What defines a fan?


Over the past week, I have been through the complete emotional spectrum.  Everything from being furious, to complacent, and then back to normal happiness.  Maybe it was my mistake, but I published an article that I now regret.  In that article, I once again questioned this teams heart.  This was unfair and unjust, and for it I apologize.  However, in that article I did express some things that I still feel are true, primarily about Betancourt and McGehee.  These comments have called my “fandom” into question.  Which is fine.    In fact, it is not even the first time this has happened.  And yet, I feel the need to explain myself and what I think being a fan is.

Let me start with this.  Anyone born post 1982 and is a Brewers fan, knows how horrible it has been to be a true fan of this team.  I do not need to bore anyone with the history (or lack thereof) lesson of the past 28 seasons of Brewers baseball, aside from saying it has been awful.  There was a time when Jeff Cirillo was the power bat on our roster.  In those dark times, it was very easy for me to accept failure.  Did that make me a bad fan?  Maybe.  But what was I supposed to do?  Bud Selig refused to allow this team to have any success on the field.  Guys like Pat Listach, John Jaha, and Daryl Hamilton would spark our interest for a season or two and then fall off the face of the earth.  Decades of this has made me a little bitter.  Does that make me any less of a fan?

     This season has been different in a lot of ways.  Mostly because of the winning.  My friend, and site contributor, Colin Bennett wrote an amazing article a few weeks back about how Brewers fans do not know how to act in these situations.  That is 100% correct and I am 100% guilty.  If some of you read my articles and think, “Well this guy isn’t really a fan, he just likes to rip on them”.  I am sorry for that, but I do not know anything else.  Sometimes when you love something so much, it completely eclipses your better judgement.  I have written two articles now in a fit of rage over the 2011 Brewers, and both times someone has called me out for it.  And in both cases I have regretted most of the things I said in those articles, but I refuse to take the article or the comments down.  I think that part of being a fan, is interacting with other fans and being able to talk amongst one another.  So I am not afraid of fellow Brewers fans giving me crap if they disagree with me, but does that warrant questioning my loyalties as a fan?  I don’t think so. 

Here are the three key components to being a fan (per me): 1) passion  2) pride  and 3) pain

1)  My passion for this team runs so deep that you could find oil reserves.  Probably my biggest fault as a fan and a writer is my passion for this team and organization.  I refuse to keep my feelings and opinions about this team bottled up.  There is no way that I can sit idly by and watch things fall apart, especially when I have a median to voice that opinion.  If the team is on a playoff run and all of a sudden are batting .087 with runners in scoring position, I am not going to sit there and write a fluff piece about all of the rainbows and butterflies.

2)  I live in Seattle, WA.  A city where fans jump on and off the team wagon on an almost daily basis.  I am not and have never been that way.  Walking in the streets of Seattle, I wear my Brewers shirts, jerseys, and hats with pride.  In a city full of fakers and fickle fans, I refuse to be that way and to have another Brewers fan accuse me of this act pains me deeply.  When those things start to  happen amongst fans, your team leaves (i.e. The Seattle SuperSonics).

3)  You have to be willing to endure this part.  It is, in many ways, the best things  about sports.  By investing yourself in something that is bigger than you, you must open yourself up to a tremendous amount of pain.  Even when things are going good, things are going to happen to make you hurt.  I think that in order to have true pain though, you must have success, so maybe this is where I personally am lacking as a fan.  Minimal success means minimal pain.  If any of you, my faithful readers, can fault me for something, it would be this part of the fan formula.

In the past, I have been called horrible names.  One guy even hoped that I would contract testicular cancer, but nothing has gotten to me like this guy who said that I was a fair weather fan and that the Crew doesn’t need fans like me.  Maybe some of you agree with that person, but in my opinion I would not be a fan if I did not have these feelings.  If I just sat back while the team played awful baseball, and said “Oh well, things will get better”, then I really do not care that much about my team do I?  If many of you feel that I am not a true Brewers fan, then I have done a horrible job running this site.  Maybe I get so upset because I want more than just a Division title.  I want to win the f#$*ing World Series!!  If that means that sometimes I am going to come across as a jerk, fine.  At least I won’t be pretending to be something I’m not.

My name is Lou Olsen, I was born a Brewers fan, am a Brewers fan now, and in all likelihood will die a Brewers fan.  As a kid I pretended to be Robin Yount in my backyard, with a yellow wiffle bat and a fluffy Play-Skool baseball.  When the Brewers made the playoffs in ’08, I called in sick to work so that I would not miss the start of Game 2.  I was 22 years old before I finally saw the Brewers win a game with my own two eyes and I shared it with my Dad and now brother-in-law.  As of this moment I am typing on a computer 2,400 miles away from Miller Park.  So, if some of you still think that I am not a fan…I am scared to meet a person who is.

If you hate me, or hate what I am about please feel free to leave a comment below.  I can not guarantee that I will write an article based on what you say, but I will do my best.  Even though this one particular person hurt my feelings, it is not that big of a deal.  The Brewers are just 4 wins away from something we have never had, the NL Central crown.  No need to fret, things are looking up and we have to try and enjoy the ride.  It will be hard for me to keep cool, calm, and collected, but I promise all of you  Brewers fans that I will try from here until the end.