I’ll just call it “fandemonia,” a strange affliction that affects even the sanest of people. It can be seasonable or chronic?”it can be contagious. It can be curable if treated correctly and diagnosed at an early stage.

The symptoms of fandemonia are obsessive use of team colors in dress, body painting, or dcor on vehicles of transportation, homes, or vocalizing. It is not evident in only certain parts of the country but is world-wide and increasing in intensity.

By now you have figured out I am referring to the reaction of fans to sporting events.

Most recently the reaction to the World Cup of soccer showed us, through the miracle of television, that all over the world people were proclaiming national pride through their team’s prowess on the soccer field. We were treated to seeing celebrations all over the world as the various teams advanced, and we saw them take defeat as if their worlds had tumbled. The media has made it possible for us, the viewer, to name a watering hole in almost every country because the cameras took us there to see fan reaction to the games.

Fan reaction covered the spectrum. Remember when tennis matches were so silent you could hear the ball whizzing across the net? Or when golf tournaments were so silent it was hard to believe the figures on the course were anything but cardboard figures. Not so anymore, we have become participants in a vocal and visual way. I cannot think of one sport that has not become a victim of fan participation in some form.

We all know basketball has never been a quiet viewing sport, and it is evident, as the TV cameras scan the crowd, who is cheering for which team. The noise level gets higher if the home team is ahead.

Then we have baseball fans. As the beer flows, so they go with actions that would not make their mothers proud. One can only hope for their sakes that they are not recognized by their employers and family members. Not much can be done about it, and the rest of us who claim to be sane fans watch in amusement, vowing we would never be a part of such goings-on.

So how does all this start? Ever gone to a Little League game? Have you ever cheered just a little too much and forgot we are watching kids here who just like to play the game with their friends and hopefully win some games? Ever notice how some parents and coaches get so into the game they forget it really is just a game? You’ve seen it!

Fans, coaches, managers?”you must remember the sun will still come up the next day even if your team does not win, and this goes for all competitions involving kids. There is enough conflict in the world. We don’t need it to happen during a game. So adults, let’s be adult. Support your team, appreciate good plays, no matter which team makes the play. Teach your children how to be gracious winners and good non-winners, and let them learn by your example.

Coaches, that can be one of the most valuable lessons you teach the budding athletes. Let’s keep fandemonia in line and not let it become an epidemic.

Do you have sole or need sole? Not the fish kind, the kind that goes to your shoes. If you recently tried to get your shoes fixed at Al’s in Riverside, located in the Arcade Building, you will be happy to know he has relocated and not too far away. You won’t wear out your shoe leather. He is now at 7933 Ogden Ave. in Lyons. Thanks, Ellen Egan, for the info.

Stay cool!