I am asked often, “who is your team?”.
My answer has been the same for almost 15 years.
“I have no team.”
I am fan of sports, not individual players or teams. I don’t want to be their friends, I don’t care who wins or loses and I am not emotionally invested. I have always wondered what makes normally rational people act like deranged lunatics when it comes to sports.
I have come up with some reasons.
1- FANS REALLY BELIEVE THEY ARE ON THE TEAM
You ever listen to a fan rant and they say things like.
“We need to get better.”
“We need to get rid of Player X.”
“We have to stop committing so many turnovers.”
“We should draft Player X.”
Fans as a collective unit are part of the team (the 12th man in Seattle for example), but as an individual you aren’t. In those instances the fan is living in a fantasy world, where they actually believe they are part of an organization. Clinically speaking that is psychotic. Sports is entertainment, you have a choice how to spend your money, you aren’t entitled to anything. I buy a ticket to a movie and the movie sucks, that was the chance I took before I bought the ticket, I am not going to threaten the actor’s kids. You can voice your opinion, but you are not part of the team. The fan gets so caught up in the fantasy, their emotions are connected to the teams and it causes them to act irrationally.
The results are adults acting like children.
2- THERE IS A LOT OF JEALOUSY AND ENVY
This is probably the #1 reason why most fans act out. Most miserable people want to bring their misery to you. Also, being miserable and seeing millionaire athletes act like knuckleheads in some instances causes them to snap. In some ways you can say that is understandable, but still you are an adult you should know better.
If you want to say JR Smith’s basketball IQ is low because he makes a bad decision on the court is one thing, saying you wish he dies is a totally different thing.
Is it true that most haters are really just admirers? I believe there is some truth in that, because if they had the ability to change lives with the athlete, I am sure they would.
I always thought this was the most honest thing LeBron James ever said.
People who get joy from seeing someone fail are normally failures themselves. Why would you root for someone to fail? Why would you hope someone gets hurt? I make a ton of jokes, but I’ll never joke about someone getting injured. That bitterness and envy is the root of a lot of the malicious things you see fans say and do.
3- SOCIAL MEDIA ALLOWS MORE DIRECT CONTACT BETWEEN FAN AND ATHLETE
On the surface this should be a good thing. It is very difficult for the average fan to have any type of personal interaction with the players and social media helps with that.
Unfortunately there is a downside to this.
Social media has gotten out of control. In the past the only way to get under an athlete’s skin was at the arena, but now players have embraced social media it makes it very easy to get your hateful messages to them. Add in the protection of being able to hide behind your keyboard and you see a lot of people act out in a way they would never do in person.
In reality they are just groupies hoping to get the athletes’ attention. Almost every time an athlete replies to a troll, you see them immediately change their tune.
Social media has given a place for miserable and hateful people to thrive.
4- ALCOHOL MAKES EVERYONE A TOUGH GUY
In life people get drunk and act like fools. Fans like to drink before, after and during sporting events and it gives them the courage to act like children.
That is why you see so many fights between the fans themselves. There has been an uptick of fan on fan violence. While it is very difficult for any fan to get close enough to a player to physical cause any damage, there isn’t much security to stop one fan going after another one in the stands or outside of arenas and stadiums. Unfortunately some of these altercations have led to serious injuries or death. It is just a game, no one should be fighting or losing their life because they are a fan of a team.
5- SPORTS ARE AN ADDICTION
I was speaking to someone about how people get addicted to their sports teams the way people get addicted to HALO or World of Warcraft.
They lose their sense of reality, they become their avatar and that person begins to take over their life.
It is very much like the Matrix, you can be whoever you want in the Matrix, but the reality is a lot sadder and mundane.
Sports are like drugs, a way to escape the realities of real life which for so many is a daily struggle. But, like any addiction it can cause you to lose yourself in the process.
Enough is enough it is time for fans to deal with reality. There are lines that shouldn’t be crossed, if you are a 50-year-old man and your life revolves around calling 19-year-old kids pieces of crap, you are a loser to the 10th degree.
If you are on social media using racial slurs, vulgar language and making threats you would never say in person, you are a coward.
There are millions of great fans, who support their team without being hateful and ignorant. Those fans are being drowned out by these bad apples.
It is time we hold fans to the same standard of professionalism we expect out of athletes and put these fans on blast the same way we would do an athlete who gets a DUI or does something wrong.
The fans need to be called out, their names released and arrest them if it is warranted. The social media accounts who spew hate should be suspended and deleted. If threats are made charges should be filed against those fans and their names made public. Let’s see how much courage these fans have when their names are put on every sports site in the country.
It is time the fan is shown there are consequences and repercussions for their actions. Until we do that, fans like Jeff Orr will continue to exist and make sports a little less fun for all of us.
As the owner of this site, I make the final decision on what gets posted. We post all types of things and some of those stories speak on things that the athletes would probably prefer not be posted. My job though isn’t to play favorites or kiss anyone’s ass, but as a rule anything that is posted here or I say via Social Media, I wouldn’t have any problems saying it to their face. In the end, that should be the universal rule, if you wouldn’t say it to their face. then you shouldn’t say it at all.