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A Friday Morning Rant: Stop The Hate

July 2, 2010
by

As a disclaimer, this post has very little to do with football. It has more to do with football fans. If you don’t have an interest in my rant, feel free to stop reading now and go back to whatever it is you were doing.

Football fans are crazy. And I mean CRAZY. It is commonplace for fans to pay huge sums of money following their favorite team around the country just to see that team dismantled before their eyes the very next season. Do fans get angry with general managers? Sure. Does that stop those fans from following their team again the following year? Absolutely not. Those fans follow the same routine the next year, except they swap out the jersey of “player x” for “player y.” Now, is this crazy? Yes, I would say so. Is this sort of madness a bad thing? Not necessarily. If you want to spend your hard earned money on jerseys, game tickets, and hotel rooms, more power to you. You’re not hurting anyone else. Who am I to stop you?

On the other hand, there are some fans out there who are seriously insane. I’m talking about the trolls at the local tavern, in the forums, and in the comment sections of blogs. I’m talking about those guys that love their team so much that they turn their fandom into fanaticism. I’m talking about those guys who spew hate and venom at anyone or anything that is not exactly like them. What qualifies them to be such idiots? How does a love for your team equal hate for another team, and therefore, another fan?

How about we sprinkle a little perspective into this rant? Let’s substitute your favorite NFL team for your favorite food. If you love spaghetti, does that mean you cannot stand the sight of pizza? Pizza isn’t bad; in fact, it’s pretty good. And just because it’s not spaghetti doesn’t mean you have to hate it. This example may seem overly simplistic, but I feel it well-exemplifies the logic that far too many fans use when it comes to their favorite team.

Here’s an idea. The next time you hear someone bash your favorite team, try listening to exactly what they are saying and then respond to the points they argue. Don’t get angry. Don’t get defensive. Simply listen to what they are saying and respond. Then repeat. You don’t have to yell, USE ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, or 1,000 exclamation points!!!!!!!!! to get your point across. Who knows, you might end up having a wonderful conversation or you might end up hating the person, but that’s the beauty of the interaction. If you don’t listen to other people, you will grow into a self-centered, boring curmudgeon. And nobody likes that.

So the next time you feel the need to attack an opposing teams’ fan, step back and look at the situation. Chances are this person is EXACTLY like you: They are a die-hard football fan that loves their team. Just because this person is cheering for the “wrong” team doesn’t make them your sworn enemy (Unless it’s a Bears’ fan).

Seriously, people. Stop the hate. Have a civil conversation. Don’t live up to the stereotypical, beer guzzling imbecile. Treat each situation and each fan individually. That’s all I’m asking.

And with that I feel better. Happy Independence Day.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. July 2, 2010 8:57 am

    No one is like me.

  2. Dad permalink
    July 2, 2010 9:23 am

    I still hate the Vikings.

  3. July 2, 2010 11:38 am

    My best friend is a diehard Bears fan. Ofcourse we sometimes jab each other after the Bears Packers games, but when the discussion turns to football, it’s always civilized, usually comparing the faults of the two teams. However most of the people I meet in Chicago simply say “Packers suck man!” and leave it at that. And I know we have some Packers fans who do the same thing. Everyone just needs to calm down for awhile.

    Go Pack Go!

  4. Zeke Bratkowski permalink
    July 5, 2010 9:28 am

    Well played my friend! The Blogosphere allows increased participation among the sports literati and at the same time creates a venue for the worst behaviors that would probably earn some sort of public nuisance citation if they were done in a “public” setting with physical by-standers nearby. Alas the cloak of anonymity facilitates the level of stupidity.

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