What makes someone a great Orioles fan?
This is clearly a question with no right or wrong answer. It's not a math equation with only one correct answer. But it is an interesting topic to ponder and I would love to read your responses about this during the weekend.
This all is very subjective, but two big aspects of a good fan of any team for me are loyalty and longevity.
A good fan must be loyal and stick with his or her team through thick and thin. The Orioles have had a lot of thin with 14 straight losing seasons until last year. While fans have a right to gripe and complain and be unhappy with their team and question the team brass, they should not jump ship and root for another team or disown their team. If there were such a thing as a fan card, someone doing that would have to turn their card in, in my opinion. Times got tough over the years, rooting for the Orioles. But many, many fans never bailed on the team.
Longevity says a lot about your fandom. This doesn't mean a new fan of a team can't be very passionate and dedicated, but a longtime fan of a team that has truly been loyal to that team scores a few points with me. When it comes to being a fan, seniority matters to me.
I think having some basic knowledge of your team and its history is important. This is a small part of fandom, but each fan should know a little about the team they profess to love.
For instance, even a casual O's fan should know which players wore Nos. 4, 5, 8 and 22. Even a casual fan should be able to tell us in which years the Orioles won the World Series. Even a casual fan should know where the Orioles played before Camden Yards and in what year the team played its first season in Baltimore.
To me how many games you attend is not a way to grade your fandom. All fans are not created equal in their incomes and opportunity to get to Camden Yards.
I think most good fans spend a lot of time following their team. Time spent watching the games and reading the blogs and messages boards about the team. No one keeps a log of your time spent on the team, but it's also probably a good indicator of one's fandom.
So what do you think? What makes someone a great Orioles fan? What are the most important aspects? Also, I hope many of you take this opportunity to tell us about yourself. How did you become an O's fan? How do you follow team and what are some of your favorite stories about being an Orioles fan?