Special Guest Post: Anatomy of the Passionate Fan

So first of all I have to say that this is not one of the baseball loving brothers writing an article about the Twins. This is the wife of one of the baseball loving brothers. When Nathan first asked me if I’d write an article I was a little shocked. I asked him what he wanted me to write about, and he said whatever I want. He said it could be about stadiums, food, whatever. So I was honest and asked if I could even write about how I think there should only be 7 innings instead of 9.  He snickered and said I could write about whatever I wanted. So I’ve decided to write about passion.

But first I have to address this 7th inning business. Every time I go to a baseball game, we get to the point where we are all supposed stand up stretch and sing a nostalgic song in what is called the seventh inning stretch. Now don’t get me wrong, baseball is fun and entertaining, but come on, it can get a little long. As we stand to sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”, I’m usually thinking this would be a great time to “get me out of the ball game.” Why not move the song to the middle of the 5th and hit the road after the 7th? Any game that is so long it requires more that two potty breaks, should probably be a tad shorter in length. Now don’t be a hater, I’m just saying what I think, just throwing in my challenge flag.

Anyway back to the subject I’ve decided to address, and that’s passion. Anytime anyone talks about leadership, the great discussion question comes up about whether great leaders are born or made. Now I’ve read books and had college classes where we discuss this topic. And I would like to put forth the following question, “are passionate fans born or made?” First I want to define the word passion as stated in the Webster dictionary. It says passion is an “intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction; ardent affection: love; a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept; an object of desire or deep interest.” I’m sure anyone reading this article probable falls into that passionate camp, or is just my family being courteous enough to read my article and pretend they care. But I think the answer to the question I asked can go both ways. Just like the long never-ending leadership debate, I think there are some good arguments for both sides. So bear with me as I briefly give some points for sides.

Now for the “born” side of the debate I set forth a few observations. Some people just love sports from the time they are little. It appears they are born into this passionate sports craze. From the time they learn to walk they want to play ball. As soon as they see a sport on TV they are enchanted by the speed and skill with which the players maneuver. It’s like they hit the sports ground running and never turn back. No one has to fan into flame the passion; it just seems like it has always been there. Now you can debate that parents or others may turn on the game on the TV or take them to games and fuel that passion, but there still remains the fact that some people have loved sports ever since they can remember. Although my husband remembers going to his grandparents and watching the Twins with his passionate grandpa, it still remains clear that he didn’t require much fueling, the passion just seemed to be there. Another proof of this side lies in the fact that you can have a family of let’s say two boys and one can be passionate about sports and the other not so much. Or a mom and dad who hate sports and the child is passionate about the game. Some people just seem to have this intense passion for sports regardless of whether the people around them or the environment around them fosters this in them.

Then on the flip side there are those who have definitely had this passion fueled in their lives. It might not have been there from an early age but rather been something that over time they fell in love with. Maybe the love didn’t come until a friend brought them to a college game or they saw a last minute shot or a home run at the very end of the game. Or maybe someone just watched it as a courtesy when they were with the one they love and after months of pretending they care or knew what the heck was going on it eventually became a passion. Whatever the reason it was something that was fostered or created by others and circumstance.

So as you can see both answers work. Whether you seem to be born into this sports’ passion a.k.a. obsession (like my husband) or have come to agreeably tolerate the whole thing (like me), there is hope that a passion can be gained later in life. Rest assured all you passionate sports fans; your spouse can acquire this passion for the game. Maybe someday my husband will have a wife who is passionate about sports or at least enjoys the actual game more that the snacks and picture opportunities.

Brittany Aakre (a.k.a. Nathan’s wife, a.k.a. passionate work in progress)

Follow Twins Rubes on Twitter @twinsrubes.

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About Nathan Aakre

I was born in NW Minnesota in the early 1980's. Through high school I competed in every sport time would allow, and continue to try to keep my slow-pitch softball and pick-up basketball dreams alive. I've been a Minnesota Twins fan (along with any other Minnesota sports team) as long as I can remember, and live and die with the wins and losses for 162 different days every summer.

7 thoughts on “Special Guest Post: Anatomy of the Passionate Fan

  1. Brittany! Gotta have more Brittany.

    As you know, one of my spouses, I mean my spouse has been almost less than tolerant along side my sports “enthusiasm” for the better part of 20 years. But, this is a great place to let you know that I have caught her watching Vikings games on 3 different occasions this year and I wasn’t even on the same floor. Passionate work in progress… Oh I think so. (thank you All Day)

  2. My favorite sneaky-passionate-sports wife moment was when I went with my buddy Seth to Game 163 a few years back. I got home to find out that Brittany had watched every minute of the game – something she never does when I’m home! #SecreteRube

  3. Maybe I am a work in progress, but I still was more focused on your idea to shorten the game. Next time, how about some info on people watching or more food variety at the game. Maybe those topics will help get us through 9 innings

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