Being a loyal fan to a sports team is much more rewarding than only following the teams when they are winning, according to self-described obsessive fans at BYU-Hawaii.
Adam Jonsson, a freshman studying business from Sweden, said, “If you're not with the ups and downs of a team, you're not going to appreciate the good times as much. I appreciate the good times a lot more if I understand how they became successful. The more I study a team, the more I care about them.
However, being a devoted fan can also present challenges with time management and paying attention in class.
“Sneaky. Very sneaky,” answered senior Taylor Lam after being asked how he watches soccer games during class. “I’ve got to make sure the professor does not turn to me. It’s hard because I really want to celebrate when they get a goal, but I can't.”
Lam, an accounting major from Hong Kong, speculated he spends about 20 hours a week watching or reading about soccer. Whenever he can, he wears red during a game to show his support.
Lam said he has superstitions he thinks contribute to the team’s success. “When I watch soccer, I never go to the bathroom. Like, at all. This is because one morning I went to the bathroom during a game, and my team lost. Because of that, I never go to the bathroom during any match.”
Lam said he saw his first soccer game in sixth grade, and Manchester United was one of the teams playing. “After that game, I fell in love with the team.” The team’s performance and style was enough for him to always be a loyal fan.
Jonsson said he has always been a huge fan of the basketball team the Boston Celtics. “Growing up in Sweden there are only a few teams I ever really heard about, and the Celtics were one of them.”
In 2007, he became a fan because the Celtics made trades for some talented players who he knew would be fun to watch. “Ever since then, I have been a loyal fan.”
However, Jonsson said he might be spending too much time being a fan. When asked how much time is spent following the Celtics, he said, “Way too much. I’m not going to say a number, but way too much. I should be studying.”
Jonsson said a big reason he loves basketball more than other sports is because his older brother, who he always looked upto, played it. “I also loved ice hockey but could never afford the gear to play. Basketball was kind of cheap for a big family. It was just a ball and a pair of shoes.”
Zeryck Russon, a freshman from California studying exercise science, said his love for the baseball team the San Francisco Giants was passed down. “My dad grew up in the Bay Area, and I was raised into loving the Giants. I grew up watching all the games with my dad.”
Russon remembered attending his first game with his dad as a kid at AT&T Park, where the Giants ended up losing 5-0 in a “boring” game. The next time the Giants played, he said Angel Pagan hit an inside the park, walk-off homerun. “We missed it because we decided to go fishing that day. Like, are you kidding me? We barely missed that.”
Growing up, Russon played baseball, which he thinks might contribute to why he loves watching it so much. “Things like the pitch count or the switches in defense, most people do not notice, but it makes it fun for me.
“I grew up in baseball. It's a big part of my life and always has been. It is not really even a hobby, it is a part of my life.”
Lam said, “No matter if it’s a good or bad year, I will still pick Manchester because they are my team and I will support them. That is the feeling I love: being a part of a team.”