The Optimist is a naive soul, a new fan full of youth who has yet to have their heart truly broken.

It’s one thing to have a little optimism for the team once in a while. Maybe they just fired a bad coach or coordinator, and made a good hire or plugged a big hole in free agency. But these are small hopes. The Optimist thinks everything is great and maybe all they need is a lucky break or two and they will win it all. They say with confidence that their team is better than others, like it’s established fact. When things are going poorly it just growing pains. It’s impossible to convince the Optimist that their team has many faults and football fandom is a cruel mistress. They are typically just a few years into being a fan and usually former bandwagoners who still care and follows the game regularly now.

Optimists are relatively rare and usually are fans of teams with decent recent success. You don’t get a lot of Optimists in fandoms like Cleveland or Detroit. They are like new shoes, they need to get broken in a bit. You can’t change the Optimist, only the team’s performance can.

The Optimist eventually evolves. Their team might continue to get close, have reasonable success, but never reach the top and slowly make the Optimist realize the harsh truth: Every year, only one out of 32 fanbases finishes the season happy. This turns them into the Pessimist. Or, their team has a string of back luck right in a row, and dives into the gutter. This breaks the Optimist. At this point he either stops caring and becomes a fairweather fan  or a casual fan. If the game has gotten it’s claws into the Optimist before it breaks him though, he changes into the Bitter fan. We will see him next.