Fans Prove It: You Can’t Fix Stupid

You will not find a bigger sports fan than me. If you do, then send that person to therapy, because they have a problem.

Football is my addiction. I played the game, and I love the game. I love it so much that I actually thought about walking on at Gardner-Webb a couple of years ago to use up my two remaining years of college eligibility.

Fortunately, a few weeks of severe pain from sprints and squats convinced me to re-think this idea. But I would love to put on the uniform one more time (especially if I could do it at Furman), even if it was just for practice.

Then, I read about some of the things going on with football fans, and I’m glad to be watching from a recliner. Sometimes, I question whether or not I should even be in the stands.

After the University of South Carolina put a beat-down on Georgia Saturday night, several players returned to Athens and found their house had been egged, apparently by fans angered by the loss (http://sports.yahoo.com/news/georgias-robinson-says-house-egged-233714964–ncaaf.html).

Unfortunately, this is nothing unique to college campuses in the area. Clemson’s Tajh Boyd’s house was egged last season following an upset loss to Georgia Tech.

Get a life, people.

It’s bad enough if these were students or frat boys pulling a prank. My suspicion is that 40+ year old men (or women) were involved.

Never mind that Murray found out this week that his father has thyroid cancer. http://blogs.ajc.com/uga-sports-blog/2012/10/08/aaron-murrays-thoughts-focused-on-his-father-as-dogs-put-south-carolina-behind-them/.

Yeah, he played bad Saturday night, but I’m guessing he had a few more things on his mind. And spare me the “Brett Favre played awesome after his father died” routine that I have heard from a few on Twitter. Favre was a seasoned veteran and an adult. Murray is a 20-year old kid.

Guess all the Georgia fans are pretty proud of themselves for killing Murray and the coaching staff, in addition to egging the guy’s home. Forget real life, football is what REALLY matters, right?

Before we judge “Dawg” fans too harshly, let’s take a look in the mirror. Are we any better when we lose?

We saw it again on Sunday afternoon in Kansas City, where the Chiefs played the Baltimore Ravens. KC quarterback Matt Cassell was carted off with a concussion in the fourth quarter, and the Chiefs’ fans cheered.

Yes, that’s right. They CHEERED the fact that a man’s brain just bounced off his skull and sustained a bruise. http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baltimore-sports-blog/bal-kansas-city-chiefs-right-tackle-eric-winston-ripped-chiefs-fans-for-cheering-when-ravens-defensive-t-20121008,0,7078376.story

I don’t care how much the Chiefs organization paid Cassell, or how badly he has performed. Cheering an injury is a level of stupidity yet unseen, except in Philadelphia.

I am thankful for the time that I spent as a sports radio commentator, because it taught me two very valuable lessons: objectivity and perspective.

For many years, I was “that guy” who threw things, who called for coaches to be fired, and who nearly kicked in the television when his team lost. (Okay, I never actually did the TV thing, but I came close once).

Then, I started interviewing coaches, talking to players, developing some personal relationships with them. These are kids, 18-21 years old. Even in the NFL, most of them are under 25. These people have parents, wives, and children. Every time we curse them, someone is listening.

I also started talking to fans, and I realized how truly warped we are in our “fandom.” Our lives have become so small that we hang our mood on whether or not a bunch of 19-year olds succeed. We have made the NFL a way of life, cheering on millionaires that we won’t remember and who may well be collecting welfare within the next 10 years.

(Check here if you don’t believe me: http://www.gobankingrates.com/debt/dan-marino-vince-young-broke-nfl-players-lost-fortunes/).

Fortunately, some things have happened to help me “get it” about football. It’s a game. It’s a meaningless contest in the grand scheme of things. It’s made to be enjoyed and then left behind. The players realize this, as they know that they are playing for a scholarship or a paycheck. Or both, in some cases.

But the behavior of the fans for Georgia and Kansas City have proven Ron White’s proclamation: You can’t fix stupid. And a lot of fans have taken their allegiance well beyond stupid.

Perhaps our time would be better spent praying for the young man who gets injured in the course of a game. Maybe we could post or tweet something uplifting to the players who lost the game, particularly on the college level. Really, do we think they went out there and tried to lose?

Or maybe we could recognize that millions of people in this country have no job, no food, no shelter, no family, and no hope. Maybe we could direct some of our passion towards those issues.

Or maybe we could take some time away from football and tutor some student at a local school that needs to learn something, even if they can’t throw, catch, or shoot a ball.

Or maybe we could just live by this axiom that my wife follows: Cheer your team rather than tear down other teams. And that includes tearing down your own players.

A lot of fans will change their tune and offer their support for Aaron Murray and his family, now that they know the situation. But it’s pretty sad that someone has to get cancer in order to cure us fans of our disease.

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