What is Your Favorite Thing About Being a Fan?
EDITOR'S NOTE: As of 9:23 AM...the Internet (Spectrum) was out on Mellwood Ave. This means WCHQ 100.9 FM, our radio station for The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour is off the air.
I'll be monitoring this link www.wchqfm.com hoping it is restored.
This week I spent 3 days in Nowhere, West Virginia doing field work for a hospital renovation. Preparing for the trip made me think about Louisville/West Virginia rivalries of the past, and I considered bringing up this topic last week before more obvious news got in the way. Going on the trip, though, only made me more sure that I wanted to write about it. The concept that originally came to my mind was to ask everyone what their favorite part of a rivalry was. It could have been a specific game between Louisville and any of their rivals in any sport, or it could have been the way people discuss certain moments. I realized after returning from West Virginia that the rivalry question didn't actually get to the heart of what I wanted to talk about. You're welcome to talk about your favorite rivalry moments in the comments, still, because I'd love to hear them. However, the real question comes at the top of this article:
What is your favorite thing about being a fan?
I'm not asking this question rhetorically. I'd really like to see your answers. My favorite thing is that being deep into a fandom makes every person at least a little bit irrational about that fandom. It can happen to anyone in a variety of ways about any team or person or thing that they follow closely. It is human nature that when someone disagrees with you regarding something about which you are passionate, you will take it as a personal affront. The fandom also digs deep into your thought processes, guiding decisions in ways that are subtle and you may not even notice. I know this seems like a strange thing to be my "favorite," but it's what I've been thinking about nonstop recently, driven by the continued issues with UofL.
While packing for West Virginia, I decided to throw a Louisville polo into my bag. It was a spare shirt and I didn't know if I would wear it because of the conversations it might start or the looks it might draw. Fans of West Virginia don't really like fans of Louisville. At least that's what my irrational side was telling me. If I wore that polo, all of the nice people I had met at the hospital and beyond would turn on me while I was working just because of a shirt. On our last day there, I considered throwing on the polo but went with a different shirt instead, still hung up on the idea. When a coworker of mine came down in a UK button down, I went so far as to call him bold for wearing that shirt in WV. His response was that he wasn't worried about it, and I second guessed myself for being so worried about a dang shirt. I still didn't change.
When we got to the hospital that day and sat in the conference room that was our base of operations, a conversation almost immediately sprung up about the UK shirt. One of our hospital contacts asked my coworker about how much he must dislike WVU for the games they've played in the tournament and regular season recently. The content of the conversation isn't important, but my irrationality felt validated. If he was getting flak about a UK shirt when the two teams only ever clash in basketball, how would things have gone in a UofL shirt with all of the history between the Cards and Mountaineers? I don't really intend to find out on any future trips.
The polo story is just one of many things I can think of that drives fans to irrationality on a daily basis. Think of any conversation you've had about a team or player of which you are a fan. Someone argues that Lamar Jackson didn't deserve the Heisman, that Donovan Mitchell wasn't deserving of the Rookie of the Year award, that Asia Durr isn't among the best players in women's college basketball. Consider your response to those statements. Being a fan makes it personal. The cardinal colored glasses (or any other team color) fall down in front of your eyes and your emotional investment takes over for any facts. If the other person is a fan of a rival team, it is even worse. You both argue with personal bias and the irrationality of fandom.
As a normally logical person (I am an engineer after all) it seems strange to enjoy the chaos that is emotional fandom, but I can't help it. Maybe that's why it's my favorite part of fandom, because it is so different from my normal patterns. Whatever it is, it's what makes me excited about being a fan of the teams I enjoy, and it's what drives me to support them through thick and thin. So what about you? What is your favorite thing about being a fan?
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour
Jared and I are both out this morning, leaving Paulie and Jeff to fend for themselves in the new studio arrangement. They may have found a guest or two, but if not, it is sure to be a wonderful show. The summer is winding down and we are only a couple of weeks from real sports competitions getting back underway. Tune into the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour on WCHQ at 11AM to hear the OG Cardinal Couplers discuss what they had for lunch this week and to participate in a quiz that may or may not be nonsense. I'm sure they'll find a way to fit in the joy and excitement of Louisville women's sports, too.
Until next time, Go Cards!