Are You A Fan Or A Supporter?

Are you a fan or a supporter?  To most people these terms have the same meaning but not to Pundit Arena’s Tom O’ Connor. Here he looks at the differences between the terms and you can decide at the end into which category fits you best.

‘To support’in a social context-means;

‘to stand up for, to champion the cause of or to promote a certain person, organisation or team.’

In other words, no matter how tough things get there is an unfaltering loyalty towards your chosen group. As a supporter you will stand by your team and continue to tell anyone who will listen about their positive aspects, ignoring any deficiencies in their make up. Constructive criticism is not a bad thing to a supporter as they see how their team can improve even further.

Fan is short for fanatic and, in any walk of life bar football,  a fanatic is seen as;

‘someone who is obsessed with someone or something to the point of it taking over their lives.’

Football seems to embrace the term ‘fan’ above all else. Fans do what they can to make their team appear better. Whether it is pouncing on another team when they have had a bad run or having a disgust towards other teams; fans are concerned with how their team ranks compared to others.

Fans see their team as being the best team at the expense of every other team.

Both terms above are the polar extremes of the different camps but take the quiz below and see how you compare.

1. At a match your team score in the last minute to win the game. Your first reaction is:

A- Jump up and down screaming wildly and shout “Come on!” before turning to your mate and saying “It was coming,  I knew they could do it”.

B- Stare at the away fans and start with a chorus of “You’re not singing anymore! “


2. You’re in the gift shop. Do you buy;

A- A mug with the club crest?

B- A car sticker with your club jersey urinating on a rival jersey?


3. Reading the football results you read your club’s result and then:

A- Look at the table to see how the result affects your position.

B- Look at the other results to see if anyone of your friends’ teams got hammered.


4.  Driving past a rival’s stadium/town do you:

A. Bask in the glory of how much better your town/ stadium is?

B. Start shouting abuse at people around who might support your rivals?


5. A rival team are ahead of your team in the league and the teams are playing in the next fixture. Do you:

A. Tell your friends that your team are better and they should have no problem winning the game?

B. Criticise your rival’s home town, stadium and insult their players because they’re not as good as your team?


6. Your team lose the fixture. Your immediate reaction is to:

A. Put it down to a bad performance and move on

B. Insult the opposition even more.


7.  Your team blow a lead and surrender the league.  You react by:

A. Claiming bad luck and comments such as “We’ll be back”, “Temporary setback” etc.

B. More insulting of the winning team, accusations of “They bought the league”, “Terrible refereeing decisions all year” etc.


8. A team in the league gets deducted points and relegated for a minor breaking of the rules. The first thing you think is:

A. Thankfully it wasn’t us.

B. They deserved it, they’re a hateful shower anyway.


9. Your team signs a rival team’s top scorer and you meet him in the street.  You walk up to him and say:

A.” Cheers for joining us,  hopefully you’ll be a success”

B.” Why did you ever play for that crowd?”


10. You’ve just been given free reign to graffiti a wall ( no idea why, just run with it! ) You spray:

A. ‘My club’ rule!

B. ‘Rival club’ scum.

So how did your scores add up? If you had:

Mostly A’s- You are a supporter,  you don’t give a damn how much strife your club is in and are oblivious to the fact your manager has no tactics, your centre-back is a donkey and your striker cannot score from two yards.

Mostly B’s- You are a fan and the fact that your club are not great does not matter to you. It is more important that the other clubs around are struggling and their followers are ready to be wound up.


Supporter phrases include-

“We’re well fit to win”,”He’s playing fierce well and it’s just not happening for him today”,” He’s giving everything for the team”,” Give it one more go” and “We did well but just didn’t work hard enough”.

While fans are more likely to echo utterances such as;

“Yeah we lost but they’re still brutal”, “They’re all a  crowd of *****”,” Will youse ever just crawl back to where you came from”  & “You’re getting sacked in the morning ” .

Tom O’Connor, Pundit Arena.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.