Dear Sports Fans, Stop Acting Insane
As sports fans, we all feel like it's our due responsibility to support our favorite teams until death do us part, letting nothing or anyone get in the way of cheering them on.
Sometimes though, we all let the emotions it takes to love sports go to our heads, pushing us to do a few things that would otherwise be labeled as insane.
I'm not trying to be a hater or say I don't do some of these things either, but, come on now fellow sports fans, let's prove that just because we're obsessed with sports, it doesn't mean we should lower our expectations of ourselves by doing some of this crazy stuff.
Waiting Hours for an Autograph
I've mentioned this one before and, while it's not the worst thing a fan can do—which is why it's so low on my list—it's also something that is completely insane in my opinion.
Not only do you have grown men waiting to get an autograph on something that will either sit in a drawer for eternity or fade on a jersey because of light exposure, but seeing how most pro athletes these days are even younger than the guys requesting the signature, it makes it all the more silly.
Don't even get me started on the need to wait any longer than five minutes for something like this because I really could go on a rant.
I mentioned a few specific cases in my "Biggest Criers in Sports" piece from the other day, but as a whole, there should never be any fans who cry over their team losing—even when absolutely tanked out of their mind.
Losing is hard, and it sucks even more when it's either a big game or one in which the intensity was high throughout, and your favorite team ended up on the wrong side.
Still, shedding tears because of it makes you look absolutely insane—especially when caught by TV cameras.
This guy just happens to be the prime example of how to dance absolutely correctly at a sporting event.
Not only does he perk up in his seat the moment he recognizes that the song is Rebecca Black's God-awful tune, "Friday,"—which I warn you not to click for fear of it getting stuck in your head—but then he breaks into full song and dance.
Dude may have gotten some face time and laughs from his fellow fans for not holding back, but the last thing I'd want to be known as is "that guy who danced to Rebecca Black at the hockey game."
Rushing the Field
Anyone who wants to down a few beers and try to outrun security on a field or court, be my guest. Just be prepared for the consequences.
Either way, I'm not sure I get the whole thrill of rushing the field during a game. Then again, I've never had any interest in doing it either.
Throwing Things onto the Playing Surface
Feeling like your team just got jobbed because of a bad call is never a good thing, but, come on now, those plastic beer bottles shouldn't be used as a way to show your feelings.
Besides, if someone gets caught tossing something, they're going to get a first-class ticket out of the stadium, which isn't worth it to me.
Whatever happened to just booing an umpire or yelling some profanities at an opposing player?
Getting a Sports Tattoo
While cheering on your favorite team is always appreciated by fellow fans, some people think that they need to take it to the next level and really show—permanently—just how much they live and die with their team.
Rather than just always sporting their team's logo or colors though, the craziest ones take their asses to a tattoo parlor and ask for something to be inked on them for life.
No matter what a fan decides to get, it typically doesn't end up quite as nice as they may have imagined it would.
Just ask Rex Ryan if he could have a do-over with his tat.
Getting Too Drunk at Games
OK, so stealing the helmet off of a player during a scuffle is pretty damn hilarious—especially since the dude who did it wound up trying to put it on his head as if it was his to begin with.
However, getting so tanked that you show everyone around you your dinner—and having that vomit spewed on a poor, unassuming 11-year-old girl—never works out for anyone.
Go ahead and tailgate and drink as much as you want, just make sure that when your heckling voice starts to slur, or you're seeing two Kobe Bryant's on the floor, you cut yourself off and take a much-needed timeout.
Inviting an Athlete to a Wedding
A wedding is supposed to be a sacred vow between two people who love each other, pledging their love to one another in front of their best friends and family.
Well, sports fans might not buy into all that.
As we saw recently, a bride—surprisingly, not the groom—actually sent a wedding invitation to her favorite quarterback, Denver Broncos' signal-caller Peyton Manning.
One might have seen that No. 18 was a tad busy this time of year, so he politely declined—but it's still pretty cool he even acknowledged it.
Let's just hope this isn't a trend we'll be seeing more often because, while the couple did hear back, it's a pretty wacky idea.
I simply just want to put 'Don't fight," but apparently that's too difficult for some fans to understand.
It's not worth scaring the crap out of everyone around you, or pulling in someone who doesn't want to be a part of the melee, so let's just act like adults and watch a sporting event without throwing down.
Seeing how the players on the court or field can take elbows and cheap shots from opposing players without bickering, you'd think the fans in the stands would be able to do the same. Sadly, that's not always the case.
