Being a fan

Being a fan of anything is an interesting process. It stems from the word fanatic and there are times when you realize that is very apropos.

For myself, I am a big fan of four things: Phoenix Suns, Indianapolis Colts, WWE, and Star Trek. These are the four things I would say I am the most into, but there are many other things I enjoy immensely as well including Star Wars, anything comic book related, collecting sports cards, and the list goes on…

Being a fan can be very rewarding in the pleasure it can bring you. Watching a great wrestling match, enjoying a Star Trek marathon, seeing the Colts and Suns win, etc…can bring an immense sense of joy. Collecting merchandise that ties into these things can be very fun as well.

Sometimes being a fan can provide some sad moments as well. Watching your favorite team lose is simply not fun. Even though it shouldn’t, it can slightly ruin your day when your team gets knocked out of the playoffs. With fiction it is quite different since it is essentially make-believe. WWE is story line driven and the outcomes of matches are pre-determined so even if your favorite did not win you know they will win again soon and are happy if the match they lost was at least highly entertaining. They may kill off your favorite character in Star Trek, but there will always be new characters to come along and become your new favorite.

There are downsides to this fandom though. I consider myself well balanced and knowledgeable enough to get over things quickly, but some people are the complete opposite. They become so obsessed they cannot function normally in life. They stalk their favorite athletes or actors. They do not have the ability to function normally in life without those things they enjoy. Sometimes these individuals just do not know what to do with their lives without these ‘things’.

I consider myself a very well functioning fan. When my teams lose it bums me out for a bit, but I get over it pretty quickly. I am able to find the most joy in my family and being able to share the things I love with them puts a huge smile on my face.

I do wonder what it would be like without my favorite things. I would have more room in my house and more money in my bank account, but I cannot help but think things would be a little more boring. I do not ‘need’ these things, but I do get a big smile on my face watching the next Star Trek movie or seeing the Phoenix Suns win a big game.

What is nice though is knowing that without this stuff I would still feel immensely satisfied and happy with my life since I have my wife and daughter by my side. Without them things would be much different and not for the better. Enjoying things is fine as long as you have bigger priorities in life.

Being a fan is okay, just don’t become a fan-atic!

Sidelined

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I am a big Indianapolis Colts fan. Even though I am not from the state and have never even visited Indiana, they are my favorite NFL team. I was introduced to them through my wife (nope, not from the state nor has she visited as well) and at some point I will probably explain our love for the team, but for now I wanted to talk a little about their current head coach’s memoir Sidelined: Overcoming Odds Through Unity, Passion, and Perseverance.

In 2012 Chuck Pagano was hired as the Colts new head coach after a tumultuous season of only 2 wins for the franchise and the loss of one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Peyton Manning, to the Denver Broncos. There was optimism though since they received the top draft pick that year which turned into Andrew Luck. With a mostly new team coming off a poor season they needed a coach who could quickly turn things around and Pagano was the man for the job.

The season started slightly shaky, but looked promising until Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia. It hit the franchise, the fans, and all of the NFL very hard. Despite losing their head coach for most of the season the team still finished 11-5 and made the wild card round of the NFL playoffs under interim head coach Bruce Arians (who also won Coach of the Year for his team’s success).

Pagano came back from his fight with leukemia with a major victory over the disease and has coached the team to the playoffs the past 2 years.

This book covers his hiring by the Colts and his battle with cancer. It is filled with tremendous inspiration and is a book that should be read not just by football fans, but by anyone who has battled cancer or has a loved one who has dealt with the disease as well. It is well told and will leave you in tears on a few occasions. It is a quick read, but well written.

I cannot recommend this book enough. For anyone who watched the story unfold that year this is a great in depth telling of what went on behind the scenes and is truly inspirational.