15 Sports Fans New Year's Resolutions
Every year many of us make New Year’s resolutions—some with loftier goals than others—which are usually aimed at making ourselves marginally better people. Although precious few actually achieve their resolutions, the very act of making them has some intrinsic value.
After all, those who don’t try fail 100 percent of the time. The success rate for New Year’s resolutions is around 8-10 percent, meaning that a very small portion of the population will be slightly better people 12 months from now. Hey, it’s better than nothing.
There may be no group of people who could benefit from a few reasonable resolutions this year than sports fans. We’re a rowdy group of loud, irrational nutbags, for the most part, which makes it a little too easy to lose perspective on occasion.
Here are 15 New Year’s resolutions that could make us slightly better people, as a whole.
Resolution 1: Invest in Some Licensed Fan Gear
It’s important for sports fans, particularly in a game atmosphere, to look the part. You may think you have enough spare parts to put together something yourself, but it might not be as solid a look as you think.
A jersey and/or a couple of t-shirts will set you back a few bucks in the short-term, but it will save you time in the future—not to mention help maintain a little bit of dignity.
Resolution 2: Put Down the Phone and Enjoy the Game
You’re at a game surrounded by tens of thousands of likeminded fanatics—that’s not an experience everyone is lucky enough to have and one that should be savored.
Please, for the love of God, put down the phone for five freaking minutes. The only thing better than bragging about your experience on social media is actually experiencing it.
Resolution 3: Don’t Get Ahead of Yourself
The college football season isn’t even over, which means it’s way too early to talk about the 2014 Heisman.
The Super Bowl hasn’t even been played yet, which means it’s way too early to constantly obsess about the draft.
The NBA season doesn’t end until mid-June, which means it’s way too early to have round-the-clock coverage of free agency.
Just relax and try to enjoy what's happening now, because you'll miss everything if you're always thinking six months ahead.
Resolution 4: Try Being Nice
Some of the various signs that "welcomed" Alex Rodriguez back to the Yankees last season:
That's an awful lot of man hours spent coming up with not so clever plays on A-Rod. And seriously...who's the real looser? How about "Derek Jeter, The Best Captain!"
Just a thought.
Resolution 5: See More Games Live
Depending on your location and favorite team/sport, this may or may not be cost prohibitive. If it’s at all financially feasible though, resolving to catch a few more games in person is well worth the money.
Sometimes it’s just too tempting to stay home and veg out on the couch in front of the big screen, but nothing comes close to the experience of actually being there. The best memories rarely include TV.
Resolution 6: Don’t Stop Believing
Look at this guy! The Bears defense was absolute garbage all season long, but here he is in Week 17, shirtless at frigid Soldier Field, cheering on the very men that would ultimately cost his team a playoff berth.
That’s commitment. So Browns fans, keep buying those quarterback jerseys every season! And Skip Bayless, keep suggesting every team with an injured quarterback sign Tim Tebow! Anything can happen.
Resolution 7: Read More
Watching sports is a great hobby for people who don’t like to read, which seems to be the vast majority of people these days. But for those without a blanket ban on learning, reading is an excellent way to increase your overall knowledge and help pass the time during the offseason.
Consider picking up a couple of historical biographies, a big book of trivia and an entertaining behind-the-scenes look at something that strikes your fancy. That should cover you. Oh, and how about actually reading that article before hauling ass to the comment section to say terrible things.
Resolution 8: Stop Treating Athletes Like Pieces of Meat
This sounds like it’s aimed specifically at women, but I promise it’s not. When it comes to objectifying professional athletes, we’re equal opportunity offenders as fans.
Listen ladies, you’re lucky enough to have front row seats to a hockey game—even if it’s just the Predators—and the only thing on your minds is sexually harassing Colin Wilson? No. Save it for Twitter or Snapchat or Facebook or whatever your kids are using these days.
And this one goes out to all y’all, just because you’ve drafted an athlete from any sport to your fantasy team does not mean that you are actually employing him. If someone tears an ACL, the last thing he wants to hear about on Twitter is how it impacted the Steel City Shanks’ season.
