Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sports Fans - Courage Stealers

Sports fans. They are a league of their own. There are die hard fans, fair weather fans, and then there are those that I do not have a label to describe. With that said, I am going to describe the final group and hopefully arrive at an appropriate nomenclature.

A week ago I went to the Diamondbacks game with some friends from work. We all received free tickets as part of a program for educators. We sat in the nosebleed section among other teachers in the state of Arizona. The Dbacks were playing the Marlins and I believe my husband told me it was the lowest attended game in Dbacks' history. I found this pretty sad because most of the upper sections were filled with people who received free tickets. I definitely would not have gone if it weren't for the gift. On the bright side, the Diamondbacks actually won that night.

On to the most annoying fan on the planet. I come from a world that embraces the following philosophy, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Or "Live by the golden rule." I don't think this guy had ever heard those phrases. He yelled the most offensive and discouraging words at the players, as if they could hear him. For goodness sake, we were in the nosebleed section. Nothing irritates me more than obnoxiousness and treating people as if they aren't humans. He literally yelled at every player and as the Dbacks actually played well, scored runs, and held the other team to only a couple runs, he never once said one nice thing.

The worst part to me was the fact that he was surrounded by his family. I will go ahead and judge the man. What a terrible example for his school age children, let alone the fact that either he or his wife must work in education, where we need examples of encouragement and dignity. I regularly attend sporting events, listen to sports radio, and watch ESPN. Over the years there has been a steady decline in the amount of positive words coming out of the mouths of commentators, athletes, owners, and fans. Take for example the entire Lebron James situation. Was a letter from Dan Gilbert to the fans really necessary? Sure, a statement stating that the team would move forward and be a championship team would be great. A letter of optimism. Sometimes you don't get what you want.

Fans are just as bad. This guy at the Dbacks game was truly affecting those around him. Fans burning Lebron jerseys were affecting those around them. Tirades of slander and negativity affect those around them. What ever happened to the days when sports were to be enjoyed? The days when you congratulated the other team when they beat you. The days when you acknowledged that someone was a better athlete than you. The days when parents didn't get into fights in the stands. Why is it natural to attack someones character instead of just acknowledging their gifts, skills, and abilities?

If I were to stereotype these people and label them, which I definitely believe in doing, I would call them the courage stealers. Here is the poster child for the courage stealers, just to give you a visual.

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