Every sport that currently exists in the world is comprised of a dedicated pool of supporters or fans. In modern days, sports have graduated to become commercial enterprises with fans primarily being the end consumers. Therefore, when making any decision related to sports, the fans usually take center stage. However, the wide popularity of sports that has continued growing over the years has given rise to a new trend. Traditionally, sport was viewed as a platform to have fun but recent days have seen a lot of emotion attached it (Hunt 440). Across different types of sports, fan have exhibited various behaviors that are guided by an emotional connection to sport in question. Emotional attachment to particular sports and particularly to specific teams or individuals causes the fans to exhibit various types of behavior including aggression and hooliganism (Hunt 441). Fans who exhibit hooliganism and extreme aggression especially when it comes sports as usually classed as “crazy fans” because of the huge emotion that they attach to their favorite sports and the behavioral effect that this has on them. Most if these “crazy fans” are normally found in sports that exhibit high levels of energy and physical contact.
One of the sports characterized by ‘crazy fans” that exhibit extreme emotional attachment is football. Football is the most popular sport in the world and is, in fact, played in almost every country. As a sport, football can be played both at a professional as well as an amateur level. Professional football occurs in form of national and inter-continental leagues that involve clubs who play each other on weekly or monthly basis. Football is a sport that is associated with a lot of passion and high energy. A typical football game is 90 minutes long and during this time, players have to exhibit a high level of energy to keep up. Unlike other sports, this is not a sport that involves taking turns to play. Therefore, players are in physical contact with each other for the entire duration of the 90 minutes as they attempt to take the ball from each other and direct it towards the opponent’s goal.
The high energy of the game is what attracts the fans (Hunt 448). This energy seems to be transmitted to the fans who become very energetic in the course of the game and even after the game. This is what has led to fans of this game being classed as “crazy fans’.
As mentioned earlier, one behavior that makes sports fans to be classed as “crazy” is extreme aggression and hooliganism. Since time immemorial, these behaviors have been very synonymous with football fans. These crazy fans engage in various crazy actions including demonstrations in the streets, lighting fires and general hooliganism (Hunt 448). This behavior is still exhibited in the stadiums and not just outside. It is common to hear football fans shouting obscenities at opponent players and supporters and even provoking them in the hope of starting fights. The more intense and energetic a particular football game is, the more the fans behave crazily.
In terms of physical contact, the craziness gets even hire, for instance if a player is deemed to have made an inappropriate contact with the other player, for instance, a dangerous tackle. Such an action is likely to raise tempers among the fans and through this, the craziness of football fans becomes conspicuous.
The other type of sport that is characterized by crazy fans is rugby. Just like football, rugby is a game that is characterized by high energy and lot of physical contact. In fact, the levels of energy in rugby are more than in football. The levels of physical contact are also higher in this group. Fans usually fill rugby stadiums to matches. The high energy of the game is what seems to attract fans the most (Hunt 446).
Another factor of importance in this game is that the rules of the game actually allows some kind of physical aggression among the players in the field (Hunt 446). The sport allows forms of behavior that would in some circles be considered to be reckless. For instance, a huge component of the game involves physically tackling opponent players and bringing them to the ground. Unlike in football where no hand contact is allowed, players in rugby are allowed to manhandle their opponent physically and wrestle them to the ground when they are in possession of the ball. This aspect pumps a lot of energy into the game and in fact; it is the one primarily makes fans attracted to the game.
Unfortunately, this sport cultivates a lot of emotions in fans and sometimes, in the course of the game, emotions soar high (Hunt 445). Fans may presume that a certain an opposition player is too aggressive and may take it to heart. They will then tart voicing out their frustration by provoking opposition fans. This may inadvertently lead to violent confrontation between them. This occurrence is very common in rugby matches. It is not surprising for emotions among rugby fans to flare up and cause fans to start assaulting each other.
In other extreme situations, fans may direct their assault on opposition players, and the result is ultimately tragic. Therefore, crazy fans are attracted to the game of rugby because it is quite violent, and this violence sometimes spills over to fans.
The other sport which is also partially characterized by crazy fans is motor sports. These sports include motor rallying, car racing and motor cycle racing. Although there is not much physical contact in this sport, it is however associated with a lot of energy (Hunt 450). The sport involves motor vehicles and bikes moving at high speeds. This is a very interesting feature for fans, especially the adrenaline junkies.
They get excited when they see vehicles and bikes moving at extremely high speeds. Most of them wait for hours on roadsides to see their favorite drivers drive at a death defying speeds. The case is the same for those who watch these sports on television. The game of motor sports also attracts car enthusiasts who are eager to check out the latest brands of cars and bikes that can move at very high speeds.
Unfortunately, the adrenalin-filled nature of the sport can translate to extreme emotion when it comes to fans.
As mentioned earlier motor sports attracts car enthusiasts as well as adrenaline junkies. Most of these people are usually emotionally unstable and therefore when things do not go their way, they are likely to blow over, and they may even turn on one another (Hunt 451). The high energy associated with the sport spills over to them and perhaps still reeling from the adrenaline that comes about with watching high speed and dangerous driving, they become violent thus earning the title of “crazy fans”.
Various sports attract different types of fans. The behavior amongst these fans is also different. For those fans who are usually classified as “crazy” they tend to be more attracted to sports that involve a lot of physical contact and that are filled with high energy. As shown in the above discussion, football, rugby and motor sports are three types of sports that involve a lot of physical body contact and are filled with a lot of energy. Consequently, these sports are characterized by fans that can only be classed as “crazy”.
Hunt, Kenneth A., Terry Bristol, and R. Edward Bashaw. "A conceptual approach to classifying sports fans." Journal of Services Marketing 13.6 (1999): 439-452.