My suspicions were correct!
I always thought it was valid. Fan is short for fanatic according to the Random House Dictionary!
As I watched the fifth and deciding game between the NY Knicks and Miami Heat, with my son Gregg and his pal Richard, I realized that I was overzealous and too enthusiastic in my support.
Why should Stanley Greenberg, a 64-year-old Jericho resident, be so concerned with Patrick Ewing's knees and his Achilles tendon? Last year I worried over his fractured wrist. I hardly know Patrick, but I have followed his medical history for the past 14 years, as if he were one of my patients.
During the viewing of a basketball game I have shrieked out loud, spilled drinks, told people to shut up and been guilty of other anti-social actions.
When Allan Houston's (a perfect stranger) shot caromed into the net I screamed like a lunatic. I hadn't benefited financially, socially or even intellectually, but it warmed my insides emotionally.
Let me recall some of my other fanaticism's:
1) The Brooklyn Dodgers (1947 - 1957). I loved those guys. Gil, Jackie, Pee Wee, Roy, The Duke and The Preacher were in my every waking thought. It was always "wait till next year" when they lost to the Yanks. In 1955, thanks to Johnny Podres and Sandy Amoros, we beat the Yankees and were World Champions. That was as good as it gets.
2) The NY Football Giants, 1958. We lost the championship game to the Baltimore Colts on Alan Ameche's dive into the end zone, but it was the greatest football game ever played, and I was in the stands.
Chuck Conerly, Sam Huff, Rosey Grier, Frank Gifford and Kyle Rote were the heroes of that team.
3) The NY Knickerbockers (1969-1970). We (I wasn't really on the squad) played the Los Angeles Lakers in game 7 of the championship. I was at the game.
They had Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor. We (I wasn't on the squad) had Bill Bradley, "Clyde" Frazier, Dick Barnett and Willis Reed. I loved those guys. When Willis limped off onto the Madison Square Garden floor the fans went berserk.
I really am getting too old for this stuff. My blood pressure and my cardiac musculature can't withstand all this pressure. I get hooked on a team and I turn helpless. Lately I have taken to not watching the Knick games, but I am a nervous wreck till I get the score.
I confess! I am a fan(atic)! I think it's incurable!