You Might Be Too Obsessed with Sports If ...
I live in Boston. After weekends like this one, it's impossible to understand why everyone in the world isn't as obsessed with sports as many of us are. Look at how happy we Bostonians got to be this weekend! Look how much fun we had watching two of the most exciting comebacks in our city's history, within five hours of each other!
But there are definitely those of us who are too obsessed—not just in my city, but everywhere. There are infinite message boards dedicated to the age-old question: Why are people so obsessed with sports? What is that about? Why do they care so much?
There are those of us who care lot. There are those of us who find ourselves in a funk after a loss. There is nothing to be ashamed of; sports-related fan depression is an actual thing.
But light years beyond those rational fans are the people who do the kinds of things on this list.
Your Kid Is Named "ESPN"
According to the Internet, there are at least three kids in the world whose names are "ESPN." That is three too many.
Oh, but it's pronounced "Espen." So that makes it OK.
For one thing, "ESPN" isn't a name. For another, it's not gimmicky or cute to have a kid named "ESPN." If you have a kid named "ESPN," you can ensure that everyone you ever introduce your kid to will think you're a terrible parent.
Congratulations! Your kid is a punchline. And not even a good one.
You Wear Personalized Jerseys
My brothers will forever fight me on this (especially the younger one, who enjoys using his custom Celtics jersey as an opportunity to show off his "guns"), but personalized replica jerseys are for kids, gag gifts or for females who have crushes on the athletes.
Who is the person who thought it was cool to wear a Lakers jersey with your own name and number on the back? You're still not on the team. You still never will be.
Plus, those jerseys look terrible on people who aren't professional athletes.
You Paid for a Tim Tebow Billboard
There is so much wrong with this. Aside from the fact that Tim Tebow is awful, think about all of the other things in life on which you could have spent your hard-earned cash. Think about how many customized jerseys you could have purchased with that money!
Maybe that billboard was funny for a second. But it's not going to turn Tebow into an NFL-caliber player. It's not going to compel the front office or the coaching staff to make any decisions.
And in retrospect, now that we've all seen what has become of Tim Tebow, there is definitely nobody out there who still feels good about this impulse purchase.
You Have an Athlete's Face Carved into Your Hair
Those people who can turn haircuts into actual works of art are talented, for sure. But it would be best if their canvases were limited to children.
There are lots of us who, as sports fans, develop unreasonably strong feelings of love for our favorite athletes. They bring us so much joy when they win! How can we give back?
By going to games. By supporting their efforts on the field/court. Not by going to a barbershop and demanding to have James Harden's face carved into our heads. Even Harden would think that's a little much.
Your Fandom Compromises Your Intelligence
Several years ago, NPR conducted a somewhat disturbing study that revealed that sports are impeding the ability of students (boys, specifically) to succeed in school.
Frank Deford issued this call to arms in an effort to get bros to hit the books and stop wasting all of their time in front of the TV, watching games:
We're going to end up with an American society of egg-headed executive woman and ham-headed worker men where the gals do all the heavy thinking while the guys come home from their jobs flipping burgers and spend their downtime playing video games and watching poker and arena football on TV.
The study claims that boys are hard-wired to care too much about sports because from an early age, they receive more positive feedback regarding their "athletic prowess" than from their performance in the classroom. So maybe it's not their fault after all.
You Think You Can Impact the Outcome of a Game
We've all seen the Bud Light commercials. Superstitions are just a part of our lives as fans. We can't help but believe that if we eat a quinoa burger before a game, our team will win—but deep down, we know that it's kind of crazy to think that way.
Well, most of us do.
Let me re-introduce you to Crying Packers Girl, the infamous Green Bay fan who was convinced that if only she had worn a different jersey or painted her nails a different color, the Pack would have beaten the eventual Super Bowl champion Giants in the 2012 playoffs.
You Have Posters on Your Wall and You're an Adult
All of us are eager to proudly display our love for our favorite teams in any way, shape or form. But there are plenty of ways to do so without covering your (adult) bedroom with posters of Peyton Manning.
For example, you could invest in a Fathead and keep it in the basement. You could put a nice bumper sticker, featuring your team's logo, on the back of your car. You can even print out a nice picture of Manning and his epic forehead rash and tape it up in your cubicle at work.
Just put the posters away. You're a grown up. You don't need to gaze adoringly at Peyton before you fall asleep. And if you do, just use a picture of him as your phone wallpaper or something.
