Atlanta 10 – St. Louis 7; CJ: DNP
Another win. That’s two in a row! Now, let’s get two more! I’m sorry. You guys get the next two. Not ‘us,’ as if I’m somehow a part of this team. Not ‘we,’ as if I contribute in any way to a victory or loss. I’m not a member of the team. Never have been and never will be.
Sorry, that’s just kind of a pet peeve of mine, saying ‘we’ when talking about sports teams. I don’t believe being a fan makes you part of the team. Sure fans play a role, but I don’t think a big enough one to include themselves in the fabric of a team’s dynamic.
I suppose the counter argument could be that, as a fan, you support the team. And, I suppose, some fans literally do. They buy one ticket a year, or more, and that helps keep the lights on. Sure. But most fans can’t or don’t buy tickets, so they’d probably say they support the team emotionally and/or vocally. Some might argue cheering provides encouragement and energy to their team, helping to push them over the edge of victory.
But the cynic in me comes out again. As I mentioned, most fans don’t cheer their team on in person every game, so does yelling at the TV really help anything? Even in person I question it. I mean, as an individual, a lone fan, do you really think your purchasing of a ticket or yelling makes a difference – on your own. You know what I mean? Imagine this situation, if you will. You’re the only one that bought a ticket, the only one in the stands cheering. I’m sorry, but you’re not keeping the lights on or keeping your team going all by your lonesome. Trust me.
But a team doesn’t have ‘fan.’ It has ‘fans.’ Plural! (Or hopefully it does.) Ok, so now we’re arguing for the collective. Do you, as a part of a whole, get to take credit for the success of the whole? I think it’s fair to say that a team benefits from having fans. After all, there’s a reason small market baseball teams routinely struggle. They don’t have as many local fans to sell tickets to. But it’s not just that. They also have a smaller population to sell to advertisers, sell beer to, merchandise, and TV rights. Smaller market teams have a smaller overall revenue pool, which means less money coming in to spend on talent. So in that sense, yes, you as a fan play a role.
I won’t mention how without you, as an individual, they’d still be alright. (Oh, wait. I just did.) It’s not like your team would be without its fan. Remember it’s ‘fans’ plural. So, in my opinion, the role you play as one in a million is insignificant. Therefore, I don’t think the idea of a collective, where every individual contributes equally and is needed and valued by the whole applies in sports fandom. Sorry.
Now, don’t try to extrapolate this into something bigger, like I don’t believe one person can make a difference in the world ever. Because I do. And if I didn’t, the multitude of examples that could be used against me would leave me speechless. (Or type-less?) Yes, one person can make a difference. When a difference needs to be made. When a movement needs to be started. When an organization needs to be founded. When a new method needs to be discovered. When something needs to change. Where, in being a sports fan, do any of the above happen? Ask Washington Redskin fans how pointless it is to lobby for an ownership change. Or the hundreds of fire-your-offensive-coordinator.com’s out there. (I will admit to visiting firegregdavis.com a few years ago, but I did not click through.)
Anyway, so you don’t like the way your coach coaches. Or the way your players play. The way your owner owns. Sorry kids, you’re not going to be able to change that, (particularly the owner part), because (there was actually a reason to that long, meandering tirade), as a fan, you are not part of the day-to-day operations of the team. You don’t get to be part of the decision to cut a guy or resign the superstar. You are not part of the ‘we.’
So, all you weekend warriors out there, stop saying ‘we’ when you talk about, oh, let’s say the Vikings. You weigh 300 pounds and wheeze when you stand up. You live in Texas. The only way you can even support the team is by watching them on TV and that does not make you a part of the fold. So get over it. It’s the team you cheer for, not your team. So stop saying ‘we’ as if the Vikings are a member of your family or your best friend. It’s not emotionally devastating to you when they lose. Your job isn’t hanging in the balance. Your livelihood. You don’t get a bonus when they win. And to put yourself at their level is (delusional, disingenuous, crazy) wrong in my opinion.
And see, how I just used ‘they.’ It’s really not that hard. Try it.