Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Real fans aren't negative during games
This season I've found myself in a group of Saints fans who text each other during the games. I know most of the people in the group, I am related to some, and a couple are mostly responsible for helping me become the fan I am today. (Divebombers!) The group text thing can be fun, especially when early-season games get out of hand and/or I am watching alone. When I'm with a group of people and the games are close, I don't pay as much attention to it obviously. But overall, it's a great feat in technology, and I'm happy to participate.
There is one problem: the negative "fan." Now, to me, this is a problem both in person and on a phone. I don't care who you are or how you're communicating with me. I don't want your negativity during the game. Don't sit next to me in a bar, tell me how bad my team is playing, and claim to be a fan! As annoying as that would be in real life, it is equally as bad when you're buzzing my phone during a crucial third down.
Here's the thing. I am a fan. A real fan. Football (like any other sport) is only a game, and I'm good at letting it go when it's over. But during the three hours while the game is being played, all I'm thinking about is how we can win it. If the Saints are down by 21 in the fourth quarter, I'm thinking about Brees throwing touchdowns and the team recovering onside kicks. Positive thoughts. That's all.
Our problem texter is the complete opposite. He looks for every way imaginable for the team to LOSE. He predicted a Saints/Panthers season split, along with the Panthers winning the division, during another game BEFORE we had even faced the Panthers! Did it come true? Sure. But who cares? I don't want your negative season predictions thrown in my face while I'm watching a team who is obviously playoff-bound. Go to the other end of the bar. Stop texting me about it.
Look, I know all the ways my team can lose. I'm a Cubs fan, remember? It wouldn't be much fun to have some jerk sitting next to me for 162 games this summer, reminding me how long it's been since we've competed or that we need more power in the lineup. If you're watching the Cubs with me, talk about the minor league system, Starlin Castro's heroics, or the 1984 season.
It's the same with the Saints. I know our road troubles. I know we're a passing team who will have to run the ball or try again next year to reach the Super Bowl. I know Brees has thrown too many interceptions and that Cam Newton led his team to a division title. I'm not stupid. But I'm a fan.
If your idea of being a fan involves spewing negativity during the bad times, only to perk up at the first sign of success (aka: riding the bandwagon), then I feel sorry for you. Dynasties aside, most teams fail to win championships consistently, and you'll often end up being miserable.
Be a fan. Be happy. Then we can hang out.