What makes a Fan?

By  | September 24, 2018 | Filed under: News

 

 What exactly makes a sports fan?  First we must look at the definition of the world fan:

Fan*

[Noun]

Definition of Fan 

1an enthusiastic devotee (as of a sport or a performing art) usually as a spectator

2an ardent admirer or enthusiast (as of a celebrity or a pursuit)

*From Merriam-Webster Dictionary*

Fans can and will follow the subject of their admiration.  They collect items from their “subject” to help them remember them.  Some people are fans of musicians, sports figures, actors, political figures, etc.  While I am not a sports fan, it has always amazed me that sports fans take their fandom so serious.  NASCAR fans are a perfect example.  Alabama or Auburn Football fans are another.

Fans can come in all sizes, genders, economical backgrounds, age, etc.  While I am not a football, NASCAR, baseball or basketball fan, I am a fan of Professional Wrestling.  But, for the basis of this article, I wanted to look at other people who were fans of the sport of Professional Wrestling.  So, I decided to do research on 15 different fans to get their demographics as well stories on why they are fans.

Below are the results of the information and research that I got with the 15 test subjects.  All were asked the same 5 questions.

 

Name:     Emily Edwards

City of Residence:      Enterprise Alabama

Age:   36 Years Old

Employment:     Book Keeper

At what age did you realize you were a wrestling fan?      34 Years Old

What draws you to the Professional Wrestling Sport?

What got me into Wrestling was my boyfriend has a Down Syndrome brother and he loves it and he got me into it. 

 

 

 

Name:    Georgiann Gentry 

City of Residence:    Dothan, Alabama

Age:      62 Years Old

Employment:       Retired

At what age did you realize you were a wrestling fan?  About 6 or 7 Years Old

What draws you to the Professional Wrestling Sport?

I just enjoy it. I can go to wrestling & get my frustrations out on someone. It’s nothing but a show that these wrestlers put on & they try to get the crowd started hollering.   The Wrestlers usually pick on one or two people to start an argument with. When you fuss with them, then they know that they’re doing their job by how the fans respond to them. It’s like a theatrical performance. 

 

 

 

Name:     Chad Dawson

City of Residence:      Hatton, Alabama

Age:      46 Years Old

Employment:       Russellville Park and Rec

At what age did you realize you were a wrestling fan?

I was about 8 years old.   I used to watch Southeastern Championship Wrestling with my Grandpa Dawson.    He was a HUGE Tommy Rich fan.

What draws you to the Professional Wrestling Sport?

     The fact that there is never a letdown, in all other sports with the major match ups there is a possibility of a blow out or an unentertaining game or match. With Professional Wrestling it is ALWAYS entertaining, the BIG FIGHTS always live up to the billing……it is supposed to be entertaining after all

 

 

 

Name:        Jessica Campbell

City of Residence:     Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Age:       34 Years Old

Employment:       Caregiver

At what age did you realize you were a wrestling fan? 

I have been a wrestling fan ever since I can remember because my dad would tell me stories of his mom taking him to The Boutwell in Birmingham, AL, and my mom watched it with us every time it was on.    However, I became a diehard fan when I saw the Heart Break Kid Shawn Michaels come out with Sensational Sherry.

 

What draws you to the Professional Wrestling Sport?

What has always drawn me to the sport besides the amazement of seeing 300 lb men fly through the air as if they were 150 lbs is the excitement… the costumes and flash,  the story lines and especially in the independent circuits the fan interaction as well. Hard to pinpoint one thing I just love it 

 

Name:        Richard Bruner

City of Residence:      Dothan, Alabama

Age:         59 Years of age

Employment:    Delivery driver for an Automotive Parts Warehouse

At what age did you realize you were a wrestling fan?  

Around the age of 6 Years Old

What draws you to the Professional Wrestling Sport?   

I always have loved the class of Talent. 

 

 

Name:        Lisa Nolin

City of Residence:       Dothan, Alabama

Age:      49

Employment:        McDonald’s Hostess

At what age did you realize you were a wrestling fan?   

8 Years Old

What draws you to the Professional Wrestling Sport?

I love it due to my Great Grandfather being a wrestler.  I never knew it until a few months back.  He wrestled in Dothan, Alabama at the Farm Center in his early years.  I always loved watching it when I was growing up.  Now I love it more.  I get to see the old guys (wrestlers) and well as the new guys (wrestlers).  I love giving them a hard time. 

 

Name:        Kimberlee Dart

City of Residence:       Valdosta, Georgia

Age:       35 Years Old

Employment:       Restaurant Assistant Manager

At what age did you realize you were a wrestling fan? 

Probably at around age 5

What draws you to the Professional Wrestling Sport?  

It’s a combination of the showmanship and the athleticism. I love the entertainment factor but you really have to appreciate that these men and women put their bodies and careers on the line with every bump they take.  We come back to see what craziness they will do next time. 

And… 

I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t dream of being a GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) my entire life

 

 

 

Name:        Gary Abbot

City of Residence:        Graceville, Florida

Age:            44 Years Old

Employment:       Owner: Gary’s Southern Cooking

At what age did you realize you were a wrestling fan?  

8 or 9 years old

What draws you to the Professional Wrestling Sport?

           The People and entertainment 

 

 

Name:    Aaron Gartlan

City of Residence:      Dothan, Alabama

Age:           46 Years Old

Employment:     Gartlan Injury Law Firm

At what age did you realize you were a wrestling fan?   6 Years Old

What draws you to the Professional Wrestling Sport?

The history, tradition and nostalgia of territory wresting draws me to the sport. I grew up on Southeastern and Continental Championship Wrestling and attended live events at the Houston County Farm Center. As you know, CCW is rich with history, tradition and nostalgia. The NWA territories flourished with an abundance of unique talent and fierce competition.

