyone else is doing," says a sophomore student who wished to remain anonymous. "I honestly have never been a fan of football," she said, "but it's fun hanging out with my friends at the tailgates before and after. And I like to get tossed up when BC scores too." While some of the more dedicated fans would critique this student for her lack of passion, fun is necessary for a student section to truly thrive. Regardless of the success of the football team, students are definitely still inclined to be loud and in the ears of the opponent – but maybe not about pigskin-related topics.
Resilient students like Mike Camus, CSOM '14, show a degree of rationality and fortitude that victims of FFSD need to express in times of great disorder. "I've accepted this season as a fan," he says. "When we lose I don't take it as hard, but I still go and stay at all of the home games. And a lot of people are traveling to Notre Dame, so that's a good indication of our solid fan base." Acceptance has clearly factored into the attitudes of Superfans this season, but certain events, like the ND game, allow for our optimism to shine through.
Certain students turn their attention to the plethora of successful programs at BC that simply don't get as much attention as football. "Our hockey team is great and our basketball squad is showing a lot of promise," says Connor Marr, A&S '14. "I can only wait until next year for the hope of a better football season, and in the meantime I'll dedicate my efforts to different Eagle sports." In addition to our exciting hockey and basketball teams, students often forget that we have two talented soccer teams that are constantly at the top of the ACC. The Euro-football teams do play on Newton, which is an arduous journey for some of the more unmotivated souls living in Chestnut Hill, but at a whopping $0 per ticket, enjoyment of their games would be kinder to your wallet.