You Have Harmed Someone for Acknowledging a No-Hitter
A no-hitter is one of the most sacred events in baseball. No-hitters are spectacular, and they are rare, so when you're in a position to see one firsthand, it's one of the most thrilling things you can experience as a fan.
But I promise you that if I acknowledge the no-hitter that I'm currently seeing before my eyes, I will not jinx it. I acknowledged both Clay Buchholz's and Jon Lester's no-hitters. They both happened.
If you, therefore, have harmed another human for uttering anything about a no-no-in-progress, seek help immediately.
You Have a Son Named Robert Griffin Because You Lost a Bet
This does not apply to those of you who, by pure coincidence, have a child named Robert Griffin. This applies to those of you who have been forced to name your child anything because you lost a bet. That should never happen.
The parents of this particular Robert Griffin are a Cowboys fan and a Redskins fan. Last season, they made a wager: If the Cowboys beat the Redskins, they would name their kid "Austin Miles" (but not Miles Austin). If the Redskins won, they would name him "Robert Griffin." Obviously, the Redskins won.
Surely the dad doesn't regret this decisions at all, given the season Griffin is currently having.
You Can't Face the World in the Aftermath of a Loss
I can't really criticize, here. I still haven't seen the Manning-to-Burress touchdown pass from play of Super Bowl XLII. It would just hurt too much.
I am one of those fans who cannot face the world when my team loses a big game. I can't face Twitter. I can't watch SportsCenter for weeks. I can't read the newspaper or listen to the radio. I must hibernate until the pain begins to dissipate.
I am also acutely aware of the fact that I care too much. I have seen lots of championships in the last several years, but I've also seen lots of heartbreaking losses, and after each one, I convince myself I'll never get over it.
Maybe I need to talk to the fan depression shrink, too.
You Have Tweeted Something Obscene at an Athlete After a Loss
Trust me, I get it. Fantasy football can be the cause of tremendous joy and, alternately, tremendous anguish.
But under no circumstance should you ever send an athlete an angrily-worded tweet if and when his performance negatively impacts your team.
No, seriously—I get it. I am the proud owner not only of the 2013 version of Ray Rice but also of Julio Jones, who will spend the rest of the year with a nice little "IR" bubble next to his name. These dudes are annoyed enough at themselves if they have a bad week. If they're not annoyed enough, their coaches—maybe even their teammates—will give it to them, too.
I promise you, though, that your death threats to Ray Rice are not motivating him in the least.
You Stood Outside Matt Schaub's House and Booed Him
When Ben Roethlisberger is calling your behavior sickening, you know you're really doing something wrong.
Matt Schaub is having a bad season. That is an understatement. But just because he's having a bad season doesn't mean he should have to question the safety of his wife and three young daughters.
According to the New York Daily News, at least one fan in the Houston area has appeared in the driveway of Schaub's personal home and has shouted obscenities at him as he attempted to enter his home.
Dear fan: There's a line. You crossed it. Get a hobby. Well, another hobby.
You Missed a Key Life Event to Watch a Game
Games are fun. Games are big. Certain games can qualify as life-changing experiences.
But if you've missed a close friend/family member's wedding, graduation or your own graduation because you just couldn't bear to miss a single snap/at-bat/shift, you probably need an intervention.
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out, for all the n00bs out there) is especially prevalent in sports. But nowadays, we have DVR. We also have phones that will allow us to watch games at virtually any time, anywhere. Look, Cory Monteith was doing it at this super-fancy dinner. You can always catch up on the game. You cannot always catch up on your best friend's wedding.
And if you missed your best friend's wedding for a game, he/she is probably not your best friend anymore, anyway.
You Have Burned Something in Protest of a Loss
Losing sucks. It really does. Granted, it probably sucks more for the players who actually endured the loss first-hand than it does for the fans, but it's not fun.
But if players can somehow restrain themselves from burning stuff in the streets after losing a championship game, there must be a way for fans to find it within themselves to avoid scorching the earth in post-loss hysteria.
Why is it instinctual to go outside and tip a car or worse, light one on fire when your team fails to win a title? Why not cry? Why not talk to a family member or, if necessary, a therapist? Just leave your torches at home. We'll all be better off.
You Have Cheered a Player for Getting Hurt
You may hate your team's quarterback or point guard or No. 1 starting pitcher. That person's very existence might make you miserable.
But if that's the case, you should probably find something else with which to entertain yourself.
