Warriors Fans: Saps or Superfans?

John HuntContributor IApril 4, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 27:  Brandon Rush #4 of the Golden State Warriors drives on Steve Blake #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Oracle Arena on March 27, 2012 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Certain writers and bloggers on this site have recently implied — and even directly stated — that Warriors fans are "saps" for continuing to support their team.  After all, the team has consistently lost more games than it has won, season after season after season — with only a (small) handful of exceptions. 

Among the inferences to be drawn from these writers’ words are: winning is everything; losers should be scorned and not cheered for their efforts; only ‘saps’ support professional sports teams with consistent losing records; skilled professional athletes are worthy of admiration only when they win.

Here is an alternative view: winning isn’t everything — playing the game with maximum effort and dedication still counts for something; athletes who play with energy and enthusiasm deserve their fans’ cheers whether they win or lose; fans who support losing teams are not "saps"— in fact, they may be demonstrating their humanity to a greater extent than those who only cheer for "winners"; professional athletes who play with dedication and concentration, utilizing their professional skills to the best of their abilities, are worthy of admiration, even when they lose.

Perhaps these "saps" admire a group of players and coaches who never stop trying.  There have been only very rare moments during games this season when the team became discouraged and failed to play with maximum effort.  In fact, if the term “heart” applies to any professional sports team in the world, it surely applies to these Warriors, who have managed somehow to keep themselves in games where they were totally out-manned at almost every position. 

Perhaps the same "saps" booed Joe Lacob because they lost a couple of players who wore their hearts on their jerseys and gave everything they had to give, every minute they were on the floor.

And perhaps these same fans promptly accepted their loss and kept on coming to games because they appreciate young men who play the game with skill and heart, and are coached by a man who played the game the same way and who appears capable of inspiring his players to emulate him.

Three loud cheers for: players who won’t quit; coaches who won’t let them quit; and owners who care.