Are you a fan?
I think everyone’s a fan of something.
Maybe you’re a fan of your local sports team. Or maybe it’s that young adult book series. Or that trilogy of movies (plus three more) that everyone should’ve forgotten about twenty years ago.
A funny thing happens when everyone are fans of something. They start to turn into fanboys and fangirls. It starts out innocently enough. You find your favorite restauant or your favorite athlete, and you support them.
But every so slowly, you start to…change. You mutate into some otherworldly creature, some slobbering half-person who yells in public, picks fights, believes and defends ridiculous things. We even start to think we own the things we are fans of.
I think a lot more of us are fanboys and fangirls than we like to admit. Maybe you should go down my handy checklist and see. And maybe…just maybe…you can stop your transformation before it’s too late.
Make Some Noise
Like I said, everyone is my town are fans of barbecue.
Travel Channel’s Anthony Bourdain came to our town a few months ago to size up our mettle with meat. I had to watch the show this week to see if he did us justice, since he can be kind of a tool.
Yes, here I am, yelling in public (something I never do), showing my hearty approval of smoked, sauced meat products.
Jim called us on it. He said, “Yes, I know you all made the barbecue. Give yourselves a hand.”
Our town identifies with food. But the vast majority of us have nothing to do with making it. We just eat it. But we will get medieval on your butt if you try to tell us that another town’s meat is better than ours. See that? We just went from fans to fanboys. Meat does not need us to defend it. It’s just meat.
Maybe we can be excused. We do have the best in the world. Tennessee can suck it.
The Primitive Tribal Religion
Your transformation into fanboy or fangirl has reached a new level when your level of devotion resembles some kind of primitive religion.
Sports guys can be especially guilty of this. Lucky shirts or jerseys to help your team win? Getting drunk and yelling at Buffalo Wild Wings? Honestly, the fervor of Jayhawks fans in this stupid town is so annoying, it really makes the Christians look rather normal.
You and I have nothing to do with sports team. Just like many of us were raised in our religion, most of us pull for the team we were born closest to. That is the saving grace of the Kansas City Chiefs. How many people do you know who pull for a team in a city they have no connection with? Practically none. Those are the kind of people who switch political parties in their forties. They are not to be trusted.
Follower or Fanboy?
Finally, on your way to being a completely delusional fanboy, your life completely revolves around your obsession. You’ve got the T-shirts. You’ve clicked “Like” on the Facebook pages. Maybe you have a fansite, or you just clog your Facebook friends’ news feeds with constant posts until they delete you. You will whoop and cheer in public. You have an elaborate ritual surrounding your obsessions. And just as importantly, you cannot imagine how anyone could disagree with you. You are willing to disparage fans of the other team, product or celebrity that you have no vested investment in. It could not matter less what barbecue, beer, football team, movies, or books I prefer. Yet I…
…Wait. I’m going to have to interrupt myself. Because all that fanboy stuff. It kind of sounds like a lot of us in the church. A lot of Jesus fanboys and fangirls. We’ve got the T-shirts. We have the elaborate ritual. We clicked “Like.”. We sit in the same seats each week. And we’re sure willing to go to bat to defend Jesus’ honor and everything we think he stands for…
…But so much of the time, I haven’t actually invested much at all in Jesus. I think I call myself a follower of Jesus, but I’m really just a fanboy…
What are you? Fan or follower?
And just for fun, what are you a fanboy or fangirl of? What are your really unreasonable, ridiculous obsessions? Any other signs you’re a fanboy we can add to the list?