After a 15-year career in the U.S. Army, Amanda Filimon was looking for a brand new team to be a part of. She found that camaraderie in her community of Rams fans where she’s a passionate, dedicated fixture. Amanda held season tickets since the Rams moved back to Los Angeles, continuing a fandom that started when the Rams relocated to the midwest in the 1990s. On home gameday, you can find Amanda where she’s most at home: With her fellow Rams fans at the tailgate or in SoFi Stadium cheering on every victory and lamenting every loss.
The NFL launched the Fan of the Year contest presented by Captain Morgan to celebrate extraordinary fans who inspire others through their love of football and bring an “original spice” to what it means to be a fan. In collaboration with the 32 teams, the NFL collected nearly 35,000 submissions from fans vying for the chance to represent their team as a nominee. The contest will identify one winner among the final 32 nominees to be named the ultimate NFL Fan of the Year at NFL Honors in February 2022.
Here’s what makes Amanda one of the candidates for NFL Fan of the Year presented by Captain Morgan.
Why do you love being a fan of the Rams?
Amanda Filimon: They are the best team in the NFL! I love their commitment to community, I love their colors, I love their mascot—I love that they are back here in LA.
What is the most rewarding part of being a fan of the Rams?
AF: It would have to be being associated with a franchise that is not only winning on the field in terms of gameplay, but also off the field with their dedication to helping other organizations.
They recently partnered with United Way to help combat homelessness and the poverty crisis in LA. Tomorrow we will be doing a 5K, running as part of the Rams team. They also work a lot with the local hospital that I work at, including fundraising and blood drives.
How would you describe your own original spice and how you bring it to every game?
AF: If you have ever seen “Remember The Titans” I’ve always been described as the little blonde coach’s daughter. The one who gets frustrated with plays, or hollers at the refs for bad calls, who gets out of their seat when it starts getting tense. I’m the one who wants to high five everyone around me when we score a touchdown.
My husband was the one who originally compared me to the little daughter and now always relates me to her. I grew up playing sports so I know what it feels like to whine, lose, or get frustrated.
How do you keep a positive attitude when the team might not be doing the best?
AF: We all go through hard times but sometimes that is what gets us over the hump to greener grass. Fans are so important to the team and can help them get through the tough times, so I’m always positive for those on the field. This is the definition of true fandom.
How did you become a fan of the Rams?
AF: I grew up in a small town in Indiana where there weren’t any professional sports teams within 3 hours. When I was in high school we would watch Colts and Steelers games. In 1994 the Rams made their way to the Midwest, so naturally we started to take notice and follow them. When I got back from the military, finished nursing school, and started traveling, I decided to move to Los Angeles. Luckily for me this was the same year the Rams decided to move back as well. It only made sense to dive all in on the Rams as we both departed the Midwest and headed West.
How did football play a role during your time in the military?
AF: I joined the military right out of high school since I did not know what I wanted to do. I saw the Army as another team that I wanted to be involved with. I was deployed in 2005 and I played touch football with other soldiers to release the tension and hard days. I also started running each morning when in Iraq and have now run 6 marathons since. Sports have helped keep me grounded and sane when things were tough.
How do you like to watch the game?
AF: I love to watch home games from my season ticket seats at SoFi stadium. We’ve had season tickets for 4 years now. Away games are fun to watch with friends at home and there’s usually some sort of friendly rivalry happening.
What makes Rams fans like you the best fans in the NFL?
AF: I think it takes more than just showing up and supporting your team. I think you really need to find ways to give back to those around you. I think participating in events that the Rams sponsor that give back to the community are the best way to really put us front and center as the best fans. I also think you need to have unconditional support. It’s easy to support a team when they’re winning, but it takes a true fan to support a team when times get tough. I think LA has proven that by welcoming back this team with open arms and allowing them to grow into the powerhouse they are today.
What are your game day rituals?
AF: If it’s a home game, I get up, get ready with my Rams jersey. We usually grab a few drinks so we can peruse around the tailgate and mingle. The tailgate is such an electric place to be, and it always gets you amped up for the actual game.
What is your go to game day drink?
AF: Anything with Captain Morgan rum in it!
What is the best part of a Rams tailgate?
AF: It’s over the top and the entire lot is dedicated to tailgating. People go all out with all the food you can imagine. There’s an entire location dedicated for RV setups and there’s authentic fun food with lots of Mexican fare. But the overall love for the team is what’s fun and amazing, you know everybody has something in common.
Why is giving back to the community so important to you?
AF: Community is where all of this begins. Without the support of the community these teams and players would have nothing to play for. It only makes sense to give back to the very people that make this game worth playing for. To so many people, football is more than just a sport, and simple gestures like giving back when it comes from the players and teams especially goes really far.