By Will Stevenson
June 3 2016
Hot dogs, grills, cookouts, road trips, face paint, nosebleed section, beer, friends, family rivalry, fantasy leagues… Welcome to Fandemonium
Circa 1988. That Christmas was new to me. At the tender age of 4, everything in my life changed. We were a tight family of 13, living in a house made for 6. We didn’t have much, my dad was laid off and my mother had just started working at a nearby hospital. With 6 adults and 7 kids, playing outside was our only form of entertainment. That October my birthday rolled around, I had a cake, but no presents. I recent asking my older sister if Santa would bring me anything, she replied “Santa doesn’t care about birthdays, nor Christmas.” At that age, it was a tough pill to swallow; Santa wasn’t real. I cried, a lot. Mostly in denial but my parents confirmed the fact that we were struggling and Santa was just something to give poor people hope. They told me they worked hard for everything we had and there was no reason for me to believe there was a man out there whom would give the whole world presents in a 6 hour span.
I know what you’re thinking, Yes, that is a lot for a 4 year old to comprehend, but if you know my sister, she reminds me of this time… Every time.
In a twisted ironic hindsight, finding out Santa wasn’t real shaped my fandom. You see, when you grow up poor and your parents are working every shift to keep the lights on, you don’t get to splurge money on sports teams. And, we lived in NC, which only gave us the Hornets, and later on the Panthers, but that wasn’t until 1996. College sports wasn’t big in our household and Raleigh was 2 hours away. We didn’t even have cable until the early 90s, so I don’t even remember Jordan losing to the Celtics and Pistons. The Hornets didn’t have at deal at the time, so WGN and TBS was all I had to watch, so if course I would be A Bulls and Braves fan. The Braves had Greg, Tom and Smoltz. The bulls had Jordan and Pippen. So Yeeeh, I’m a front runner. How could being a fan be bad for me, I only watched winning teams. I had no choice.
So that is me in a nutshell. Santa wasn’t loyal to me, so I’m not loyal to Santa: And that’s why I have been a fan for…. the Patriots, Vikings, Chiefs, Falcons, Raiders, Bulls, Hawks, Bucks, Magic, Braves, Red Sox, Dodgers, Marlins, Ducks, Red Wings, Avalanche, Tar heels, Michigan, Florida State, Miami, Wake Forest and Chelsea…..
Welcome To Fandemonium
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