SOME FURS (and quite a few onlookers) compare ourselves to the football fans who paint themselves in their team’s colors and go bare-chested in thirty-degree weather hoping to be seen on TV.
It’s a not-quite-adequate comparison that only covers a single flavor of fur: the fursuiters, people who dress in full body animal costumes. Like the football face painters, the ’suiters are the ones most likely to wind up in the media, thanks to TV directors and newspaper editors on the lookout for the most engaging visual imagery. But unlike ’suiters, the facepainters are not seen as representing football fans in general.
Those face painters are a microscopic minority—a mere handful of the 60,000 or so people who pack a football stadium on any given Sunday, versus the 59,990 there to just enjoy game. But of that 59,990 you’ll find no small number of fans with their own unique interest in the sport: team loyalists who know every player’s statistics by heart; memorabilia collectors whose homes overflow with dozens of knickknacks, doodads and miscellaneous items sporting their team’s name; fantasy football obsessives determined to win the virtual equivalent of the Super Bowl; stadium enthusiasts who can recite the dimensions and seating capacity of every arena ever built.
It’s the same way with furs. Convention fursuit parades usually attract between 20–25% of the crowd on hand, a figure that probably holds true for the fandom as a whole. In other words, if you meet a fur, there’s only a one-in-four chance—at most—that person wears a fursuit. That means about 75% of the furry fandom express their furriness in other ways…
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