With no Chicago Cubs baseball to write about for a month, I have something to get off my chest. This likely will not be a popular topic, but over the past few months, sports fans have been making me sick. Do not get me wrong, I love sports, and I agree that fans have every right in the world to cheer and boo players for how they play on the field. They pay their hard earned money to attend sporting events, you have no right to tell a fan who they can and cannot boo for how they are playing.
Fans get criticized all the time for this, and whether or not you agree with booing players for their performance, they are allowed to share their displeasure with their performance. I admit to occasionally booing players for how poorly they have played, oft times that is done out of frustration from a poorly executed play or a poorly pitched outing. That is all well and good. Fans show up to games to enjoy the sport in any manor they deem fit. That is not my problem with a percentage of the sports fans in this day in age.
The problem I have is with the classless bunch of fans from all fan bases across all sports who give all others bad names. We have all heard the stories of soccer hooligans fighting before, during and after matches, as well as the fights that usually end in deaths over the past few years after various ball games. These are likely all due to dumbass drunks who get overly emotional over their team. How about we look at some more recent examples, this way I can better make my point.
We all know what took place at Penn State, and know how Jerry Sandusky raped little boys for well over a decade. Someone actually made shirts that read “I’d rather shower at Penn State than support (insert college)”. Talk about showing no class or showing any type of sympathy for the victims of those unthinkable crimes. Stupid college kids? Perhaps, but that should be no excuse. When you enter college, you should be smart enough to not act in certain ways. These shirts are a pathetic attempt to make money and to rip into a school.
Granted, Penn State deserves all the negative publicity they are getting, but these shirts are way over the line. I understand needing to have a sense of humor about things, but some things should be beyond joking about.
Let’s rewind back to June when the Chicago Bulls were playing in Philadelphia against the 76ers. Joakim Noah got injured on the court and the classless fans in Philadelphia cheered loudly. What more do you expect from this classless bunch? They have a long storied history of being classless and booing anything that moves. They booed when Donvan McNabb was drafted, they even booed Santa Clause. The fans in Philadelphia are about as classless as you can get, so their cheering an injury is not surprising in the least. I am sorry, but in my mind, you do not cheer injuries. I do not care if the player who was injured is on your hated rival or not, cheering injuries is sickening.
If you think that cheering injuries when they happen to your opponents is okay, you would be wrong. But there is something worse than cheering injuries that happen to your opponents. Fast forward to two weeks ago, Matt Cassel was knocked out of a game and the fans in Kansas City actually cheered. They stood up, and applauded an injury to one of their own players. How pathetic and sickening can you get? Yes, Cassel was playing very poorly and should have been replaced by the backup, but cheering the injury goes beyond wanting him to be pulled. The moment Cassel hit the ground and did not get up those sick bastards cheered, not showing a bit of care towards him at all. Again, cheering injuries is pathetic and wrong. Disagree with me if you will, but you will never get me to change my mind on this issue.
People that cheer injuries might as well be watching NASCAR, at least half the people who watch that sport are rooting for an accident. If you want to see someone injured while taking part in a sport, go watch that. Or better yet, watch the UFC. There you can freely watch people beat the crap out of one another, and who willingly accept that they are going to get the crap kicked out of themselves. Sure, football players also accept that fate, so you could say all things are equal. If that is your stance, fine. But I stand by my stance that cheering injuries in these team sports is sickening, and shows how pathetic some people can be.
But, allow me to get back to baseball. This sport has more than enough instances of poor fan behavior than all the others put together. While all teams have asshat fans, recently only one team’s fan base has come out looking worse than any other. That fan base would have to be the Washington Nationals. In two separate instances, the fans of the Nationals have shown how completely self-centered and classless they truly can be.
During the series with the St. Louis Cardinals, Nationals closer Drew Storen had a bad game. Game five of the NLDS, Storen was brought into the game to close things out and send the Nationals to the NLCS. Only that did not happen. Storen blew the save, and cost the Nationals the game, the series, and any chance of reaching and winning the World Series. You can only imagine what happened next. Fans booed, showing their displeasure with his performance. That is all well and good, and they are well within their rights to do so. This would have been the end of the story, if that was where the story ended though.
After Storen blew the save, he received death threats from the Nationals fans. People actually sent a man who do not know and likely will never meet threats on his life over a simple game. Forget that he has a family, in these pathetic fan’s minds, their team winning a simple game is worth more than a man’s life. I understand that fans are emotional, and generally act in the heat of the moment. But come on man, get a damn clue. A ball game is nothing compared to a person’s life. Any and all of those pathetic wastes should be ashamed of who they are, and be thanking their lucky stars that no charges have been pressed, as making threats on a person’s life (even over twitter) is illegal. If you are one of those who are defending the idiotic fans then you too should be ashamed of yourself.
Speaking of game five of the NLDS, Washington Wizards rookie Bradley Beal (a native of St. Louis) tweeted out his congratulations to his home town baseball team, the Cardinals, for advancing in the playoffs. His tweet was rather simple, and was nothing close to rubbing the Nationals’ fans noses in anything. He simply stated, “STL turnupppp !!!” Nothing out of line there whatsoever, nothing but giving as shout out to his home town team, the one he grew up watching and cheering on.
Much like with Storen, the Nationals’ fan base goes out of their way to show how classless they are. They had no problems sending Beal threats over his tweet. The fans of the Nationals must have either forgotten that he was from St. Louis, or must not have read an interview from the day before where he left practice wearing a Cardinals hat and was asked if he was rooting on the Cardinals. I guess the ignorant fans of Washington do not pay much attention to the media. If they did, they would not have been surprised to see him giving props to his team.
Either way, much like with the fans assault on Storen, their assault on Beal is also just as pathetic. Do they think that just because he plays in Washington that he is supposed to cut all ties from his home town and not root on his favorite teams? He even admits that he would have gone to game three if he had not had practice. I bet you anything that he would have been decked out in Cardinals gear had he gone to the game. I bet the fans would have loved that.
Again, these are only a handful of the examples of classless fans around the world. Fans take the games far too seriously, and oft times forget that they are just that, a game. The player’s lives do not revolve around them, and they are not there to do their bidding. They do have lives, obligations, priorities and loyalties that extend far beyond the grasps of the game they play, and the city they play for.