Four weeks from today, I will be traveling to Boston with my parents. Part of the reason we are going is to see my brother who lives there but another part is to go see a White Sox game. To be honest, we could have gone anytime over the summer but we chose this specific weekend because the White Sox are playing the Red Sox then. This mattered to my dad. In fact, we have seen the White Sox play in lots of different cities, including Minneapolis, St. Louis, Washington D.C., Detroit. My parents have traveled even more than I have to Cleveland, Toronto, Baltimore and more. It is a thing in our family. In fact, my aunt and uncle are venturing to Pittsburgh to see them play there next week. Despite the fact that the White Sox are having the world’s worst season, we still remain dedicated fans.
What is interesting about this is that no one rarely comments when I tell people about this plan to see the Sox play all over the States. Generally, people tell me how cool it is that we do this as a family. Strangely enough, though, when I say that I’m traveling all over the country to see Duran Duran concerts, I get a very different response. It usually goes something like this, “Why? Aren’t all the concerts the same? Do they even play different songs?” I always struggle to explain my reasoning after this set of questions. Now, that I’m thinking about this family tradition of traveling to see the Sox play, I’m thinking that I have been approaching my response all wrong.
People can understand sports fans going to see multiple game because each game is different. The results are unknown. No one knows what is going to happen. Heck, right now, if I were to bet, the Sox will lose the game that we are going to see but you never know. It what keeps us going. What if the Sox always won? Would that stop my family from going? No way. In fact, that might get people like us to go to more games rather than less. After all, winning teams generally get more and more people in stadiums because the chance to watch a win is higher. Isn’t this really what going to concerts is like?
Hear me out. Yes, sporting events include a competition with someone winning and someone losing. I get that concerts are not the same. There are not two team vying for a win. That said, there still is a chance for a win or a loss (of sorts–not that Duran is ever a loser). Not every concert is awesome. At times, people can try hard to put on an awesome show and fail to live up to that expectation. Those concerts might be considered a loss. Yet, I would say that Duran shows are wins. Big wins. Even ones that fail to live up to the expectations are still victories. Most Duran shows are like baseball games where your favorite team wins by 10-1. They are like a game in which your team wins easily and everyone has fun. At times, Duran shows can be even better than that. Sometimes, there are moments that are so amazing or so profound that you feel lucky to have been there. Those are just like games that end up in the record books where someone hits for the cycle or throws a no-hitters.
This is how I’m going to phrase it from now on when people ask why go to more concerts: “Do you think that sports fans should stop going to games if they know that their favorite team is going to win? Should fans avoid the cost of going then?”
More likely than not, the other person will say no. S/he might say something like, “That would be dumb to stop going to games then.”
I might follow up with, “I agree. Going to games in which you know your team has a great chance to win is awesome. This is how it feels for me. I feel like going to a Duran show is like going to a game where your team has a really awesome chance at winning. In fact, there is always the possibility of going and seeing something so amazing that it will go down in Duran’s history just like going to a game might mean you get to see a grand slam in person!”
If that still doesn’t convince people then I could point out that attending a game in person means that community feeling of being surrounded by others who love what you do, cheering for the same team. At games, you have the chance of catching a ball like concert goers can get drumsticks or guitar picks. Both of them feature a chance to see someone you admire up close and in the flesh.
I could keep going with this metaphor but I think you all get the idea. I really think that there isn’t that much of a difference between these fandoms anymore. On that note, I’m off to go watch the Sox game!