Fanaticism is not violence

Being a serious sports fan means so much more than just rooting for a team’s success. That team becomes a part of you, every win brings you unfathomable joy, and every loss hurts.

Unfortunately, in some cases, this pain turns into anger, and that anger can be taken out on other people, usually fans of opposite ways.

Fans of professional sports, college sports, and even high school sports can turn aggressive in an instant. While the excitement may initially be positive, it can become extremely detrimental, casting the stereotypical sports fan in a negative light.

When fans create an environment in which opposing supporters become afraid to show up to away games, and opposing teams are intimidated by the volume and aggression, the true home-field advantage becomes apparent. A true fan recognizes the importance of balancing the field and travels with their team to provide at least some idea of a fanbase away from home. These fans challenge the authority of the home fans and create an invigorating environment for the players and opposing fans.

This environment comes out especially in rivalries. When two teams are continuously competitive and just the slightest bit of bad blood begins to erupt, the game against a rival becomes the only thing that a player can think about for weeks to come.

Unfortunately, in some cases, fans take it too far and resort to physical and verbal abuse. For example, Bryan Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan was beaten into a coma by Dodgers fans.

Two years later, when the Dodgers traveled to San Francisco, there was more violence, only this time it was the Dodgers fans who were attacked. The violence lead to a fatal stabbing outside of AT&T Park, the home of the Giants.

Home support can be extremely important to a team’s success, exemplified by Duke University’s Cameron Indoor Stadium and its extreme fan base that is now a fan attraction. Sports fans from all over the world can travel to Duke to experience the ambient atmosphere created by the fans of the college team. Fans will pitch tents outside on the lawn, coined “Krzyzewskiville” after the legendary coach, Mike Krzyzewski, in order to receive tickets and seats in the famed arena.

Cameron Indoor Stadium, home of the famed Duke University Blue Devils, is notorious for having an extremely loud fanbase, comprised of both students and fans that are termed the “Cameron Crazies”, which makes Duke an extremely difficult place to play for opposing teams and has been crucial to Duke’s home record.

They have won over 82 percent of their recorded home games, and their support is an integral factor to their success.

Although players love and thrive in the support that home fans bring, no player wants a fan of another team to be harmed rooting for their team.