THE ‘CYNICAL’ DEVILS: These fans are best suited for a team like India, which guarantees a lot, but delivers very little. These fans consider the team (and the players) as “useless, incapable, good-for-nothing.” They do not expect India to win a tournament (so the ICC World Cup is simply out of the picture!). But their national integrity, patriotism and love for the sport can hardly be questioned! These fans end up dissatisfied in any situation. A loss enables them to point fingers at everyone, from the captain, to the team physiotherapist, to the selectors. Then the “I-told-you-so” factor comes into the picture. And if the team wins, well, it was just another win before the team eventually chokes!
THE ‘ETERNAL’ HOPEFULS: “India will definitely win the World Cup this time,” goes the familiar chant of such fans, each time the team embarks on a Cup journey. However, their dreams and hopes are brutally crushed after the team fails to perform in its usual “promising” way. Some of them sulk; some cry; some burn effigies of all those they hold responsible for the team’s dismal performance; some sink into a deep depression, only to come out of it after India wins a match; any match. Some even go so far as to contemplate suicide! But everything goes back to normal once Sachin/Sourav/Rahul praise and “thank the loyal fans back home for their support and encouragement, without whom this ‘defeat’ would not have been possible!”
THE ‘JINGOISTIC’ NATIONALS: Life (and sometimes, even death!), for them, revolves around India beating its arch-rival, Pakistan, whether it is in a group-stage match,or the final of the tournament (if that can ever be possible!) The joy of thrashing Pakistan easily compensates for the distress, even if it is a defeat in the finals, as happened in the 2003 World Cup. India had beaten Pakistan in the quarterfinal in a thrilling display of guts, gumption and athleticism. Only if Dada’s men had repeated that performance in the nerve-wracking final against eventual winners Australia, the World Cup trophy would surely have been India’s to lift for a second time
THE ‘DEFEATISTS’: They cling to a simple thread of philosophy – “Do what they may, India can never win another World Cup again.” For them, no player in the present team is capable of replicating former maestros like Kapil Dev and Mohinder Amarnath, who lifted the 1983 Prudential ICC World. There might be far more talented players today, such as, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly; but massive monetary contracts and decreasing professionalism have taken a toll on their passion to win the Cup for the country. For such fans, their belief has taken a severe beating, and can never be resurrected again in the same way. At least not until India wins its second World Cup!
THE ‘PROUD’ IGNORANTS: These fans do not care two hoots for the team, even if it wins or loses. Primarily, such fans include ‘intellectuals’ (for whom sport is a trivial pursuit); lazybones (who do not possess the requisite mental strength to sit in front of their television sets for five long hours); ‘passive watchers’ (who are content with the final result); or those who would rather spend their time more constructively!
THE ‘VIOLENT’ VANDALS: These fans take perverse joy in breaking furniture, vandalizing pitches, wrecking the opposition (literally!) As witnessed after India won the Hero Honda series against Sri Lanka last year, the ground was blanketed by a thick cover of white plastic (nothing but Bisleri bottles!) These fans just love jumping up and down on their seats, and do not allow peaceful watchers to watch the match…
So what kind of a fan are you? Go ahead…take your pick!
[image by thornj]