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You Mad? Rooting against a team even when your team isn't playing

The Lakers, Yankees, and Cowboys all have one incredible, dumbfounding, and telling thing in common: no matter who they are playing, a large segment of folks will cheer against them. It’s something that is very much a part of the fan experience, but it’s something that still blows my mind. Someone’s team may have already played a game, or they’re on bye week or, worse yet, they may not even have a favorite team, but it doesn’t stop them from cheering against any of the teams I named.

Let a Lakers game come on, or let's say a Yankees or a Cowboys game is on the tube. You can catch this online (Facebook and Twitter), or if you choose to go somewhere to watch the game. There have been times when I’ve gone out to watch a Cowboys game, and a fan of the Saints will be there, in full gear, talking about how much the Cowboys suck. I’ll do my best to ignore them, but it eventually becomes too much to bear, and I end up getting sucked into some debate about how the Saints are the champs, how the Cowboys aren’t any good, etc, etc. Keep in mind the Saints didn’t even have a game that day.

On top of that, the fan can’t tell you much about the Cowboys opponent. All they know is the Cowboys are playing and they are full of ammo for the game. The Cowboys haven’t won a Super Bowl since I was in middle school, yet people still call them the “Cowgirls,” and they can’t wait to see them fail. It’s amazing how a team who hasn’t won in so long remains the most polarizing team in all of football. Maybe that has something to do with the animosity.

I’ll go as far to say it’s even worse when the Lakers are on. It’s no secret how I feel about Kobe Bryant. I hate the dude, but even in that, I’ll never cheer against the Lakers for the sole purpose of cheering against them. That’s stupid, and even though I’m no authority on how a fan should act, it doesn’t mean people can’t be called out on their foolishness when they exhibit it. Take a game against Denver earlier this season; the Lakers played the Nuggets, and when the Nuggets were on their way to victory, Lake Show detractors were asking such blasphemy as “oooh, what happened to the Lakers?” there were the “Fake Show” chants, followed up by “Pau Gasol is horrible,” “the Lakers are trash,” “Derek Fisher is a bum,” and just more belligerent and foolish nonsense.

Maybe there’s something about being a fan that still says to me that you should have some sort of dignity and self-respect. Why would you cheer against the Lakers if the Nuggets aren’t your team? Is the disgust for them that deep? It just blows my mind. Now I won’t make complete apologies for Lakers fans, because they’re arguably the most disgusting species of fan in sports, but there are times when folks just have to know when to say when. They talk noise when they win and they’re quiet as a church mouse when they lose. Even with that, hating them, just because, is silly.

It’s to the point now where some fans get so out of hand with the nonsense that it makes me wonder if I can even hate the way that I want to; even in hate, it is possible to appreciate, but when those lines are blurred, you see the result in some of the dumbest displays of fandom I’ve ever seen. There is something to be said about fans of these teams taking responsibility as well, so they’re not completely off the hook here. As a Cowboys fan, I’ve seen some of my fellow fans say some things that make me not to be associated with them in any fashion, whatsoever.

There are Yankee fans out there who wouldn’t co-sign some of the foolishness their fellow fans say about their team, players, or other teams and players, and there are Lakers fans who refuse to associate themselves with the obnoxious ones that tend to gravitate to the surface. There’s an integrity you have to have as an educated fan. If that’s not understood, then there’s not much else to say. Talking trash is all good, fine, and welcome, but reckless and nonsensical banter is another matter.
All in all though, if you’re a fan who hates a team or a player with no rhyme or reason, or one of those fans that disrupts something just because, then I, as well as other sensible fans of the game, have no use for you. I just want you to go away. Forever.

Be easy.
-K. Masenda
P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk (and hopefully on the radio soon) show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!


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