Monday, November 12, 2007

Letter from the Editor

Life and Times of JWN
Be a Fan

It's road trip season for the Geneseo Cross Country fans. Friday we had a solid crew (of 25) which traveled to Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, New York. Thursday we will be rocking two RVs out to St. Olaf, Minnesota for the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship where both the men and women's teams will be competing. Thinking about these recent events has me contemplating what it means to be a fan.

REFLECTION POINT: Who are you a fan of?

It could be a son or daughter's sports team or a professional team. Either way there is something about that energy you get from rooting for "your" team. Personally, I'm a New York Football Giants fan, so the energy wasn't too great this week. (Tough loss to the Cowboys). Nonetheless, I absolutely love that three and a half hours I spend watching the Giant's game on Sunday afternoon.

Why do we become fans?

1) A personal connection. You may play for the team or have played for the team in the past. A member of our family might play for the team or may have convinced us to get on board. I became a New York Giants fan because of my brother and now I'm glued to the screen every Sunday.

2) Hometown Heroes. We may have grown up where the particular team calls home. Everybody loves the hometown heroes. Even I'm becoming a Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres fan after having lived in Geneseo for the last 3.5 years.

3) Success. Or, some may call them the followers. This is the team that keeps winning so we jump on board the success train. You may experience this in your personal life too. Everybody wants to hang around the person who has experienced success.

4) Favorite Player Syndrome. Your favorite player is on the team so you're on board for the duration (or at least for the player's duration). Some people get us pumped up, so we get excited about who they represent. It's natural.

What does being a fan do for you?

1) It's an outlet. We are often stressed out creatures taking on too many things. Being a fan gives you an outlet for some of that pent up energy. There is nothing better than getting rowdy at an athletic event your team is playing in.

2) It's an excuse to travel. I have been all over the central and northeast United States because of my passion for Geneseo Cross Country. Without my desire to be a lively supporter, I would have never seen Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Delaware, Ohio, or now St. Olaf, Minnesota. Wouldn't give a second of those trips back...

3) Sense of importance. When you are commited to a team or cause, you feel a sense of importance. For some reason every Sunday I need to be wearing a piece of New York Giants' gear; underwear, a hoodie, etcetera. Does it really help the team win? No. But, it makes me feel like a better fan.

ACTION PLAN: Become a fan and get into it.

I always like to say to my fellow spectators at sporting events, "What's the point of being here if you're not going to get rowdy?"

Granted, I'm a little intense but I think it's good to put yourself into it 100%. In this life too many people tend to operate on a 50% standard, but is there really a point to that?

When I speak about leadership and the art of getting involved I say to those listening, "Don't get involved if you can't see yourself running the show." You don't have to run the show, but if you're not passionate enough to want to lead the organization then don't get involved. It's not worth your time.

Go ahead and get out there. Become a fan and tap into the energy it brings to your life. I wouldn't trade my GXC flag bearing days for anything (see photo).

Best to you, ~JWN