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Can you be a 'true' fan if you don't play the game??

2845 Views 54 Replies 48 Participants Last post by  Seneca
On another forum I post, a poster was called (on another forum she posts on) a superficial fan because she's still learning about tennis. She said

Then, on another board I saw the question about "Do you have to be a player, and a pretty good player of a sport to be a good fan of that sport."

I don't think I'm a superficial fan. I don't understand as much as most people here about all the technicalities of the sport... all the different grips, etc. But I love the game and I love watching the matches.

You can enjoy a sport regardless of your knowledge level. Perhaps you increase your enjoyment of a sport the more you know about it, but do you have to be a player to be a good, informed fan?
I said, "Do you need to be able to sing like Mariah Carey or Celine Dion to be able to be a fan of Whitney Houston ?" :confused:

But, I think you need to have a basic understanding of the game (serve, forehand, backhand, 15-40, deuce) or at least be able to talk with someone who knows that to really enjoy it. Fortunately, all my brothers are big tennis fans (they grew up watching JMAC and Jimbo) and were able to explain things to me I didn't understand from the commentators (like break points.. for the longest time, I had no idea what 'break of serve' meant. :eek: )

What do y'all think?? :wavey:
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Ok, I'm just having a look at the thread which this discussion is on the other board, which raises some interesting points.

Of course, if you enjoy watching the sport and watch it often, then you are a fan.

Watching a lot of tennis, listening to the commentaries and reading about it helps more with understanding the sport, or at least what is relevant in able to enjoy it, than playing it unless if you play at a very high level so you can still be fairly knowledgeable if you do that.

Playing is a really good way of learning the degree of difficulty of each shot amongst other things in comparison with other shots, etc so I think people that play can appreciate it more, but of course that doesn't make us any bigger fans than those that don't.
My grandma is 70, she never in her life have played tennis.



Went with my parents, my cousin and me to the Us Open 2007 here in New York (That includes 12 hours of fligh that includes a stop at houston for 5 hours)..

Is she a true fan of the sports?
I don't think there is any criterion for being a 'true' fan. Of course, it would help to know and read a lot about the technical aspects of the game and playing helps too but I have found that even commentators and older players tend to be biased in their so called "objective" analysis and so appear not very different from any one of us.

I think a deeper knowledge of the technical aspects can help eliminate unreasonable expectations regarding players and appreciate the difficulty of what they are trying to achieve
Being a true fan, I beleive to a degree you have to understand the sacrifice and hard work and understand how hard it really is to do what they do they week in week out.

I know people who watch tennis and question why something just happened then claim they are a fan of the game. Classic example in Australia why is Lleyton Hewitt screaming the whole way through his match and why is he so arrogant.

A tennis player could answer that by saying he is mentally trying to win the battle because his physical attributes aren't as good as some.

So yes I do believe you have to play competitive tennis at a certain level to be a 'true' fan.
Of course not, that's just ridiculous. Do you need to race formula 1 cars to be a true fan of F1 racing? There must only be 1000 or so fans then :lol:
1000 would be way too much
blackgirltennis :worship:
I don't think you can fully appreciate just how skilled even the 250th ranked person in the world is unless you've played the game yourself.
No, you don't have to play tennis to be a true fan.

"Being a true fan, I beleive to a degree you have to understand the sacrifice and hard work and understand how hard it really is to do what they do they week in week out." - Matchu

There are people on this forum who consider themselves 'true fans' who do not fit your description. In fact, I daresay most tennis fans don't simply because they don't think about it. I mentioned those concepts here once and I was told to 'stop whining.'
You can definitely be a true fan if you don't play the sport--just look at F1 racing. It's unlikely that any of us will ever get behind the wheel of one of those machines and our bodies have to be conditioned to handle 5g's of force but we can still follow the sport, read about the subtle nuances, and cheer for our favorites :D

Having said that, actually playing the game brings a whole new dimension to observation of the professional world of sports
No you don't have to play the game. But you do have to understand the basic technical aspects of tennis like what's a bh, fh, volley, etc. I dislike ''fans'' who have no clue of the game and say ''X is the greatest player. He can hit over the net and he's sooooooooo hot.'' :rolleyes:
Of course not, that's just ridiculous. Do you need to race formula 1 cars to be a true fan of F1 racing? There must only be 1000 or so fans then :lol:
Some one else asked do you have to be a horse in order to enjoy horse racing. :haha:

blackgirltennis :worship:
it's just an opinion mate, doesn't mean it's right.
You can really get extreme and say unless you play top 100 tennis, you aren't a true fan. So yeah, loving tennis is all that's required.
1000 would be way too much
If you meant that 1000 people haven't sat behind the wheel of an F1 before, I disagree.
The answer is "YES".
My dad is addicted to tennis since Ali then Tyson but he even couldnt kick his own son' ass:devil:.

The particular reason is how someone in that sport could change everything, eg: charisma, style, or character.

What's make you be a true fan is not you play or dont play the game but the character that working in that sport.
I know how you are supposed to play tennis, the only reason I don't is because I become the biggest brat on the planet when I try. To some extent, the times I've been on a court have helped give me a better understanding of the difficulty and skill. But I don't think you need to physically participate in something just to be able to appreciate the skill involved. Anyone with hand-eye coordination [regardless of whether they have ever picked up a racquet], ought to know it isn't the easiest sport out there. I think that understanding how the game is played should be enough to get you by. Following the sport closely and understanding how it works is key, for me.

There are different aspects of being a tennis fan. Patriotism, personality of the player, the skill and techniques these players use. I like a combination of these [minus the patriotism. Couldn't give a stuff about my own kind [except Luczak and probably Feeney when Peta's finished with me].

I suppose it depends on the definition of a 'true' fan then. If it's about superiority over the rest of us, go for it. I guess then you aren't true fans of sports such as Ice Hockey, Handball, Motorcycling or Ice Skating.
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I suppose you can be a true fan even if you don't play the game. But playing the game certainly helps to appreciate some of the shots and decisions you see on tv. When you see Federer hitting a nice topspin backhand down the line, you enjoy it much more if you know from personal experience how difficult the shot is. All in all, you don't have to be player yourself. But I would like to stress that those who haven't played competitive matches should not say much about players choking their matches away. That's an area you can only comment if you have personal experience from tight matches.
I know lots of old people who watch this sport religiously and i know many others from different age ranges who love the sport bt dont play it. I play so I dont know..For me, tactcs and technique is also interesting.I like watching how diffent players manage with different games, grips etc and so do many people who play but aside from that, u can stil be a real fan of the sport.

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