 The wrestlers and managers were fighting inside the ring to keep a spot on the roster by delivering the best matches. The bookers and promoters fought to put together the best card to keep their territory. This pressure created an atmosphere of excitement and competition.

The Continental Territory had a core stable of competitors that consisted of family and friends with easily a 20 year history and run in the area with problems and issues that played out in the CCW ring, so the fans were fully invested in their programs.

Further, Continental Wrestling was a place where stars began hall of fame careers and established legends retired or dawned a mask, which provided built in rivalries and opponents for the NWA Champion. 

I also want to add that the fans of Continental Championship Wrestling also benefited from a wide array of talent starting with the elite wrestlers in the ring, often flanked by the best managers and valets and arranged by top level bookers and promoters, with the great referees doing their part in the background and excellent commentators providing the color and soundtrack and gifted a production crew ensuring the professional delivery of the programs. From top to bottom Continental Championship Wrestling was second to none!

 

Name:    Kimball Howell

City of Residence:      Dothan, Alabama

Age:           56 Years Old

Employment:     AAA Cooper Transportation

At what age did you realize you were a wrestling fan?   8 Years Old

What draws you to the Professional Wrestling Sport?

          As a kid, I was in amazement seeing such things as The Mongolian Stomper having a cinder block busted over his head or wondering when as they called it industrial ink being thrown in the eyes of The Tennessee Stud Ron Fuller if he was ever going to return. So to me the biggest thing that got me hooked as a kid and caring over until the present day is the storylines that is played out.    

 

Name:    Randy Waters

City of Residence:      Panama City Beach, Florida

Age:           47 Years Old

Employment:     Security and my own security company,   Evolution Security 

At what age did you realize you were a wrestling fan?

4 years old.  My Grandad took me to my first wrestling match at CCW in Dothan Alabama to see Hulk Hongan,  Andre The Giant and   Bullet Bob Armstrong and I’ve loved it since

What draws you to the Professional Wrestling Sport?

          I love the Wrestlers, the Fans, and the Action.   It’s fun and I enjoy watching. When I was a Bouncer at  Club Lavela in 2008 I got to be Hulk Hogan’s Bouncer, when his daughter came down for Spring Break.

    Two years ago I got to meet Bullet Bob Armstrong at the CCW reunion and many times since.

 

 

Name:    Allen Moore

City of Residence:      Chattanooga, Tennessee

Age:           58 Years Old

Employment:     I’m a security officer for Walden Security

At what age did you realize you were a wrestling fan?  

  I have been a wrestling fan before I was 10 years old

What draws you to the Professional Wrestling Sport?

         I first was drawn to the masked wrestlers. Nick Gulas’ wrestling was what I saw in Chattanooga. I saw such wrestlers as Jackie Fargo & Tojo Yamamoto. Later Bob Armstrong & Robert Fuller also came in along with other Southeastern stars.

    So when Continental Wrestling came to town in the 80s, I was sold. I love to watch Southern Indy Wrestling today. It is much like the wrestling I loved growing up. When I can go to a meet & greet. I do. Then I get the opportunity to say thank you for the memories!

 

Name:    Melissa Tillery

City of Residence:      Troy, Alabama

Age:           49 Years Old

Employment:     Tax Collector (Government)

At what age did you realize you were a wrestling fan?   

 I was probably 5 or 6 years old when I started watching wrestling because my dad watched it. My grandmother (his mom) loved to watch wrestling. Most of his siblings were wrestling fans as well.

What draws you to the Professional Wrestling Sport?

I’m mostly an old school wrestling fan from the mid 70’s to late 80’s.  I loved Territory Wrestling. The promos weren’t scripted and the wrestling seemed so real. I still think to this day some of it was real. 

 

Name:      David McCord 

City of Residence:      Dothan, Alabama

Age:           54 Years Old

Employment:     Tabor Pest Control

At what age did you realize you were a wrestling fan?    

12 or 13 Years Old

What draws you to the Professional Wrestling Sport? 

        Back in the day it was friends.   Now it is meeting the old friends. 

 

 

 

Name:       Philena Reeves

City of Residence:      Dothan, Alabama

Age:       38

Employment:        Administrative Assistant

At what age did you realize you were a wrestling fan?

I have been a fan for as long as I can remember. I grew up watching my grandfather wrestle. My first real memory of wrestling is crying because I thought my grandfather was being hurt. 

 

What draws you to the Professional Wrestling Sport?

       The atmosphere, creativity, and skill. Wrestling is one of the few sports were the “players” can invent multiple scenarios. It’s ever changing so stays entertaining most of the time. And it’s great to see multiple generations share in the pure joy of wrestling!

 

So, there you have it, the information of 15 different people with different ages, demographics, gender, etc.  They have different jobs.  Come from different backgrounds.   All have a reason to be a fan that is special to them.  Some have the same reasons while others have other reasons.  While we looked at the sport of Professional Wrestling, this information could probably be applied to basketball, football, NASCAR, etc.

 

Most people are fans of something.   What are you a fan of?

 

     Bobby Inman is retired from Law Enforcement after 21 years of Service.  He is a Consultant for Southern Heritage Gun & Pawn in Tuscumbia.   He has articles published in Law & Order Magazine, Police Marksman Magazine, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement Magazine as well as several published ebooks on Amazon, Kobo Writing, as well as Nook (Barnes & Noble).  He is owner of Poopiedog, an Animal Rescue Dachshund, who is his constant companion.   He is a Senior Investigative Reporter for the Quad Cities

 Daily.  Bobby is the Photographer for Continental Championship Wrestling. 

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