Being Passionate About Your Team and Players Can Be a Far Cry From Homerism

Ryan MichaelSenior Writer IIIMarch 11, 2009

If a writer is passionate and dedicated to making sure their sports hero or team is properly perceived, does that automatically mean that he or she is plagued with an abundance of biases? Often times, fans of rival teams or simply those who disagree are all too quick to attack a writer's credibility rather than discuss the various content presented to them.

I found this train of logic to be a little bit disappointing. Being a passionate sports fan, I'd much rather take part in a respectful and intriguing discussion than I would with taking the time to defend my honor.

Such senselessness was on full display after seeing the reaction to my latest article, "Why Peyton Manning's 2004 was Better Than Tom Brady's 2007: Round Table Exclusive".

It quickly became one of the most commented articles on all of bleacher report (exceeding 125 comments in less than 24 hours). The responses were filled with those who loved the content and agreed wholeheartedly, and those who passionately disagreed.

Still, almost nowhere in the comments section was there anything remotely close to debating the content presented in the article. Sure, the premise of personal opinions and logical "what if" scenarios were quickly dismissed, yet the actual content provided within the article went almost unmentioned.

My first reaction to this was actually a positive one.

I never mind when another fellow sports fan disagrees with my views, such a things is common-place in the world of sports. People tend to disagree and have various reasons on why they feel so passionate about either side of a debate.

This got me thinking, why is it that when a passionate fan of a particular team or player writes about such, there opinion is often greeted with a branding of personal biases?

Wouldn't it be possible for writer to come to an accurate conclusion regarding their favorite team or player?

I certainly have full confidence that my own bias does not work its way into the majority of my articles. Anytime I do let my bias play a factor in writing an article, I state it because I see no shame in doing so. Even so, such rare occurrences are much more common within my Pro Wrestling articles then in my NFL articles. 

The main thing I have an issue with is when people get more caught up in personal attacks then they do with discussing various aspects of the debate.

If I write an article that people disagree with, I'd much rather hear why they disagree with the content then why they have an issue regarding their accusation of personal bias. I personally feel that this accusation usually arises when people can find little to nothing wrong with the content, but all they really do know is that the conclusion upset them.

Why? I really don't know

Many writers that I disagree with every day, but if I do disagree, I voice that opinion in a respectful manner and illustrate exactly why I had an issue with the content provided to me.

Life is far too short to get upset with other people over such trivial matters.

I'm not writing this article because I'm upset, I'm writing it because I'm inspired. Inspired in the sense that I wish to express my optimistic point of view with everyone.

Regardless of whether or not we as writers agree on various subjects, we all share the same passion for the sport or sports that motivated us to read the article in the first place. We might like different teams, like different players, but it is the initial sport that brings us together in the first place.

Over the course of my short career here on bleacher report, I have encountered quite a few writers whom I respect.

Writers such as Robert Allred, Ricky Chan, Matt Cullen, Steve Frith, Shane Howard, Ken Howes, Pete McKeown, Eric Quackenbush, Bryn Swartz, Cody Swartz, and Miles Tiller have passionately disagreed with me at times but have always personified class when debating with me, and I respect them a great deal because of it.

Some of the very best sports discussion I've ever had have come from those who feel differently than I do. I always welcome a polite and logical sports discussion, regardless of whether or not we agree with one another.

So instead of being negative and ranting about how I might not like manners in which some people choose to present themselves, I rather close the article by giving appreciation to those who have.

This bleacher report community that we have created is one of the finest sports destinations in the entire world. It would be best if we all take advantage of it by carrying ourselves with the same dignity and respect that we expect from our peers.

If we can manage to do so, you never know, we might actually learn something in the process and become better people because of it.