I am a fan of the New York Yankees. Not only that, but I am a fan of the game of baseball. But recently, I am finding myself seeing more and more of what I’ve dubbed as the “female fan complex.”
I’ll admit to it. I’ve been a part of it. But the baseball fan complex is rather competitive. That is, if you know anything and everything about the players, stats and games, you are the best fan. And if you’re a fan, you have to be the best fan. There’s no way anyone should questions your fandom. If someone claims they’re a fan, they automatically get tested. And the best (but really, worst) part? This happens to girls all the time.
When I would tell people I was a Yankees fan, the first thing they would say is, “who is your favorite player?” My natural response was Derek Jeter, warranting a sarcastic laugh. Guys assumed that was the only player I knew. Little did they know, I could probably recite more statistical information than most.
And that’s the thing…if your fandom ever gets questioned, the first step is defense. You have to prove that you are the better fan. But when you’re a girl, that challenge remains daunting.
Guys can tell each other which teams they are a fan of and get high fives or resounding taunts. Girls will tell guys and they’ll automatically question if that is true.
Guess what, guys? Female fans exist and they deserve to be taken just as seriously as any male fans. Why? Not really sure, maybe because typically girls aren’t considered “sporty” or something? A fan is a fan…regardless of whether they can rattle of Mariano’s career stat lines or if they just know a few players. And that goes for guys or girls.
Sure, maybe I can list off the entire starting roster for the Yankees and the upcoming prospects that will make up future squads. But not everyone can. And because they don’t hold that extensive knowledge doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be accepted as a fan themselves.
I shouldn’t have to prove myself when I tell people I am a fan. I shouldn’t have to pick another favorite player because Jeter is a “mainstream” or “popular” pick. And no one should have to prove that to anyone because ultimately being a fan isn’t about showing off. Being a fan is about unwavering devotion to a certain team or sport because it is something you truly enjoy watching or being a part of.
Being a fan is being part of one giant family. Whether you have been a fan your whole life or are just learning to become one, you are a part of a network of people that spans across the world. It doesn’t matter if its the Yankees or the Red Sox (which I wouldn’t prefer, but hey, at least they’re passionate). It only matters that you cheer for the sport, whether it is just casual or for every day for the rest of your life.
I’m a girl and I love baseball. And if you ask me to prove it, don’t expect me to answer. Mainly because I’m too busy cheering on my Yankees.