Last week, two Finals series in two different sports came to an end. Depending on who you ask, one was a total surprise, while another was…well, since I don’t know anything about hockey, I don’t know how to describe it. However, it assured us of two things: two fan bases would be thrilled, while the other two would be disappointed going into the off-season.
When it comes to the fan bases of the losing teams, one was ridiculed heavily throughout the season, which culminated in their behavior toward the end of the close-out game on their home court. The other fan base is known for being passionate about their team and when things haven’t gone their way in the past, they let their displeasure be known.
As the clock ticked down on Sunday June 12th in the American Airlines Arena and the Dallas Mavericks were on their way to winning their first NBA championship, the fans of the Miami Heat headed for the exit. Surely, they are not the only fans guilty of leaving a game early, but other fans don’t share the luxuries the Heat have had all season.
For the game to be the final game of the season, along with the fact that they have been widely criticized for their lack of crowd participation, not getting to games on time, as well as the building being quiet as can be, ALONG WITH the fact that they have arguably two of the five best players in basketball, it was merely another in the laundry list of despicable, repulsive, and reprehensible acts of fandom they’ve exhibited all year.
Yes, I have had enough people tell me that Miami just doesn’t care for sports like that in general, but dammit, it doesn’t make it right. Mark Cuban sums it up better than I can, and simply put, the jewel he drops here just may have him overtake Cliff Lee as The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived, much to the chagrin of The Rev.
A few days later, a picture came up on my Hoshitoshi of an overturned car and some folks with their arms outstretched, screaming and going nuts. I didn’t think much of it, which is something in itself to say how conditioned I am to seeing images of chaos on my screen. The thing is these images were on ESPN, and once I asked why my screen looked like a doggone warzone, I was informed that the Vancouver Canucks got sprayed out of the building in Game Seven by the score of 4-0.
Now I may not know a thing about hockey, but I know a lop-sided score when I see one. Take a lop-sided loss and add the fact that the game was in their arena, and there were sure to be some folks who weren’t going to be happy about being embarrassed like that on TV. With all that said, there was no preparation (at least, on this end) for what followed.
Folks were breaking windows, turning over cars, and screaming “THANK YOU, BASED GOD” at the police out there. Folks were slobbin' each other down in the midst of all the ruckus, which was kinda cool, but also a little strange. Don't get it twisted; I'm all for gettin' it cracking with a lady and making some memories even with people all around, but not in the middle of a damn riot. People were chanting recklessly and going nuts, while others just stood around the madness, as if to say “Welp, that’s just how it goes around here.”
It blew my mind that people were that upset about the way the game went, and for someone who does get animated when things don’t go the way I like for them to go in the world of sport, it never gets this animated. For quite some time, this site has taken the stance that fans are the most misunderstood people in the world, but there’s no misunderstanding about the acts of the Canucks fans. It should never be that crucial.
Granted, some of it is funny, especially when Kris tells stories about how much Canadians love their hockey, but to this point??? Yes, this site is Ed the Sports Fan, and yes, Ed and I will go to great lengths to defend the honor of fandom, but neither he nor I can endorse that sort of tomfoolery. That madness that came across my Hoshitoshi last Wednesday night was going too far. It makes passionate and sensible fans look irrational and nonsensical, especially when those images are broadcast worldwide.
Being a fan of sports is one of the greatest feelings in the world. With that said, there has to be some level of decorum when it comes to being a fan. Getting to games late and leaving early is inexcusable, allowing the fans of the road team to be more crunk than you is definitely sorry on the part of the home fans.
Acting crazy and raising hell in the streets is certainly not the way to go, and screaming “THANK YOU, BASED GOD” at the law is….well, that’s just hilarious. You get the idea, though. Maybe it's a case where folks just react differently in different areas, because if fans were to even THINK about getting crazy down in Dallas like they did in Vancouver, the police down here would have made those fans wish they were never born.
P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk 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!