1. The Statistician
I can't say for certain that this individual is even very passionate about football. He typically has not just one favorite team, but follows at least one team from several leagues. He does this because knowing all the stats there is to know about just one team just isn't challenging enough.
Our number-crunching poindexter spends more time on Squawka and WhoScored before, during, and after a match, than he does actually watching soccer.
Listening to this guy prattle on about the minutia is simultaneously impressive and depressing. There isn't any actual enjoyment of the game or appreciation for the aesthetic. The only measure of success in his mind is a team's win percentage/clean sheets/goal ratio, not whether they fought bravely and with zeal to eek out a tough 1-0 win against superior competition.
You will likely find this bloke with Bwin, Bet365, and Football Manager apps open simultaneously and perpetually. The game to him all about numbers and odds.
2. The Ardent Antagonist
This guy. This guy! As Gabe Lezra has so delightfully personified, and whom I am shamelessly bogarting, this fan is truly the embodiment, or at least love child, of Gerard Pique and Donald J. Trump.
Brazen, brash, irreverent, and irrational, this fan can be found in his native habitat - trolling social media and other clubs fan pages looking for trouble.
When he gets the opportunity to revel in another team or specific player's misfortune, he jumps all over it - inappropriately, and with gusto. He'll tell you, "Whoa! We'll beat you, we'll beat you good. You used to beat us, but you don't beat us any more."
Then he'll tell you he's smarter than you, and you're an idiot. "Believe me," he says. He'll troll every tweet, spend hours on your blog comments, itching to use that perfect line he thought of last week.
You can try to talk to this guy. You can try. But it's not going to be pretty, and the it's not going to go anywhere.
3. The Bro-mantic
"Zlatan is God!"
There's more than one irony in this quote, but the bro-mantic is like, totally fascinated, you could even say waaaaay obsessed with a particular player. Major man-crush meets borderline stalker, this fan follows a player from team to team adopting the rest of the players only because their hero has to have 10 other guys according to the rules. But only because it's the rules.
For this fan, the player can go no wrong, and he goes out of his way to watch out for his bro's online reputation at all costs across any and all social media channels.
These guys, like, know absolutely everything there is to know about the player - family, favorite food, how many girlfriends he's had, where he spends his holidays, and of course, every single individual statistic and accolade.
Dare if you wish, to challenge this bro that his favorite footballer isn't the actual best player in history, because he will totally, like, repeatedly, come back with something super deep like, "You're wrong, dude!"
Finally, don't misunderstand this guy's machismo. If he were ever to find himself in the situation where he got to actually meet, let alone get a signed jersey from his idol, he would be reduced to a puddle of weeping mush.
4. The Hometown Purist
Pure, unadulterated, blind devotion is what you will find here, epitomizing emotion on a sleeve. For away games they reserve their usual seat at the local pub at least an hour before the match starts. For home games they can be found on the center line approximately 10 rows up for ideal viewing.
They grew up with most of the players, are on first name basis with the manager, and know all the grounds crew. How is this so? Because they would bleed and die for their club…a third division side who's never won more than 50% of its matches.
The game and their loyalty has nothing to do with wins, losses, talent, TV rights, kit sales, or anything for that matter other than the fact that their club is an integral part of the culture and life of the city in which they were born and raised.
They will cry with heartache when their team suffers a tragic loss. They will cry with joy when their team finally wins the local tourney. And through all the tears they pledge their undying support for every player of their club through every single minute of every single match of every single season.
5. The "Fan"-atic
The word Fan is actually not derived from 'fanatic' as most people think, at least there is no direct etymological evidence as such. But in this case I firmly espouse that correlation and would like to talk about the rabid, frantic, fanatic fan.
The natural habitat for this over-the-top enthusiast first is either seated comically close to his massive HD TV, screaming his lungs out at the corner pub two seconds from getting expelled as he whips his club scarf over his head as if he were a helicopter spiraling out of control, or lastly, perched in his season ticket seats behind one goal in the club section screaming and yelling at the other team and officials with such a vocabulary that even the Ultras are leery.
Regardless of his location, he is bedecked in every piece of club/country merchandise available - likely sporting a vintage jersey he paid an exorbitant amount for at some auction.
It can be a challenge to have a normal conversation with this type of individual, as their emotions tend to get the better of them on one extreme of the spectrum or the other.
Needless to say, they have one volume or level of support for their club - insane. If you dis' their club in any way, you best be ready to throw down. Don't even look at them funny or think to come within 100 yards sporting that opposition jersey. You will be spat upon, cursed at, and called all manner of names even if your little kids and great grandmother are with you.
It takes all kinds, but the depth of their passion makes everyone they meet seriously consider whether this fan in a) on drugs b) desperately trying to fill some gaping hole in their existence or c) so irrationally obsessed that you wouldn't be surprised at really anything that happens next, including watching them get arrested for trying to sneak into the opposing teams locker room to replace the "yellow Gatorade".
6. The Bourgeoisie
For lack of a better way in which to describe it, this fan follows a certain club because of status.
Once upon a time he was hobnobbing with the local elite during which the conversation revolved around football and club support. It occurred to him, and he raised his index finger to his chin in reflection, that he should be interested in such a timeless and classic sport, and thus endeavored to select from amongst the elite clubs of Europe, that which provided the highest level of esteem. Invariably this limits his choices to the top 2 or 3 clubs in the EPL or La Liga, with perhaps PSG or Bayern drawing up the rear. Roma or Juventus - too proletariat, so pedestrian.
He'll watch just enough matches to be able to hold his own in conversation, but gets most of his running data from highlights and news feeds in between squash matches with his firm's partners and weekly manicures.
This fan will also switch allegiances with relative ease. Flitting about every year or two depending on the success of said club. The luster of fandom for this aristocrat is directly tied to the quantity of trophies in his team's trophy case on which he can see his own reflection.
Finally, he will have splurged for at least one major match or tournament trip to be able to regale his friends with the amazing experience that was seeing his (current) beloved team in person.
7. The Insufferable Pessimist
Seriously, how can these people even get up in the morning? "The refs suck, the players are terrible. They make so much money, how can they not play better?"
This fan calls it every time. "The coach isn't rotating enough and is tactically inept - sack him!" "Wait, why did we sack the coach, we're doomed we should have given him more time."
Each season this fan also usually has one or two pet victims. Be it their transfer costs, hype, rumors, or they think they look funny, they will mercilessly badger, harangue, chastise and in any way they can berate said individual to the mighty chagrin of everyone who has to read their vitriol.
Lastly, this turgid troglodyte will argue at every turn when presented with an opposing opinion of optimism with a "you can't possibly be serious! This season was awful!"
There is, sadly, nothing that can be done for this poor fellow. No amount of encouragement, group "digital hugs" or empathy will salvage this poor soul from his finding pleasure in negativity.
So there it is, my list of fan types seen the world over watching this most beautiful game right along side us.
Which type of fan is your favorite, or least favorite?
Here's the real kicker - which type, or blend of these types of fan are you?