The Jaded Bitter fan is a long suffering fan of a team that just cant seem to put it together for a long time. Usually a decade or more. No championships in their lifetimes, if at all. The jaded fan doesn’t even seem to enjoy the sport sometimes, but just watches their team lose heartbreakers week in and week out. The occasional first round playoff exit. Jaded fans hate football. Yet they keep coming back, loyal to a fault. The Jaded fan is a broken fan.

Last week for the Optimist I portrayed myself as a grumpy surly fan, mostly to play off the”Optimist/Pessimist” thing. Several fans of less successful teams of my own gave me crap for it. This is a defining trait of the Jaded fan. If you follow a more successful team than they do, you are simply NOT ALLOWED TO COMPLAIN ABOUT YOUR TEAM EVER, BECAUSE YOU DON’T HAVE PERSPECTIVE, MAN

This is stupid, because every fan wants their team to win it all every year, why else would we follow our teams? Fans of successful teams can complain about their team, just because they’ve been successful in recent years doesn’t mean those fans can’t be unhappy when their favorite team loses. (Obviously there is a point where complaining is too much, don’t get me wrong here, snobby bandwagoners can totally lack perspective) But I think it highlights a key fact about the Jaded fan. They just want to be loved. They just want someone to respect them, to respect their team, to give them just an ounce. They’ve seen so much heartbreak that they have arguments about who can be the most heartbroken, just so they can win something. It’s tragic. This bitter husk of a fan who doesn’t even appear to enjoy the sport is a tragic figure. It may be dumb to yell at people for complaining about their more successful team, but you should indeed give that fan some respect. To sit through all of the bad they have seen, to pour their hearts into teams that the rest of us use as punchlines, year in and year out, that is fan dedication. They may wear bags on their heads to games. They may sit by themselves at the bar and swear a lot, with the occasional outburst of frustration. They may hang their head in sadness or start laughing like a madman when their team craps itself yet again. But this fan is loyal. More loyal than fans of more successful teams may ever know. Loyal. Committed, even if it hurts their health.

That fan deserves your respect.