How To Be A Sports Fan: Lesson One
Sports are a mighty fine part of our culture, and chances are if you’re reading this you either: A) are a sports fan, B) are curious about getting into sports, C) don’t care at all, or D) are….a feline or something, maybe?
Well if you fall into any of those categories, you have been exposed to sports on at least the smallest level. If you don’t understand them at all, don’t worry. I am here to instruct you on the many complex and depressing facets of what it means to be a sports fan. Keep reading, even if you just flat out dislike sports (Hi, Amanda!) because at the very least, understanding sports will make you a more well developed person and give you an understanding of culture as a whole. After all, these days we don’t focus as much on raising our kids to be the next great artist like Rembrandt, composer like Bach, or dancer like Shashitokonicxinicixhsnichvic. We raise them to be the next MJ, the next Joe Montana, or even the next Tiger Woods, minus all the gross sex stuff but keeping in the really boring sport of choice.
Sports are everywhere in our culture, so that’s why everybody should, at least on some sort of level, learn how to be a sports fan.
You may think that the first step towards becoming a sports fan is to pick a team to pull for. Any true sports fan will tell you that this is stupid and you’re wrong (lesson two: insult anyone who has an opinion about sports). Long before you ever pick a team, you have to understand the ground rules of sports and the basics of how to always be upset with something (if you are into politics, then congrats! You are well on your way!)
The very logical first lesson to learn on your path towards becoming a sports fan is thus:
The media is always wrong.
No questions asked! If anyone in the media says anything at all, you are obliged to not only disagree with them, but to think that they are idiots and have never said anything right. Maybe they are analysts on shows who sit around a table yelling at each other. Maybe they are the play-by-play guys who actually go to games and talk about what is happening. Whoever they are, just remember this simple fact, dear children: they are morons, and therefore couldn’t ever have the slightest clue of what they’re talking about.
Remember these faces. They are the faces of liars, morons, and probably seal-clubbers.
Monsters. All of them.
The only proper mindset to have, no matter which team you ultimately end up cheering for, is that the media has a bias against your team. For example, if your team is doing very well, it is clear that the media thinks you are overrated and are just waiting for your downfall. If your team is not doing well, it is clear that the media is just out to get you and refuses to give you credit. If you cheer for a team in a small market, then the media doesn’t give you the coverage you deserve, regardless of how good or bad you are. And if you’re a fan of the Alabama Crimson Tide, you never have anything to complain about ever, so shut up.
Regardless of the situation, the media will always be wrong. This is because of one simple fact: if you are a sports fan, you think you know enough about sports to not only work in sports media, but to be 1,000,000 times better than anyone else who is already in sports media.
Simply put, to a sports fan, all media are idiots. Here are some of the different kinds of idiots you will encounter:
The Hater Idiot is the member of the media who has strong opinions about things and is never afraid to express them. In particular, they aren’t afraid to point out which teams aren’t very good at their respective sport. This is obviously because the members of the media are biased against these teams and is not based at all upon the quality of talent on the team or how many games they win.
They are haters, because when they point out that a team isn’t good, the only proper response from the terrible fans of the terrible team is to be horribly offended. “What? Did he say we’re not good simply because we’ve only won three games in the past seven years? He’s a hater! What an idiot! He has obviously never seen us play and doesn’t know what we’re capable of!”
Never, EVER consider that this idiot’s job is to watch a LOT of a particular sport and formulate opinions on teams. As soon as they say something bad about your team, they’re just a hater and an idiot. It’s that simple.
Other examples: Reggie Miller talking anyone who isn’t himself; anyone in the media who does more than smile and nod during halftime shows so basically anyone except Chris Webber and his homeless man haircut.
While The Hater always has an opinion on something, The Loud Idiot never does. Ever. So how do they make up for this? They yell about it. Or anything. At all. Just a lot of volume, because speaking louder makes this idiot feel much more intelligent and important than they actually are. I swear I’ve heard Stephen A. Smith yell about a sandwich he was eating when he was supposed to be discussing the possibilities of the Lakers making the playoffs, and Sportscenter just let him continue.
What’s worth noting is that this type of idiot is not limited to the media. In fact, 99% of all fans of anything (even sandwiches!) at all fit into this category. You’ll see it on the internet, in every chat room ever. You’ll see it on the street, where people wear jerseys of every decent player that has ever existed because they’ve ALWAYS been a fan of whatever team that person plays for. You’ll especially see it in everyday conversation, where somebody has such an important sports thing to say that they can’t help but scream it at whoever is nearby.
If you’ve met a sports fan, chances are you’ve met this kind of idiot. Actually, chances are, you ARE this kind of idiot.
Other examples: Colin Cowherd; anyone who wants REALLY BADLY to be heard; anyone on ESPN in the afternoon.
While no idiot actually thinks of themselves as being an idiot, there are particular kinds who know that they’re really smart and insightful and remind everyone they are by saying as much as they possibly can about anything at all times. This is The Long-Winded Idiot, and there’s only two or three of them who think highly enough of themselves to be able to pull this off.
The LWI is hardly ever actually viewed as an idiot, surprisingly. Most sports fans at least act like they are fine with the opinions of The LWI. However, this is also because most sports fans can only sit through about two paragraphs at a time and have never actually read an entire article written by The LWI. It just makes the average sports fan seem much more informed and intelligent to say, “Yeah, I love Bill Simmons” than to say “Yeah, I put Simmons’ podcast on in the background while I play Solitaire at work because he uses long sentences and gives me headaches.”
Other examples: the army of clones that Bill Simmons has writing for Grantland.
Of course, your local media is not exempt from being idiots. You can safely bet that no matter who your team of choice is, the local media covering it either went to the rival school, loves the rival team, or is funded by a bunch of fat old white people with an agenda against your team.
For example, I live in a state with three Division-1 colleges (If you don’t understand what a D-1 college is, don’t worry, we’ll get into that later. It just means they’re major schools). The man pictured above, Rick Cleveland, is hated by fans of the smallest university, Southern Mississippi, because they think he is paid to only praise the flagship university of the state, Ole Miss. Ole Miss fans hate him because they are convinced he hates them and only pays attention to the redneck college, Mississippi State. Mississippi State fans hate him because they’re convinced he went to school at Ole Miss, even though he is a proud graduate of Southern Miss, who of course hates him because they don’t think they get any credit for anything the bigger schools do, all the while Ole Miss and State think Southern is a joke.
Did you follow that? Good. Basically, your local media has an agenda and hates your team. Always remember that.
Other examples: The constantly rotating slew of reporters trying to stay afloat in the dead industry of paper journalism 😦
Sometimes, the media really are total idiots.
Other examples: Faaaaaaaar too many to list.
So there you have it. The very first lesson you need to learn if you want to be a sports fan is a simple one that anyone who has ever followed politics or turned on a television already understands.
The media is wrong. It is full of idiots, and they all hate you. As soon as you understand this, you can get one step closer to being a true sports fan.