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How To Be A Sports Fan: Lesson 4

This guest post is brought to you by a new Twitter friend, Ben Zajdel. Ben is a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas, works in a Christian bookstore, watches entirely too much basketball (PERFECTLY okay with me), and has written a few short books you might enjoy. You can keep up with him at his website, or on Twitter, @benzajdel.

Before I start this article on superstition, you need to know a little about me. I have a degree in Historical Studies, which means I learned how to fact check old documents and make sure they’re legitimate. I am also currently pursuing a degree in Environmental Science, so you can probably guess that I don’t like approximations and guesses. I’m also a Christian, so I don’t believe in magic and voodoo and curses. I openly mock those who think magnets can heal you, and I dismiss most natural remedies.

That being said, how to be superstitious is one of the most important things a sports fan can learn. Read More…

Video Breakdown: It’s SHUMPERT

For NBA fans, the heart of the playoffs is exactly where they want to be, with countless great individual and team matchups.

One matchup that would be particularly intriguing if this was 1997 is the current series between the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks. Alas, this is not 1997, and the rivalry isn’t the same as when Reggie Miller was shaking his Cheryls at Spike Lee. However, there between Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and the reanimated corpses of Jason Kidd/Marcus Camby versus Paul George, Roy Hibbert and a cyborg named Tyler Hansborough who just wants to learn what love is, it’s still a fascinating series.

And then we have wildcards, such as the mysterious Iman Shumpert

Blending the arrogance of Reggie Miller with the hair of Patrick Ewing

Blending the arrogance of Reggie Miller with the hair of Patrick Ewing

Read More…

How To Be A Sports Fan: Lesson 3

Alas!  I have made my return to the GBOAT.  I am making my contribution to the “How To Be a Sports Fan” series based on years of experience and observation.  Also, as a shameless plug, I am undertaking a once-a-week, year long blogging endeavor over at my blog, The Ramblings of a Wayward Son.  – Chandler

I have been around sports for years.  I’m 28 now, and I remember waaaaaaay back when as a little kid playing T-Ball.  I don’t know when that was, but it was a long time ago.  I was never good at sports, but I have played, and probably more importantly, watched them for years.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all of these years, it’s this:

In order to be a sports fan, you must overreact to everything.

This manifests itself in many different ways.  Fans do it, announcers do it, and talking heads do it.  And then after you overreact to everything, you have to get mad at ESPN for creating a culture in which we overreact to everything, essentially absolving yourself of any and all blame.

Make sense?  No?  Good.  Let’s look at it more specifically. Read More…

How To Be A Sports Fan: Lesson Two

Merriam-Webster defines confidence as “a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers.”

If you want to be a true sports fan, you have to understand that this is the first and only definition of the word. At no point does “confidence” apply to being certain of anything other than yourself.

In athletics, though, there is an entirely new form of confidence that somehow becomes even more self-centered than normal. It is what happens when confidence is blended with sheer arrogance. Truthfully, it’s located somewhere between confidence and arrogance, but as you’ll learn, nobody in the world really understands it at all.

I of course am talking about Swagger, and if you want to be a sports fan, you have to understand exactly what Swagger is and what Swagger isn’t. Read More…

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.

Read More…

Living Like Nick

Nick Bell was supposed to play his final collegiate football game this past Saturday. Sadly, Nick’s last game was two years ago.

In late September, 2010, Nick was a sophomore defensive end at Mississippi State University. He had recently started his second game, against the Georgia Bulldogs, and recorded seven tackles, two of them for loss. He was showing a tremendous amount of promise on a defense that boasted at least two future NFL players. However, Nick’s future would take a sudden turn very soon after. Read More…

A Breakup Letter To College Football

Dear College Football,

It’s not me. It’s oh so definitely you.

I’ve loved you for my whole life. I’ve always been there for you, through BCS nonsense and even the occasional coach on a motorcycle with his 20 year old mistress problem. But I feel like it might be time for us to see less of each other.

I really, honestly have tried to defend you for the nonsense you pull, but I can’t do it anymore. I’ve said the right things: “It’s a unique experience!” and “It’s the purest form of the sport!” but truth be told, it is far, far from that. Sure, it’s definitely an experience, but these days, the experience means nothing if there aren’t instant results. There is less and less loyalty and pride every year. If you aren’t winning, it’s “What have you done for me lately?” and coaches getting fired after one year. And thanks to modern broadcasting, there are a LOT more Oregon fans popping up in the South. Read More…