Would You Still Be a Fan If Al Davis Owned Your Favorite Team?
The saying goes, "It's always darkest before the dawn." Well if the start of football season is the "dawn," we are definitely in the darkest time of the sports year. I have no problem with baseball in the summer, but I do have a problem with people already talking crazy about football season. Rather than look at NFL teams, I figured I'd look at fans because I interact with fans everyday. I don't remember the last time I actually talked to a NFL player.
To be fair, the question I asked on my facebook and twitter were who were the worst fans in sports. I didn't limit it to just football, but NFL teams dominated. I'm not sure if it's because certain NFL teams really do have the most obnoxious fans, or if it is because people talk about football year round, so any team's fans get all the more annoying, but here are the responses and my 2 cents as well:
First the non NFL responses-These varied quite a bit, but the most common team was actually an entire city...that's right Los Angeles. Some people called out the Lakers (actually I got some Fakers responses) by name, but more than that I got people who just said any LA team has obnoxious fans. One person did clarify that the Clippers weren't included in their fans from LA comment though because, "they have no fans." Another city that got called out was Miami. It was only by one person, but he made a great point in saying their fans only come out when their teams are in the championship (Heat fans don't realize the Big 3 or whatever they call themselves haven't won anything yet). Does beautiful weather and scenery make for a less passionate, intelligent, fan base? Hmm.
I'm not making this up because I'm a St. Louis Cardinals fan , but the first 2 baseball teams that got called out were both from Chicago. Truth be told, Cubs fans are as loyal as they are obnoxious. I mean they've been passionate about their losing team since 1908. They get some credit for that until you talk to them face to face, and then they lose whatever credit they might've gained. The A's did get one vote, but that person hated on the whole Bay kinda like other people did LA, so I won't include them. Besides have you seen an A's game this year? Yeah, neither have the so-called A's fans. The Yankees and BoSox also got mentioned a few times not surpsingly. I don't know how good or bad either of their fans are, but their rivalry does amuse me.
Two colleges got some love (or hate as the case may be): Oregon and Nebraska. Both of those kinda shocked me. The only thing I've ever heard about Oregon is they have hot cheerleaders, and I've been to a football game in Lincoln without problems, but to each their own. I thought the Nebraska fans were the nicest country folks I had ever met, and even growing up watching St. Louis Cardinal baseball, I had never seen so much red in one place as that football game in Lincoln. However, the person who said they were terrible fans just said he didn't like their holier than thou attitude, so I guess they are very aware of their own fan greatness (what else is there to do in Nebraska?). The Oregon hater is a Washington alum who told me stories of over the top vulgarities being shouted and bags of urine being thrown at opposing players. No cheerleaders on the planet are hot enough to deal with someone else's piss. My own personal honorable mention in the college department is Ohio State with their ridiculous emphasis of the.
Now the grandaddy of them all. Not the Rose Bowl, but the NFL. Again, I just said "sports," but the NFL took over. I am happy I asked the question over the web though because punches might have been thrown had I got a bunch of sports fans together to talk about this face to face. The teams that got the most votes were the Cowboys (referred to as the Cowgirls more than once), Cardinals, Ravens, Patriots, Steelers, and Raiders. The first three mentioned were mostly just different people arguing on my facebook wall. Outside of just my friends I've heard from a Cowboys fan who chose to remain annonymous they know they're obnoxious. The whole God watching his favorite team in the old stadium to the ridiculous scoreboard in the new Stadium just feeds the machine of Cowboys fans. Let me just say this. It's not the 90's any more. How about some success this century to go with your ego Cowboys fans? As for Cardinals fans, I have a Larry Fitzgerald jersey from his rookie season to differentiate myself from the fair weather fans who just started liking the team. Kurt Warner tends to do that to a fan base. People in St. Louis HATED the Rams. Kurt came, the NFC championship was won twice, SuperBowl once, and all of a sudden people were Rams fans "since they moved to St. Louis." Y'all are some lying fairweather fans, just like the people in Arizona who jumped on the bandwagon when the Cards went to the SuperBowl and said they always supported the Cardinals. I only know one Raven fan and he only likes them because they were the last time Deion Sanders played for. He was one of the people in the facebook argument, so I think it was more personal than a true vote against B'more's fanbase. Moving on, I can honestly say I can't name 2 real Pats fan here in Arizona, so I won't add anything to that other than Tom Brady is with a SuperModel and has multiple SuperBowl rings, so they should have SuperFans. The Steelers? I haven't seen too many Pittsburgh #7 jerseys lately-done talking. As for the Raiders? I don't care how crazy the Black Hole is (granted I've never been), but any fan that can deal with Al Davis for that long deserves a special place in heaven. True story-one of my friends from Oakland was a lifelong Raiders fan. When they drafted Heyward-Bey in the '09 draft with the 7th pick, he literally threw ALL of his Raider stuff away and bought San Francisco gear. He said he couldn't cheer for an Al Davis team any more. That solidified to me how hardcore and true the other Raiders fans are, so while they got a lot of hate from the people I talked to, they are the team I disagree with the most as far as having the worst fans in sports. That and the fact the have the highest percentage of fans that scare me, and I wouldn't say anything bad about their team to their face.
In conclusion, sports takes seemingly reasonable, intelligent people and obliterates all of their good sense and whatever rational thoughts they may have had. Largely the same things we hate in fans of other teams are the same things we love about fellow fans of our favorite teams. My biggest take away from this "discussion" was that we all love sports at some level, especially the ones we play right when the sun comes up.
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