So there's a kid in one of my classes named Adam who likes to rip on other people's favorite teams when they do poorly. I'm not sure if he does this because he doesn't know any better, so I'm not trying to pick on him. He's 18 and Canadian, and doesn't cheer for the local teams because he spent part of his adolescence in Northern Alberta. He also cheers for not one but two different NFL teams: the Packers because of Brett Favre and the Saints because of Reggie Bush. Basically his affiliation for NFL teams changes with the direction of the wind. Adam's a great guy but this particular habit of his bothers me.
I was talking today with my buddy Mark, who is a lifelong Cowboys fan (and a Notre Dame fan...don't even get me started), and was congratulating him on the win over the Pack last night. Anyway, Pack/Saints fan jumps in about how great Favre is, I rip on his comments, and he responds with: "well at least they're better than the Vikings."
The Sports Guy did a whole list of rules for being a sports fan, and I'm not here to recreate the list, or make my own, but I am here to say he missed a major one: you can't rip on other people's teams when you don't have a vested interest in a team in that sport or even that game. Or if you're an extremely fair weather fan.
I may rip on the NHL or CFL to my buddies here who are fans of teams in those leagues, but I would never consider ripping on their TEAMS for poor performances. Although I like to see the Canucks do well, I don't have an emotional interest in their performance. Do I like to see the Canucks do well? Of course, but I'm certainly not living or dying by how they're doing. I've watched maybe 4 games all year. For me to rip on, say, an Oilers fan like Mark because the Oilers are having a rough year would be just plain wrong. Criminal almost (the Maple Leafs are an exception to this: The Leafs, their fans, and Toronto in general should be ripped on whenever possible. Because everyone hates Toronto. That's another rule).
So for Adam, who won't be a Packers fan after Favre retires, and could stop cheering for the Saints if he'd just realize how overrated Reggie Bush is, shouldn't be allowed to rip on me as a Vikings fan. Let's be honest: I've been a Vikings fan for as long as Adam's been alive. Longer even. Sure, that's perhaps a pathetic indication that I'm still in school at 29, but it also says fans should have the decency not to do this.
There are not rules for being a sports fan, and considering that teams, especially professional ones, show no loyalty to us as fans, Adam has every right and reason to cheer for whoever the hell he wants. I'm just saying that for stupid people like me who blindly cheer for the same team their entire lives, there should be a level of respect there. It's just common courtesy.
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