Define "real fan"

I keep seeing this term tossed around here and can't for the life of me tell the difference between "real fan" and the imposters.
When I'm at a game I look around for these fakers and damn, they must be masters of disguise because they seem to blend in with the die-hards and "real" fans perfectly.
We have the Mass supporters
the apologists
the x's and O's crowd
long term season holders
first time walk ups
old,young,black,white, trolls, those with less than 50 or over 1000 posts etc etc.....
The boycotters are being called not real fans, the ones that get pissed and come here to scream and yell are being called not real fans, the ones that are willing to wait it out patiently are beieng called not real fans and so on.
I've been attending for 30 or so years, approximately half of those with seasons so am I better than the first year buyer? Should I be trying to seperate myself from those with less 'time-in' than myself or should I be stepping aside when I see a poster comeing with over 1000 posts to his/her credit?
Two (or maybe three) years ago a new group bought seats beside me and with them came a horde of young kids, they didn't know or care what our standings were, they didn't know or care if we won that game, come hell or high water they were going to spend that entire game screaming, chanting, cheering and basically just having one hell of a good time no matter what. I'm almost ashamed to say it was one of the most entertaining nights I've ever had at IWS, they most obviously weren't real fans being new and all but yet I had more fun with them than with some of IWS's cronies that mostly hang around talking tech and complaining about how it's not like it used to be.
(maybe they're the buggers that aren't real, I'm going to ask)
I'm not sure why I'm I'm even making this post when chances are I'm the one that's not a real fan, which would explain why I can't spot them,or maybe I'm just not used to a full day off to play online but here's the deal, if anyone can tell me the difference between real and fake fans I'll treat them to a front row seat for the game of their choice, with free beer.
From argoconvert to Zenstate (I thought that was clever) I don't think there is a "real fan" or a "not real fan" but please feel free to enlighten me as I've always figured a fan is a fan and none are better than the other.


A "real fan" is different things to different people. But in general, a "real fan" sticks by their team no matter what. They may openly and passionately question moves by the team, but they do not waver in their support of the team in the process. Support includes following the team, attending games, etc. It doesn't mean if you miss a game you aren't a fan, by no means, but you must support the team in some manner even if its just pledging your alliegance to them when somebody asks "whose your team?".

Thats the key requirement of being a "real fan", their are other periphal qualities that can increase ones fan status (showing support creatively at games), etc., but these are not true requirements in my opinion.

People that waver in their support of the actual TEAM itself with such cry baby shananigans as, "I'm going for the Argos now", "I'm only going to watch the NFL from now on because they stink", are the subject of labels like fair weather fan. If they come back to the fold when the team starts winning, it's even worse.

Good post Canucklehead. I think there is room in the "real fan" camp for all the types of fans you described.

Generally, I make a distinction between “real fans” and the bandwagon jumpers, who only cheer for a team when it makes the playoffs or gets on a winning streak.

free beer eh? damn
it's a good post. wish i could come up with an answer.

"Real fan" is nothing more than a derogatory term that was concocted by a disrespectful disgruntled and frustrated fan to identify other fans in argument who are willing to display comprehensively an open mindedness that goes beyond that of the frustrated fans own understanding.

-Oxford Dictionary, First Edition,1927
-Oxford dictionary, 80th edition,2007

As you can see there has been no change in definition over the past 80 years.

ill never boycott a game ill tell u that much.

Real fan - any one who choses to cheer for a team....

Not -ET...

I think that the only thing that doesn't maybe make you a so called "real fan" is when you stop liking a team because they have a few bad seasons..otherwise everyone's a "real fan"

IMHO a “real fan” is someone who supports the team no matter what.

It’s OK to get pissed off at them, but it’s like a good marriage. You stick by one another no matter what.

It seems to me that the term "real fan" is usually used as a self-declaration by some people here who don't like being disagreed with, but who have insufficient force in their arguments to persuade others to their view. So they dismiss those who disagree with them as not being "real fans" and state that "real fans" would of course agree with their point of view.

It's a silly, nonsense term I think. I think canucklehead has it about right.

Actually they are the smart ones.

A real fan is someone who cares. All the rest is a matter of opportunity and opinion

A real fan rarely misses a game, usually sits in south stand press box above Sec.25-27. Only cares if He is starting and whines when overworked.

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deaf dumb and blind is ideal.

Hahaahaaaaa… Well I guess in Hamilton, these characteristics really help.

Actually, I think of myself as a CFL fan first, an Argo fan second and a Cats fan third (that is, whenever they aren’t playing the Argos).

An Argo-Cat fan


  1. CFL fan

  2. Argo fan

  3. Tiger Cat fan

Oskee wee wee!