Always remember: Athletes are people too.
Resolution 9: No More Hanging Our Heads in Shame
Is your team soul-suckingly wretched? So what. The more adversity you suffer through as a fan, the more complex your character becomes.
Think about it. Have you ever met a Yankees fan with character? Or a Heat fan that can tell you anything about the team prior to 2006? Probably not.
(Sorry Yankees and Heat fans, at least you’ve got all those championships to dull the pain)
When I meet a real life fan of a team like the Browns, Bills, Wizards or Jets (NHL or NFL), I’m always impressed by his loyalty and ability to maintain a semi-positive attitude.
So suck it up sad Texans fan! If those guys can walk around without bags on their heads, so can you.
Resolution 10: Be a Better Sport
Question: You’ve just won the big game, is this an appropriate time to set a fire?
Question: You’ve just lost the big game, is this an appropriate time to set a fire?
Question: Is there ever an appropriate time to set a sports related fire?
Resolution 11: Stop Misplacing Blame And/or Anger
As usual, the Cowboys finished 8-8 this season and missed the playoffs yet again. You wanna know who isn’t to blame? Tony Romo.
So your team lost the big game, and suddenly, it feels like the world is collapsing around you. You wanna know what won’t fix that? Beating up an opposing fan.
Alabama was upset by Oklahoma, who absolutely crushed them in the Sugar Bowl. You wanna know how not to fix that problem? Fire Nick Saban.
Someone botches a critical play late, which ultimately contributes to a crushing defeat. You wanna know what never to do? Send him death threats.
Resolution 12: Be Considerate of Your Fellow Fan
If you’re leaving the house to watch a game, there are a few very reasonable things you can do to assure you won’t ruin the experience for those around you.
•Take a shower
•Wear a shirt
•Don’t obstruct the view
•Refrain from threatening language
•Just try to be a decent human being
It's really not that hard.
Resolution 13: Give Another Sport a Chance
I am lucky to have the opportunity to interact with thousands of sports fans, but one thing I’ve noticed is that too many of them think that loving a certain sport means you have to actively dislike—or even hate—most other sports.
Just because you love NFL football doesn’t mean college football sucks.
Just because you love baseball doesn’t mean hockey is a punchline.
Just because you love March Madness doesn’t mean the NBA is predictable and boring.
And just because you’re American doesn’t mean you’re contractually obligated to hate soccer.
I grew up watching hockey and baseball, hating football and basketball. Eventually I began embracing other sports, and today, I can enjoy them year round because there’s always something I like on. Give something new a try—it sure beats reality TV.
Resolution 14: Don’t Be a “Prisoner of the Moment”
Remember how the Panthers started 1-3 this season, and everyone wanted to bench Cam Newton and fire head coach Ron Rivera? Well, they’re the No. 2 overall seed in the NFC.
Remember how LeBron James missed a few late game shots, and suddenly, he was a dud who wasn’t “clutch” enough to win a championship? Well, he’s got a couple of championships.
Remember how Tim Tebow completed about 45 percent of his passes—on a good day—for the Broncos, but all he did was win games? Well, he was just hired by ESPN.
What’s happening today isn’t necessarily what’s going to be happening tomorrow, let alone six months or a year down the road. So, let’s take a minute to examine the big picture before making any sweeping declarations.
Resolution 15: Always Remember This Is Supposed to Be FUN
Being a sports fan is a roller coaster of emotions for most of us. Today you’re up; tomorrow you’re down. Today you’re in the playoffs; tomorrow you’re trying to comprehend a 10-game losing streak. That’s the nature of the beast.
And because that’s the nature of the beast, it’s important to step back every now and again and reflect on what you love about the game, regardless of whether or not your team is winning. Even when times are tough, sports should be fun.
So, try not to cry too much. Try not to scream too much. Save the big emotional displays for the biggest, most emotional games. Otherwise, try to find something worth smiling about.