Sports Etiquette: When To Use "We"

Mark WellingCorrespondent ISeptember 22, 2009

NEW YORK - JULY 07:  Fans hold up a banner in reference to former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre, currently manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, prior to the New York Mets playing the Dodgers on July 7, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

This sort of post always exists—the post on a message board criticising people for using the pronoun "we."

The posts are usually about the same: An angry English junkie is telling people that they aren't on the team, and therefore, he can't use "we" when referring to his team.

The authors of these posts want a difference to be shown between people that are actually members of the program, and people that want the program to succeed. 

So is it correct to use the "we" term? It is debatable, but the answer is "yes."

There are certain rules that should be followed when using "we."

1) Only use "we" when you are an established fan of the team. If you have been rooting for a team to succeed, go ahead and drop the "we." You are a part of the franchise. Home court advantages for teams prove this point. The fans make a difference in the way a team performs on the court. 

2) No bandwagon "we." If you aren't an established fan of a team, don't use the "we." Use the name of the team to refer to them. You might as well take out your man card and shred it for using the bandwagon "we" in any circumstance.

3) When leaving comments on message boards refer to rules one and two. Also, be sure to stand up for your right to use the "we." Don't let the message board jerks make you think twice about using it.

4) Avoid using it when you are around new people. If the person you are talking to doesn't know of your affiliation with a team than you come off as a bandwagon "we" guy. 

5) Although fans are part of the organization, don't use the "we" when calling into a show with a coach/player. Phrase your questions with "you" rather than "we." The coaches and players are actually on the court and when talking strategy they are the ones making the plays. 

6) When calling into a talk radio show, without a player/coach, follow rules one and two. 

If you use it right, then you will enjoy using "we."