Archived Story

Let’s be better fans

Published 6:51pm Monday, October 7, 2013

Being a fan most times at its very core means a person is fanatical about something, no matter how little it makes sense for them to be that dedicated.
With sports in particular, fans get worked up and excited (or angry) about teams they often pay up to $100 or more to watch when their only return on that investment is just being able to cheer in person for an organization with which they have a loose affiliation.
Whether we root for a team because we went to school there or simply because the team plays near us, being sports fans often times makes very little sense.
It’s a cynical way to look at fanhood, I know, but honestly I’m guilty of it myself.
However, part of the reason being a sports fan is so great is because sporting events are such unifying social functions.
I cannot even begin to count up how many times I have high-fived or had random conversations (which sometimes have nothing to do with sports at all) with people I don’t even know at football games.
Sporting events bring all types of people together in a positive way, all united for one simple, sometimes silly cause – our team.
But just as sporting events bring out the good in people and humanity in general, they also bring out some of the ugliest types of behavior you can imagine.
Fans jaw back and forth in a playful manner all the time during football games and then shake hands at the end of the day after a fun experience.
There is nothing wrong with a little playful trash talk, but then there are those fans that take the experience way too far and can single handedly ruin the experience for an entire row or section of people.
Everyone has sat by that fan, the one who has a little too much to drink and slings profanity around despite being surrounded people with children just trying to enjoy the game.
Some would say that’s just a part of the experience, and in some places it might be. But it does not have to be.
I mean, there’s nothing wrong with cheering on your team as loudly as possible or booing the opposing team just as loud, if not louder, but verbally abusing other fans in a malicious way has no place in sports.
Just this weekend I had an encounter with one of these fans, who somehow sneaked some kind of Red Bull-flavored e-liquid nicotine substance into the game and constantly blew vapors that drifted into the faces of fans behind him, while also yelling obscenities to fans in front of him.
He kept throwing the drinks back throughout the game.
There’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks during a game, but they say “drink responsibly” for a reason.
The only solace other fans and I could take was that same fan was so silent he seemed nonexistent after his team lost, but it shouldn’t have to be that way.
We should all work to be better fans. We all get worked up about our favorite teams, but the better we are during a game, the better the experience for everyone.
Hudson is a staff writer for The Outlook.