While I am talking about the game, we are there as fans. Fans buy the tickets to cheer on their team. We happen to sit right behind where the opposing team stands on the sidelines, we can see them spit, we can read their lips, we can hear their coaches go postal on them. But what irritates me more is the guy who yells completely idiotic things at some players and then looks around for every one's approval. It was funny maybe the first time, but quit while you are ahead. It doesn't bother me so much when a player screws up and they are jeering him but when they are just saying things, making fun of their appearance, talking about their mama - I can't stand it. There was one such fan yesterday. He would just pick on the players. He would pick on the ones that weren't getting any playing time. He would pick on those that were a little less fortunate in the good looks department, he would pick on those who tied their shoes with bunny ears instead of a loop-de-loop. On and on and on. Jeering, then looking around for approval. So annoying.
In college, while sitting in the student section, I kind of flipped out at one guy. I can still see his face but don't remember his name. The whole game he kept on him, making comments about his face, his brother, his sister, his mama, his knee caps. He was so obnoxious, you couldn't watch the game. I finally turned around and was a jerk, I admit. I told him to shut it. Let us watch the game. We are there as fans. Fans come to the game to cheer on their team and I can understand some painless attacks on opposing players but this had gotten out of hand. For one, he obviously can play ball, which was more than I could say for this boy with an unfortunate physique (I didn't say that about his physique, I was a jerk, but less jerky), he was better than most college kids who couldn't buy a place on the team, would he please concentrate on what our team was doing right and less on coming up with ridiculous taunts and meanness. Then I stepped off my high horse and only felt bad about it for a minute.
I guess the reason it all bugs me, the bad sportsmanship, is because I have kids (obviously not in college but maybe it was a maternal twinge escaping). I want them to grow up learning to play hard, work hard and cheer hard. But there really is no room for blatant disrespect in sports. And unfortunately, I think it spills over into everyday life. I think that is the part that really gets to me. I am by now means the poster child for courteous behavior, I have said my fair share of things that I shouldn't have, but I wish good manners would make a huge comeback. Ok, I'm stepping off the box now.
By Order of the Management posters by john w. golden available here