Daily Short-hOPT: Fans

“This was an Elite Eight game. The winner should have gone to the Final Four. That’s how good they are and how we’re playing right now.” – John Calipari

I know better than to go on social media during/after big sporting events featuring the teams I follow. I know better, but I do it anyway. 

Sunday, the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team played a fantastic game against Wichita State University. UK beat the higher seeded Wichita team in a basketball game for the ages. Lord have mercy, the range of crap posted to just twitter alone was enough to make a person’s head explode:

Here’s a tweet from a non-UK fan downplaying the victory and general excitement from UK fans: “Never thought I’d see UK fans get so excited over beating a team from the Missouri Valley Conference.” 

From an apparent UK fan to Coach Calipari, hopefully trying to be funny, but falling miserably short: “IF YOU LOSE TO LOUSVILE WE WILL SHoot youre dogs. Dont embaras us coacH!! GO CATS #BBN #TONYDELK”

This is just a sample. I’m sure you’ve seen the same or worse. Noah and I have both written about this, but I can’t quite put a finger on what it is about sports that brings out the worst in folks. Aside from the social media stuff I mentioned above, I’ve seen firsthand fans of opposing teams at sporting events being treated like garbage. Why? What’s the point? Are our lives defined by the athletic achievements of teenagers? If they are, I think it’s time for some personal evaluation. 

Watch how easy this is: 

That was a great game. Both teams played really well. I’m very happy my team won, but both teams competed at a high level. I can’t wait for the next game.

Or:

“That was a great game. Both teams played really well. It sucks that my team lost, but both team competed at a high level. There’s always next year.”

Should I just ignore it and focus on the positive? Absolutely, but then I’d miss the opportunity for a blog post, right?

The gist is this: sports are entertainment. It shouldn’t be an excuse to point fingers and laugh at others when they lose. It shouldn’t be an excuse to rub defeat in the faces of others. It shouldn’t define our lives to the point where it affects how we interact with others. I mean, it’s a game, for crying out loud. Even jokingly, you think John Calipari appreciates a supposed fan talking about shooting his dogs? 

I love sports. I’m passionate about the teams I follow. There are teams that I dislike. I just know it’s a waste of time to talk trash about a team that I have no interest in, and that it serves no purpose to talk down to fans of other teams for the supposed feeling of superiority. 

Root for yours. I’ll root for mine. Enjoy the successes, appreciate the losses for the potential lessons it can teach that group of young men and women. Remember that your favorite team winning or losing has no real, tangible, or long lasting effect on your life. 
It’s sports. It’s entertainment. Enjoy it. 

Have an awesome Monday,
-A. 

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