Die-Hard Sports FansFebruary 2nd, 2012 by Nikki
Sports fans rejoice! This is going to be a great month - the Super-Bowl is right around the corner (2/5), and after that we’ve got the NBA All-Star weekend (2/26).
Every fan lives the game in a different manner. There are solid fans who watch the game, get sucked into it for a few hours and then carry on with their lives; and then there are the die-hard fans, who support and cheer for their team in rain, snow or hail, yell at the players (or at their TV), and take everything personally.
Let’s try to make a distinction between the types of die-hard fans out there. Luckily, there are quite a few movies to back-up these fan theories. So let’s kick-off:
The Amorous Fan: Fever Pitch
A man who is in love with his sports team, meets a woman and falls in love with her - creating a strange love triangle that cannot successfully exist. People around him start telling him that he needs to grow up and choose the real-life love; he tries to explain that since childhood his team has always been there for him, and that’s also true love. And why does he even need to choose? Can a romantic relationship overcome the lack of attention given when the game is on?
The Obsessed Fan: Big Fan
What happens when you become obsessed with your team? When your whole life revolves around the players, and your happiness is measured by the team’s success? Paul is a genuine die-hard Giants fan, and Football is the sole comfort and passion in his mundane life. But after an encounter with his most admired player leads to a bad incident, the star gets suspended from the team. Although Paul is hurt, physically and ego-wise, he still decides that he must protect his team’s chances of winning, by any cost necessary, even at his own expense.
The Naïve Fan: Sixty Six
Bernie Rubens is a 12 year-old kid and a huge England team supporter. It’s 1966 and the World Cup tournament is upon us. In every house in Britain, every TV is tuned in to see England’s matches. Bernie is extremely excited, until he realizes something: His Bar-Mitzvah falls on the same date as the World Cup Finals, and if England qualifies – no one would come. Now Bernie faces a dilemma – should he root for his beloved team, or hope they lose so he will have a proper Bar Mitzvah celebration?
Sixty Six is a bittersweet & offbeat film about a boy’s coming of age, his passions and hopes, and his relationship with his complicated family, which has its own share of problems, neurosis and misfortunes.
The Over-Enthusiastic Fan: Celtic Pride
Mike and Jimmy are true Boston Celtics fans. It’s game six in the NBA playoffs, the Celtics are playing against Utah, and the Jazz’s trash-talking big-ego superstar is killing their team. The duo decide to sabotage Utah’s chances in Game seven by compromising their star player; but after they can’t get him drunk enough, they decide to kidnap him and hold him hostage, tied up in their apartment until the end of the game - but they discover this is easier said than done with such a character… This sports comedy was written by the future-reviver of the “buddy” genre, Judd Apatow.
Soccer has always been a universal language. It allows people from different backgrounds to bury the hatchet for a single moment in time, despite their cultural differences or disputes, and bond over a team or the love of the game.
Gmar Gavi’a (Cup Final) shows the connection between an Israeli reserve soldier, who gets kidnapped during the Lebanon war, and his Palestinian captors that hold him hostage. At the same time the 1982 World Cup is played, and despite being enemies, two foes find a mutual ground & understanding while listening to the games and supporting Italy’s team.
Another defrost of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through football can be seen in Strangers, only this time it is illustrated within a love affair during the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
The Psychopath: The Fan
If you just recently started watching movies over the past few years, you might accidentally characterize Bobby De Niro as the caring parent or the goofy/semi-tough in-law/gangster/pirate. But for those who knows his track-record, De Niro has some creepy roles carved onto his belt, and he has been known to portray some true psychopaths. The Fan is a fine example – when a devoted fan’s love for his favorite baseball player crosses all borders and becomes an obsession, and more gravely – becomes personal.
The Diligent Fan: La Gran Final
Being a sports fan with no cables is hard – finding out which pub broadcasts the game, mooching off your friends’ hospitality, being totally reliant upon outside sources and other people’s caprice; So what would’ve happened if you were to live, say, in the Sahara, in the middle of the Amazons or somewhere remote in Mongolia?
La Gran Final (The Great Match) tells the story of three groups of die-hard soccer fans in these far-flung places, who try to connect to civilization so they can watch the highly anticipated 2002 World Cup Finals. A funny take on supporting sports in the age of growing globalization.
The Mentee: Looking for Eric
Cantona was an amazing football player that inspired every Manchester United fan and many soccer fans around the globe. One of them in particular, a working class British bloke who is also named Eric, hallucinates entire conversations with the Frenchman. He confides in him, talks to him about football and about life, and picks up advices from his surreal mentor. Eric’s personal life is in turmoil and the people he cares about find themselves in a predicament; Cantona is there to help him figure things out and try to get everything sorted out. An offbeat dramedy for anyone who has an idol he looks up to until this day.
The Know-It-All Fan: Eddie
Whoopi’s big mouth gets her in trouble again, this time as a dedicated Knicks fan who has an opinion about every play her sucky team executes. When she becomes the team’s coach as part of a publicity stunt, she realizes what every devoted fan refuses to acknowledge – that coaching on the court is a tad harder than yelling advice from the stands. A humorous take on every fan’s opinion that he knows better.
The Heroic Fan: Sudden Death
Jean-Claude Van Damme wants to bond with his kids, so he decides to take them to a hockey game – the NHL Stanley Cup finals, no less. The vice president is going to attend the game; unfortunately, so are some terrorists. They rig the arena, take hostages and hand over an ultimatum that will expire at the end of the game (unless it goes into overtime and sudden death mode…)
Van Damme transforms from a spectator to a hero, as he races against the game clock that’s winding down. Sudden Death is an exciting action flick that holds you in suspense, with an unforgettable scene where JCVD takes the ice and has to join the championship game as the goalie.
Hooliganism is mainly mentioned with British football fans (and do not dare to call it ‘soccer’). The team’s adoration is a good reason to come and hang out with their mates, sing football songs, unify around their team’s goals (literally) and form a sports comradeship; but hooliganism is also about getting pissed, fight the other teams’ fans, and vandalize an occasional facility from time to time.
In Britain the hooligan packs are well-organized and are called “firms”, and every football club that respects itself has one. Londoner director Nick Love’s Football Factory describes Chelsea fans, while his other movie The Firm depicts the life of a West Ham supporter; but the ultimate hooligan film is Green Street, which revolves around the West Ham firm and their hatred towards their nemesis – Milwall (which apparently everyone in these movies hate).
These are all good portrayals of how the inside of a rough hooligan pack works, about their honor and pride, principles, friendship & unlimited love for their team, and mainly for their firm.
Technorati Tags: Sports fans, Fever Pitch, sports team, FeverPitch, Nick Hornby, soccer, Baseball, Big Fan, Football, Sixty Six, World Cup, Celtic Pride, Boston Celtics fans, NBA playoffs, Judd Apatow, Gmar Gavi’a (Cup Final), The Fan, Bobby De Niro, La Gran Final (The Great Match), Looking for Eric, Eric Cantona, Eddie, Sudden Death, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Whoopi Goldberg, NHL Stanley Cup finals, The Football Factory, The Firm, Green Street Hooligans, Nick Love
Popularity: 2% [?]