As sports fan there are certain things that we all do at one point or another, despite the fact that we often deride others for doing the same things.
Whether or not you want to admit to it is, of course, a different story altogether.
This happens all the time outside of sports. Your boss probably does it. Your parents definitely did it while you were growing up. It's the old adage, "Do as I say, not as I do."
So here are the sports sins that we're all guilty of—some far more forgivable than others.
As sports fans, we pretty much know everything. We know what play would've worked better. We know when it's time to bench the quarterback. We know what's a penalty and what's the refs trying to job us. We know exactly who to draft.
Of course, making those kinds of decisions are much easier when nothing's on the line. There are no consequences for being wrong when the only people listening are your friends and family and a bunch of combative weirdos on Twitter.
You know whose fault it was that the Red Sox beat the Cardinals in the World Series? It is not the fault of your old college buddy from Boston.
You know whose fault it was that the Ravens beat the Steelers last weekend? It is not the fault of a bunch of jerkface Baltimore fans on Twitter.
You know whose fault it was that your team didn't select the right player in the first round of the draft? It is not the fault of all those wretched Jets fans screaming and booing.
Okay…maybe the Jets fans were responsible. You get the idea though.
"Don't shoot the messenger" is a saying that exists because of our tendency to lash out at the bearer of bad news, rather than the source of the bad news. It's just easier and more convenient.
The messenger, in this case, is often the sports reporter. All you have to do is check out the comments section below an article on almost any site. It doesn't matter how innocuous the tone is, people will find a reason to freak out.
There's something about sports that has the power to bring out the absolute worst in people. Passion for sports often inspires otherwise good people to say and so some truly terrible things.
This includes: wishing terrible injuries—or even death—on athletes, saying things to opposing fans that you definitely wouldn't want your mother to hear and physically assaulting someone for wearing the wrong kind of jersey.
While actual physical assaults are not the norm, we've all said something in the heat of the moment that would've been unacceptable under any other circumstances.
The only thing more annoying about all sports fans being Homers at some point or another is the fact that not one of them will ever admit it. In fact, most would fight to the death denying it.
Being a Homer is a very forgivable sin. Denying being a Homer is much worse.
It's been a few bad games and you didn't like the look of that drive: Bench the starting quarterback! (Because we all know the backup is a proven superstar…)
Bad clock management that may or may not have cost the team a win: Fire the coach! (Because the next guy will never make a questionable decision…)
An athlete on the sideline is showing a little more emotion than deemed appropriate by the media: Everyone freak the hell out! (Because it's only okay when certain athletes do it…)
When your team is chronically in the gutter, often times the draft is the only thing you can truly look forward to. But even fans of teams that experience the occasional down year can fall victim to draft hype.
This is particularly true in football, when the promise of replacing some of those overpaid, injury-prone moldy oldies with fresh faced newbies can be very intoxicating. Unfortunately, it's rarely the saving grace fans hope for.
Drafting is anything but an exact science and usually yields more promise than results in a given year.
There are very few sports fans that handle winning or losing with any semblance of dignity…or even humanity. Losing turns us into an inconsolable nightmare from hell and winning turns us into…another kind of nightmare from hell.
Every game ends one of two ways: a win or loss. And, on the rare and unfortunate occasion, a freaking tie. Unless it's soccer, then it usually ends in a tie. Point being that at some point we should be able to deal with either outcome.
Deal with it with a little bit of grace and dignity. You can cry all you want to, just go home first.
Even the most serious sports fans are guilty of jumping on the occasional bandwagon. It's not that they forsake their lifelong team allegiances, but it's easy to get swept up in the hype surrounding a certain player or team.
Take me, for instance. When my Steelers don't make the playoffs, I jump on the bandwagon of every team that plays the Patriots or Ravens. I also enjoy watching the Red Sox in the postseason, because the Pirates were under .500 for over two decades.
I know it's obnoxious, but that's what being a sports fan is all about.
A really questionable call didn't go your way at the end of the game: Obviously, the league is conspiring against your team. (Because a nonsensical and wide reaching conspiracy is easy to pull off...)
There's a blackout at the Super Bowl which the NFL took extensive steps to prevent, but unfortunately happened anyway: Obviously, Roger Goodell has it out for the Ravens. (Because of course he does…)
A college team has a surprisingly impressive draft class: Obviously, every recruit they signed was bought and paid for by boosters. (Just because it's possible doesn't make definitively true…)
Usually, the easiest explanation is the truth.
When times are tough it's human nature to look to the good times of the past. There's nothing wrong with looking back, as long as you're remembering what actually happened and not some semi-fictionalized version that the present will never live up to.
Steelers fans reminisce about the 70s. Niners fans reminisce about the 80s. Cowboys fans reminisce about the 90s. And Browns fans reminisce about the Bernie Kosar days. Point being that reminiscing too much makes it seem like you've got nothing to live for now.
Actually, Browns fans get a pass on this one.
When something is going wrong with a team, very often the knee-jerk response is, "Fire the coach!"
It's a lot easier to replace a coach than tackle the personnel situation and overhaul the roster. Not to mention, it's a whole lot cheaper.
Think about it. The Redskins. The Raiders. The Rams. The Browns. The Cardinals. The Bills. The Jaguars. If the only thing standing in between success and failure was a head coach, they wouldn't have spent the last decade in the gutter.