The member of a sports team about whom supporters of the team are especially ardent.

It's not always a star that become the fan favorite. Just as often it's an otherwise unheralded player who merits this distinction by the home crowd, perhaps because of his antics while playing, but usually due to his grit, reliability, fierce determination, consistently applied work ethic, and maybe even his dedication to serving the community.

The sports fan understands that skill levels vary and that players of lesser abilities still make worthwhile contributions. The fan favorite exemplifies why the ticket holder became a stakeholder; subconsciously, the fan sees something of himself in the rugged plight of the unglorified role player.

In hockey, the fan favorite is often the team's enforcer, the player who makes sure that opponents don't take liberties with his team's stars.

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