As nuts as it is to throw some fists up towards other fans in the stands, it's even wilder to think that any Joe Schmo would stand a chance against a professional athlete.
Even with an insane amount of booze in me, I still wouldn't think that attempting to get into it with a much bigger, stronger athlete would be wise, although some fans have proven that they disagree.
Unless you want to be labeled as the crazy guy who got beat up by such-and-such player, just stick to using your mouth to taunt them and avoid any physical confrontations.
Starting a Petition
While a petition can be a good way to prevent something from happening in real life, doing so in the sports world just makes fans look like both sore losers and big complainers.
I mean, really, is the NCAA really going to accept the petition claim made by Alabama fans about Auburn's Chris Davis stepping out of bound during his epic Iron Bowl return?
I'd say no, as the entire title game outlook would be totally screwed up.
Let's just stick to comments on blogs and Twitter rather than actually thinking a petition would work.
Betting Ridiculous Things
While in Vegas a month ago, I was outrageous in the way I tossed money around on sports, thinking that I was the Nostradamus of betting, seemingly bereft of losing.
Turns out, I lost—a lot.
After seeing my bank account minus a few hundred bucks, I reminded myself that it could have been a hell of a lot worse—both in the amount of money and the personal items that could have been lost.
Just ask the guy who reportedly lost his house to a buddy as a bet while his friend would have won the loser's wife!
Seriously? That's outrageous.
Burning a Player's Jersey
Trust me, as a Cleveland sports fan, seeing LeBron James jet out of town back in 2010 to team up with his buddies on the Miami Heat was something that was about as close to heartbreaking as I've ever experienced.
I took the move as personal, seeing that James was declaring the city of Cleveland a failure, and once again, us faithful fans got left at the altar by a hot girl as she left for the wealthier, more attractive suitor.
As upset, confused and blatantly sad as I was, I can look back and respect the dude for the years he gave us.
Burning a jersey won't make a player come back, and seeing that the damn things cost about $75, it's not a wise move to use as extra warmth during the winter.
Pulling a Harvey Updyke
As I've mentioned with plenty of these examples, a person's passion is sometimes what drives fans to doing insane things.
But crazed Alabama fan Harvey Updyke's bordered on an unhealthy obsession.
Not only did the guy name his kids after prominent Alabama Crimson Tide figures, but following the team's 2011 loss to rival Auburn in the annual Iron Bowl, the guy went completely nuts and poisoned the famed oak trees on the Tigers' campus.
To some, they may have just been trees, but they were obviously more symbolic than that. Now, Updyke is learning the hard way about why one should be cautious with how invested they get into sports.
Showing Up at Players House
Each time I reference Houston Texans fans who actually went to quarterback Matt Schaub's house to confront him about his play, I literally just shake my head in shame of them.
I totally understand that it's zero fun watching a team with expectations as high as the Texans had struggle all season, possibly landing the No. 1 overall pick in next year's NFL draft.
But to go to a guy's house and actually say something to him about his play should seriously never happen—and it shouldn't even be a thing fans think about doing.
Stalking an Athlete
It's bad to show up at a player's house, but actually stalking one is just downright scary.
I'm sure there have been several instances of fans—particularly female—who are just straight-up jersey-chasers and feel like they have some weird, random connection with an athlete.
But the Kenyon Martin case particularly stands out because fans actually saw it happen during a playoff game a few years ago.
To think there are crazies out there that not only stalk a player, but then get busted for trespassing during a live, televised game is just nuts to me.
Trying to Injure an Opponent
I remember after Little League and traveling soccer tournaments when kids on both teams would spit on their hands during the postgame "good game" lines, but that was just good ol' elementary fun in my mind.
Actually seeing a person physically harm another person following a score or a loss isn't something that fans should think about doing, let alone actually try to do.
An Oklahoma State cheerleader learned that the hard way after being disciplined for his actions against rival Oklahoma this past weekend.
Good Lord people, it's sports!
We all want our teams to win every game they play, but it's absolutely impossible for it to happen.
Trust me, I've got a competitive streak that friends like to call the "Kobe Gene," in which I literally take things personal in an attempt to win something, making it more about myself than any other factors.
But even I can accept that losing is just a part of sports.
Those who make death threats to athletes are probably the type of people who never actually played themselves, hoping to vicariously get some satisfaction from having their team win.
When it doesn't happen, they show a side that no one should show in public, or private.