In a baseball game, it is quite normal to see a fan wearing a cap full of pins attached on it. The pins’ designs are actually the logo/s of the favored team of the person wearing them. No matter how many it is, those pins could be the fullest expression of a true fan’s pride of his team. Symbolically, a pin is considered as a mark of recognition – a sense of belongingness to the team. Once you attach a lapel pin anywhere you are wearing (lanyards, cap, jacket, etc.), you would feel proud of your team including yourself. To start with, fans are the extended members of a team. Their support is a necessary factor of winning. This way, a pin can be as important no matter how little it is.
Trading pins are the process of buying, selling, or exchanging pins for the sake of a hobby. In games, you normally trade pins through betting. If a person’s favored team wins, he gains a pin of the logo of a losing team from his “bet-mate;” otherwise, he would be the one who gives away the pin of his favored team. This method of trading usually happens in basketball, baseball and football games. Even in the Olympics, logos and flag pins of the countries were found in “unofficial” (illegal as it may appear) betting games. And it is even inevitable to avoid betting pins even after the game is over. One could see here that trading pins has already become part of sports life.
The mark of a true fan shows two defining qualities:
(1) Loyalty shows the faith of a true fan to his team no matter what the situation is. Many fans have an indecisive character that puts them on a weak conviction to still pursue on their favored team after losing. But the true fan, due to his loyalty, has a strong conviction to keep himself on his favored team even after losing.
Win or lose, a true fan never leaves his own team. And this can be shown in trading pins. It is better to lose, trade pins and keep your faith on the team rather than leave the bet and your team (which actually really happens a lot). A worst kind of situation is to blame your team for the loss of a little pin over your “bet-mate.” Seriously, your team never did tell you to bet their logo in the first place. Loyalty can be more then what the pins you trade values. But the simplest expression of your loyalty is finely expressed on you wearing a pin while cheering.
(2) In Loyalty, we find Conviction as a second defining quality. Trading pins is not just a sign of your loyalty. It is also a mark of your conviction – the conviction to believe that your team is going to win. That is what makes trading pins through a bet something to consider as valid. Because the purpose of betting here is not because you want to prove that the enemy team is losing. Rather, betting in this manner is to wager on the game with the conviction of hoping the best for your team.
Having faith (which is loyalty) must be expressed in a manner of a true fan’s conviction – practicing loyalty through believing. And having conviction that your team is going to win will never make you worry in trading your pins. Pins are only pins; your conviction can never be taken away from you. What is important is that you may be able to put your conviction on a pin, wear it and just believe your team is going to win.