The first ever school to teach sports fandom – a joint partnership between the University of Phoenix and all four major sports leagues – is to have its first campus in Pittsburgh. The choice was not hard to arrive at according to the founders:
“Sports fans don’t get any more professional or dedicated than Pittsburgh fans.”
The motivation was concern that expansion franchises would not have available the intense levels of fandom that is crucial to survive in modern professional sports. Therefore there needed to be a place where a nucleus of enthusiastic but untrained fans could be sent to learn, both through formal education and exposure to a mature fan culture.
“Fans are our biggest asset, but, just like athletes, they need proper training to reach their full potential.”
The National Academy for Sports Appreciation – to give the school its full name – will have its first campus on Pittsburgh’s North Side, located in the old Allegheny Center building.
“The multilevel mall-type design is ideal – students on upper levels can practice their cheering and Mexican waves, while our instructors observe them from the ground floor where the game would normally be played.”
The location also has good acoustics, which is important for developing crowd volume skills in a consistent fashion. Students will gain the credits required to graduate through a combination of coursework and by attending a requisite number of professional games during the semester where they will be immersed in the rich Pittsburgh fan culture. Special buses to Cleveland will be provided to take NBA majors to see the Cavaliers as needed.
In addition to regular course offerings in NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA fandom, there will also be specialty tracks, including an international program for foreign fans who wish to learn the intricacies of American-style sports appreciation.
“We anticipate our Soccer-to-Football transitional class will fill up quickly, so those interested are advised to register early.”
Though the school will mainly have live-in dorm students from other parts of the country with nascent teams, there will be subsidized day classes offered for Pittsburghers who want to refresh their Steeler Spirit. Those who don’t like sports, but feel the need to feign interest to get ahead at work or save their marriage, can sign up for a tailor-made crash course in Steeler, Penguin, or Pirate fanaticism, with a discount if all three are taken.
“If you’ve given up on making your sports-mad partner take an interest in anything else – but you still want to establish some common ground for the sake of the kids – then give us a call.”