The Problem With Todays Fans; Too Many Kids

Steven FennerCorrespondent IJuly 9, 2009

CLEVELAND - DECEMBER 1:  An upset Cleveland Browns fan berates Carolina Panther players as they exit the field after a game on December 1, 2002 at Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio.  Carolina won the game 13-6. (Photo by Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images)

Let me start by stating by "kids" I mean anyone younger than me. I have been following the home teams since I was a small boy. I was born in MA but spent most of my younger years as an ARMY brat with a father who was born and raised in MN and loves the MN teams with all his heart. Though he was from MN and my mother was from MA my father always made sure I new all there was to know about the Sox, Pats, Bruins, and Celtics. He never tried to get me to follow his teams and always believed I should follow the teams from where I was born and would likely someday end up.

Recently I have found myself spending time reading posts on this site and others while finding the "hate" in many posts is nothing like I remember when I was younger. It seems anytime you enter a debate the hate comes to the surface almost immediately, and there almost always seems to have a common theme. Youth.

What happen to the days of friendly ribbing the opposing fan? What happen to the day of sitting with a fan from the other side and laughing together? What happen to remembering it's just a game, and in the morning we will still be fellow Americans?

When did we forget to teach our kids respect for others? What happened to make them think it's OK to insult someones family members just because they happen to like a different team than their own?

I have been to many stadiums around the country, mostly for baseball and football, and it seems to always be the youth that acts without respect, morals, or some sense of restraint. It has been my experience reading posts that more often than not the same is true in the responses you see.

I often have wondered what would have happened when I was younger if I acted like today's "kids". But then I quickly realize there is no chance that would happen, because I knew what the consequences would be from my father.

Will we ever return to the days of just watching and enjoying the entertainment that sports are? Sadly, probably not.

Today's "kids" are about trying to act tough, and worrying about their ''street cred". Well I say "GROW THE F UP!". That person you are insulting has family just like you. That person you are taking the time to insult is a fellow American. It's just a game. Tomorrow it will still be just a game.

Pittsburgh fans aren't better or worse than NE fans. Dallas fans are the same as Washington fans. Chicago Fans are just as frozen as Green Bay fans. Get over yourselves "kids".

It's just a game.