Call me a bandwagon jumper, I will happily accept the title, though my new found hobby had little to do with the team winning. I fall in the category of those who started watching Toronto Blue Jay’s baseball just as the team started to heat up. As we hold our breath waiting to watch a potential World Series run, I have been reflecting back on my journey to this point.
I should start by explaining that I avoid things that I am not familiar with. Meaning that stepping out of my comfort zone to attend a Jay’s game was a big step for me.
I had initial anxiety expecting that I would stand out to everyone. 26 years old, with only a basic knowledge of the game (bat hits ball, most runs win). Video game player, comic book reader… It felt like I was crossing a divide, and everyone would know that I didn’t belong.
Of course the way you feel is always amplified in your own mind. Nobody noticed, and nobody that did would have cared. I was building the fans around me out to be one dimensional people, which obviously is never the case.
On that day, after finding our seats and settling in, I looked across the stadium to see a 30+ year old man holding a poster that he made on bristol board. I remember taking a deep breath and realizing that these people were not all that different. I mean, that guy just loved the team and he showed that in a his own way. Everyone there had their own thoughts and interests which, frankly, didn’t really matter because what we all had in common was that we were there to cheer on our team and see some great baseball.
Thinking about it since then, I started to see connections to other hobbies as well. Is cosplay really that different than wearing a jersey of your favourite player and the on-field replica hat? (Check out Ben’s article, The Fan’s Expo, to learn more about cosplay). How about the people who wait for hours to meet their favourite player and get an autograph? Any different than the people I saw waiting hours to meet Stan Lee a few weeks back at Fan Expo?
What I learned was that the “divide” that I felt I was crossing, never really existed. Sure, people have vast differences, but at the end of the day a fan is a fan. No one should judge anyone else for what they like, because if you look hard enough at any culture you can see similarities to the hobbies that you love. We all have that in common.
The point is that you should like what you like and be proud of that. What I learned was that life is too short not to experience everything you can! Don’t ever let yourself be tied to one genre.
Thoughts? Opinions? All fans are welcome in the comment section below!