What does it mean to be a FAN?

I remember standing in the bleachers cheering for my son and hearing others cheer right along with me, but some would say ”Go Superman Go” My son had all these strangers cheering for him, and all they knew about him was that he was a great player. I used to wait for him at the end of the field, especially after a bad game. His senior year the team lost a big game, and I eased my way on to the field because I noticed he still had his helmet on. The other parents, students, and fans did not know that this meant that their beloved all-star running back was crying, but I did. I noticed teen girls coming near me with posters in their hands, and as he got closer to us, I heard them whispering anxiously, ”Here he comes to put up the sign!” He came straight to me, I’m Mama lol, but when I let him loose, a crowd of fans cheered and applauded him, but then I heard a soft shy voice said:” Great game Keenen, I made this poster for you.” He thanked her and doubled back to give me the poster and as he walked off the girl said, ”OMG, did you see that!! Keenen touched my hand and spoke to me!” That year I would realize how many people loved my son simply, because he was a great athlete.

He plays college ball now and, the cheering and love continue… His talent pays his college tuition, no one else. If he were in the pro’s his talent would pay his salary, not his fans cheering for him, even if they were to stop cheering for him it wouldn’t take away his ability to play ball.

I say this because this is the life of people we claim to love, like celebrities. We love pro athletes we love them because they are great at what they do, once they leave the field, the court and locker room, they have their own lives, right? We love the singers, rappers and movie stars for what they do, not who they are, but when we get a glimpse of who they are at heart, we kick them to the curb, judge and ridicule. Why? They are paid to entertain us, to win and then they go home and live just the same as us. Right?

A fan, or fanatic, sometimes also termed aficionado or supporter, is a person who is enthusiastically devoted to something or somebody, such as a singer or band, a sport or a sports team, a genre, a politician, a book, a movie or an entertainer.

At the end of the day we love these people for their talents, nothing more. When players are chosen from college to play pro ball, all we know about them is how well they handle a ball. When we heard ”Im gonna take my horse to Old Town Road” all we knew was that we loved the song. I can go on and on how we come to idolize celebrities, but my point is they are no different than us. We label them as our heroes for the mere fact that they can play ball or create a hot song, that’s their talent. Are you praised and paid for yours? A hero is the school teacher, the police officer, the volunteer coaches, the doctors, and so on. We do not cheer them on or hold them to the same regard as we do with celebrities. Why? What would you say or do if you knew your child’s teacher was anti-this or that? What do you know about that lady or man you meet with during school conferences if that?

Yes, most celebrities donate, volunteer, and so on, but they choose organizations that pull at the strings of their hearts. We can’t tell them who to do business with, where to spend their money, what to believe, etc. I think we get lost in this perception of ownership to celebrities, because we pay taxes, buy tickets and merchandise as if they work for us and have to follow our rules or else. What can we do? Stop being fans? Stop going to the games? Fans do account for how much athletes earn, but it doesn’t stop why you became a fan in the first place. They had fans before they made millions, most of us have been cheering for them since their days of REC and AAU, and we weren’t questioning their lives then. Why do we feel the need to judge what kind of life they live now that we pay to watch them perform? We are Fans, not God. That’s the keyword ”FANS” and guess what you were one before you heard through the grapevine or if a little bird came chirping at your window. I’m pretty sure if you were in their shoes, you would get highly pissed when all the noise of their personal lives because of a public matter. Imagine you walk into work, and your boss and coworkers tell you that they heard about you sleeping with Becky with the good hair or how you got drunk after you lost that big client. We are paying for entertainment, to perform a task to their best ability, not their entire existence. Is that how your job works?

Of course, we want people in high places to be the best of the best, to be void of sin and live clean-cut lives, but look at our governing body since it began. I guess that’s why the majority voted for the President… Our Superheroes should be held responsible for committing offenses just as us regular folks, but there’s power in the mighty dollar, and some can skate their way through troubles they have caused. I found that this rule can apply to those who have fame without the coins. I was one of those Mom’s who would attempt to punish my son from participating in practices and games only to be told:” Let me punish his at practice.”

We amplify and glorify all that they do in the public eye without knowing who they truly are once the lights and cameras disappear. They are people just like us, but I get why we are shocked when finding out they aren’t these gods we make them out to be. When I was younger, you couldn’t tell me Michael Jackson used the bathroom. I wouldn’t have believed it with my own eyes if I saw him taking a dump unless his shit were logs of glitter. Lol. As I grew older, I would find out that he was a regular man, but more so a businessman. His job was to perform, and he did it well, once he left that stage he was Michael Jackson, the man. Relating to celebrities in this light made me value their craft more so. It’s hard being an entrepreneur as it is, imagines being self-made to the world.

We all like our privacy, the right to our individual beliefs, and just to be who you are. We get all crazy emotional, calling for the heads of the one we were cheering for two seconds ago, because we can’t handle that our ”Superman” is just a man?…

To be a true Fan you have to be for them when the kryptonite is right in the palm of their hand, and not many of us can have this type of unconditional love and support for a stranger.  A true fan is someone who supports his team through thick and thin.; whether his team win or lose, he stands by them. Here again, it comes back to why we are fans, and it’s, because they are good at something, what they do, not who they are.

Loyalty lies with those you love, and often times we jump off their bandwagon for the silliest things. As Mama, my son is the greatest thing on and off the court; I’m his biggest cheerleader and Fan President because he is a part of my heart and soul. To be a ride or die FAN, there has to be a truly personal relationship. Otherwise, you’re a person who is paying to see someone perform their skillset at an expert level.

I’m a huge fan of butter pecan ice cream, and I’m very picky about the brand, and I’m willing to pay for the best of the best of creamy sweet buttery ice cream with loads of salty toasted pecans.

I’ll be slick and end with I’m a Native New Orleanian and we say Who Dat ⚜️

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