How big of a fan ARE you, anyways?

Over Christmas, the Redskins were playing a game against the Panthers.  Neither team had much to lose or gain, except a little respect.  I wanted to watch.  My boyfriend wanted to watch the Browns/Ravens game, an almost guaranteed blow-out.  We only have one game availability on our Direct TV Sunday Ticket remote that posts to a laptop (since we weren’t at my apartment). My boyfriend claimed that one game as the Browns game.  I asked, “what about the Redskins”, and gave a pout, and no dice.  He said “too bad”.  Jokingly he added, “I get the game on sirius radio in the car” and his mom said “Yeah, you could go sit in the car, how big of a fan ARE you, Jenny?”.

It made me think about it for a moment.  Am I willing to sit outside in 40 degree weather, listening, not watching the game, spending three hours away from my boyfriend, who I never get to see anyways?  Is it worth it?  It turns out, I didn’t have to make that decision because my boyfriend and I decided to go to a bar that allowed us to watch both games (albeit sitting in completely different parts of the bar).  But what if I had.  I probably wouldn’t have.  Does that mean I’m not a real fan?

My friend Sarah, a huge Giants (San Francisco, not New York) fan said that if the Giants won the world series in 2010, she would get a SF Giants tattoo.  She’s going to Giants spring training.  Does that make her a real fan?  Is that what it takes?  I don’t want a Redskins tattoo…  

In 2000, I slept, outside of Cole Field House, in the freezing 30 degree weather to get tickets to the Duke v. Maryland basketball game.  We were later moved to the inside of the student union, I believe, but it was not pleasant.

Also in 2000, I bailed on a date with someone who I proclaimed to be my “soulmate” (ahh to be 18, young and stupid) to watch game 1 of the subway series in my dorm room to cheer on my Mets (that didn’t end well).

In 2002, I skipped a planned spring break trip to Mexico with my friends to go, alone, to Atlanta to watch Maryland beat Indiana in the NCAA basketball Championship.  

Just the other month, when I was back home in Maryland, my friend Megan and I went to a bar to watch the much hyped Redskin/Eagle rematch.  I wore my McNabb jersey and was totally excited for a good game.  Well, it was a bloodbath by the first quarter.  So bad that the bar closed early and didn’t even air the fourth quarter.  So what did Megan and I do?  We bitched at the bar staff about how horrible it is that a bar in the middle of Redskin territory wouldn’t even stay open for the remainder of the game.  Then we went to some sketchy bar down the street to watch the rest of the game.  

I refuse to put any Cowboys on my fantasy football teams.  

I could go on and on about the sacrifices I made, the amount of times I wore visiting team jerseys to countless Giants, 49ers, Cal games, the things I’ve missed, the money I’ve paid.  But what is all of that worth?

But in the end, why would I waste precious hours away from my boyfriend, who lives 500 miles away from me to watch one game with no playoff implications?  The Redskins don’t kiss me goodnight.  The Redskins don’t make me tea when I’m not feeling well.  The Redskins don’t dance with me at weddings.  The Redskins have brought heartache, drama and stress to every fall.  I love them, but at that moment, I realized I don’t owe anything to them, and I shouldn’t have to prove that I’m a fan in order to be one.

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