I get the argument that the fans are paying for an expensive ticket to a game and thus they deserve to see a decent show. But nobody is forcing you to buy that ticket. You chose to. You exercised free will. If you purchased Texans or Steelers or Eagles season tickets this offseason in the hopes that they would dominate, that is unfortunate, but it does not give you the right to publicly cheer the bodily harm of one of the players. That just makes you a bad person.
And if you purchased Bucs season tickets this offseason in the hopes that they'd compete, I've got nothing for you.
You Use a Loophole to Willingly Ruin Your Friend's Fantasy Football Season…
Two Fridays ago, I (stupidly) agreed to trade Ray Rice and Julio Jones to a far savvier owner in my league in exchange for Wes Welker and Julius Thomas. I was done with Ray Rice and I needed a tight end. This savvier owner asked me to propose the trade on Friday in an effort to prevent me from reneging in the event that Rice had a big day that Sunday (which Rice did—but I still didn't cancel the trade).
This savvier owner then accepted my trade on Monday afternoon. As we all know, Julio Jones suffered a season-ending injury about eight hours later.
So instead of just sucking it up and being a champ about his bad luck, this owner proceeded to ask each and every member of our league to veto the trade in the hopes that he would avoid getting saddled with an obsolete Julio Jones. It worked. The (completely, 100 percent fair) trade was overturned, I got Rice and Jones back, my season was ruined, and the other owner rode off into the sunset with Wes and Julius.
Poor fantasy form? Absolutely. Even poorer friendship form? For sure. As ESPN fantasy expert Matthew Berry put it, "Be a rational human being above a cutthroat fantasy owner."
…Or You Allow Your Life to Be Ruined by a Fantasy Football Trade
The degree to which I was upset over this trade-that-wasn't was truly disturbing. I was so enraged that nothing—not even an LDS victory over the Tampa Bay Rays—could pull me out of my funk.
It became very clear to me that if I couldn't have fun playing fantasy football, I had no business playing fantasy football. So instead of carrying on with a team in which Joique Bell was the best asset, I did the noble thing and I released all of my players into the wild and decided to give anyone who hadn't yet faced my team an automatic win.
Just kidding. I'm not that big of a person. I just moved my entire team to my bench. But at least I no longer have to lie awake at night wondering why Julio has done this to me.
You Paid Money for 900 Pounds of Butterfingers to Make Fun of Wes Welker
For anyone wondering why Wes Welker had no interest in re-signing with the New England Patriots this offseason—here we go.
You might recall that during the Patriots' Super Bowl XLVI loss to the Giants, Welker had a few key drops that came to epitomize the team's putrid offensive performance. And so, days after the loss, online pawn shop Pawngo.com dropped 900 pounds of Butterfingers in Boston's Copley Square in an effort to poke fun at Welker's butterfingers.
The CEO of the company later referred to his gesture as a "lighthearted stunt." Let me tell you. If you are paying for 900 pounds—900 pounds!—of Butterfingers for any reason, you are wrong. You are so wrong.
You Petitioned POTUS to Impeach the Owner of Your Football Team
President Obama has a lot of stuff on his plate these days, such as finding a way to ensure the government can continue to function in some capacity.
He does not have time to think about the pain and agony Jerry Jones has inflicted upon Cowboys fans over the last couple of decades.
We all know that Jones is one of the most polarizing owners in sports. He just cares so darn much, but unfortunately, that passion often manifests itself in a tendency to be an overbearing meddler. So last year, the Cowboys faithful circulated a petition asking the president to forcibly remove Jones from his position as owner and general manager of the Cowboys.
The White House was not amused. It removed the petition shortly after it was posted because of a "violation of our Terms of Participation."
You Stabbed Someone for Thinking LeBron Is Better Than Jordan
It's the most heated debate in all of sports.
Who will go down as the best of all time? Will Michael Jordan retain his unofficial title? Will LeBron James eventually usurp him?
Basketball fans love to argue ceaselessly about this. But under no circumstance should you care so much about this debate that you are willing to stab someone over it.
Earlier this month, Michael Landeros and his nephew Armando Encinas spent an evening trolling a bar full of Pittsburgh fans about a variety of sports-related topics. When it came time to argue Jordan vs. LeBron, tempers flared and Encinas ended up stabbing the bar's owner, an employee and a customer. According to USA Today, the three victims were taken to the hospital but expected to be fine.
Tragically, we don't even know whether these guys chose LeBron or Jordan.