Giant Killing 14 – Crazy Fandom Is Tough

It’s a fact of life: People often grow out of their fandoms, and not always willingly.

A lot of us can watch this episode, see the interactions of the older fans with their contemporaries and realize how lucky we are. Me, I’m incredibly lucky to have a job that not only pays the bills but also affords me the time to watch a lot of anime, write about series and go to conventions for days at a time. Many of the guys in this episode used to be hardcore fans of ETU . . . but it just does not make sense anymore. They have other commitments; they have families to provide for, and businesses to run. Real life doesn’t allow for flights of fancy very often when one is entrenched in responsibility.

Not that I can pretend to be entrenched in responsibility, haha. I probably identify just a bit more with the Skulls, in that I am young enough to be crazy passionate about something and not look utterly ridiculous, although they take things just a bit further than I would with a sports team. The Kuroda fans in particular are just . . . lol. Probably have no idea just how ridiculous they seem, haha. But, hey, you can get away with that when you’re young, because people expect young sports fans to act like ridiculous fools. They have the energy to do so, after all, so why not do it?

I like the idea of the ETU fandom being filtered through three generations: You have the older guys who were once passionate but fell out of the fandom because of life responsibilities and ETU playing like ass; the younger guys who grew up with ETU as the hometown team and still have the energy to eat, sleep and breathe soccer; and the little kids who are starting to grow up with the sport and finding that team to latch onto for life.

Personally, I think the third group is the best time for anyone to be a sports fan. Everything just seems so much larger than life at that age, and the realities of life are not enough to distract you from the love of the game at that point in your life. I was just starting high school during the heyday of the Shaq and Kobe Lakers of the early 2000s — Kobe tossing that alley oop to Shaq to cap the comeback against the Jail Blazers is my most vivid sports memory, because of the enormity of that moment as a fan who had zero memory of the Showtime squad, and because I was at an age where I could just pour all of my concentration into that team without any serious repercussions.

On a smaller scale, that is basically what Tsubaki’s goal is to those kids. It’s a moment they can latch onto and make become more vivid, because they have the means and ability to concentrate completely on this game they love. When you get older, unless you’re incredibly lucky, recapturing that feeling is difficult. I’m not there yet . . . but it will come eventually, most likely. It’ll be sad if/when that happens with sports or anime or whatever else; however, maybe it won’t be for another couple of decades. That would be nice.

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4 Responses to “Giant Killing 14 – Crazy Fandom Is Tough”

  1. It’s true. I was such a huge sports fan when I was a kid… now I barely watch the stuff unless it’s the playoffs or a big event like the Olympics/World Cup. And I’m not even that old!!!

    I really want to know how those old guys in this show can afford to be so hardcore. Even traveling all the way to Nagoya to watch a game! It can’t be cheap. Heck even the punk crew did it too which is pretty insane.

    • With work, anime and movies, I only have the time to follow basketball seriously; I’m a casual fan of pretty much every other sport, haha. And, yeah, I definitely could not afford to go to games very often. I’d guess prices for ETU games are semi-affordable, though — bad economy + the sport is probably not as popular as baseball there.

  2. Yeah, I’m in the same boat as Epi. I used to be a really big basketball fan as a kid. I watched the Bulls all the time, and unlike a lot of other people, it was actually my state’s team! Then I moved on to the Lakers, but it just wasn’t the same and I slowly lost interest. Now I don’t watch it at all.

    In some ways, I think it’s cool some people can spend their whole lives loving sports. But for many of us, it’s an interest which slowly, painfully dies.

    • I haven’t fallen out of sports mostly because, aside from the fact that I generally enjoy watching them, I have always been surrounded by people who love sports. Hell, I started watching basketball because all my friends did it. See, peer pressure can bring good results every so often! (It’s also where my respect for hip hop comes from. :p)

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