It is impossible to imagine football without football fans. Football fans, like footballers themselves, make the sport more lively, spectacular and entertaining. Football supporters differ in their behavior and level of engagement in the game.
The goal of this paper is to classify football fans and show the main traits of each group. The paper analyzes a number of related web resources such as encyclopedias, newspapers, magazines, social networks and video materials in order to gain a deeper perception of the theme. All obtained information helps to describe the types of football fans and models of their behavioral styles.
Football Fans – Classification
Away from football, they are workers, white collars, business people, students, someone’s brother, sister or parent. But under the influence of the game, football, they transform into a different category of people – fans. Some of them are known for backing their teams with extreme enthusiasm and others, for riots, weapons and extreme aggression. They are not the same in their attitude in terms of behavior and psychological disposition.
The types of football fans are:
- TV fans. They make up the most numerous group of football supporters.These fans watch their favorite football teams by way of a TV.
- Casual fans. They are generally adults who attend football matches in order to watch the game, support their team and talk reasonably about a variety of subjects as well. As a rule, they are psychologically mature enough to not make outbursts. They are not loud, mad or depressed. They are contented – for them football is leisure time and a kind of escape from everyday monotonous routines.
- Hardcore football fans. Most of the time, they attend every single game including away games. They have their own rules, traditions and code of behavior. They are extremely passionate about their team. They are loud and often paint their faces and other parts of their bodies with a team logo, national flag or a letter to spell a certain phrase connected with their team. Frequently, they make fun of a rival team to try and weaken the opposing teams’ morale.
- Companions. They are not true football fans, though they might pretend to be. Mostly these are the girlfriends and wives of hardcore fans.
- Statisticians or scholarly fans. These fans watch the game mainly through the prism of passionless numbers. They have all football-related statistics on their tongues and have deep insight into the game.
- Overzealous fans or football hooligans. Their behavior is unruly and destructive; it is oftentimes based on rivalries and antagonism between teams. Hooliganism can include insulting shouts, short scuffles and huge riots with deadly weapons as well. In fact, the main purpose they play as a fan is to physically attack other teams’ or clubs’ supporters. They have been known to overturn cars, break windows and to create other kinds of disruptions.
Fans are an indispensable part of any football game. Their emotional backing and healthy enthusiasm are extremely important, especially during crucial moments of a football match. But in case the love of football becomes an addiction, it takes away from the game. Football should be watched as solely a game that has its beauties, entertainments, and philosophy – but not as a grudge match.
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