I saw a man’s suit the other day that was made up entirely of the logos for the Golden State Warriors basketball team. It is strangely reminiscent of the David S. Pumpkins suit from a Saturday Night Live skit, and is possibly the ugliest suit I have ever seen.
It was in a store that sold sports team merchandise, so I suppose it was made for profit. But who would buy it? Is anyone so fanatical that they would buy a ridiculous suit and actually wear it in public? Don’t answer that. I’m afraid to know the answer.
This got me thinking about fanaticism in general. I consider myself a fan of some things and people—musical theatre, murder mysteries, crossword puzzles, Michael Moore, Justin Trudeau (most of the time), brisk walks, my children, warm rain, Game of Thrones, and so on. But, I wouldn’t go out dressed in a logo suit for any of them! I’m a fan, but not a fanatic.
A fanatic is “A person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, especially for an extreme religious or political cause,” according to the Oxford Living Dictionary. The word originally described behaviour that might result from possession by a god or demon, and the earliest sense of the noun is of ‘a religious maniac.’ So sports fans and, I suppose, fans of any sort can trace their enthusiastic behaviour back to being possessed by a god or demon.
I’m pretty sure I’m not a fanatic, but having said that, I did once go to a friend’s costume party dressed as Incredible Senior, a character that was inexplicably absent from The Incredibles movie. Actually, it’s a funny story. The party was originally scheduled for Hallowe’en, but a good friend passed away so the party was postponed. When it was re-scheduled I assumed everyone would still come in costume.
Never assume. I felt more than a little ridiculous as most people came dressed in their regular clothes.
I wanted to wear the costume because I had gone to a bit of trouble to put it together from thrift store clothes and some nifty handiwork.The logo suit, on the other hand, is far more than a cheap Hallowe’en costume. It is a bona fide man’s suit with matching tie. This suit means business. Well, not business exactly, because I don’t think anyone would wear it to work, but it certainly means serious sports fan business.
Real fanaticism means leaving your right mind at home, abandoning normal social expectations, and giving your all to the cause, or the team, or whatever. It’s a sort of self-inflicted temporary insanity, only appreciated by others who are similarly possessed. Oh, wait. Does wearing a silly costume to a house party fit that description? Nah. That can’t be true. Lots of people do that, don’t they?
Perhaps somewhere right now there is someone going to a house party for people who all wear logo suits. I just hope they checked first to make sure that it was still a logo suit party.