Monday, September 13, 2010


Being a fan deserves respect. A fan of anything. You think bowling is the greatest thing ever? *shrug* Whatever. That's your call. Nascar? Sure. I'm not traveling to Darlington to watch it with you, but if you like it, who am I to judge? I once went to a WWE match with a guy I was dating. We all have things that light our fire, get us riled up, get us passionate about living. At least in between the time that we punch a clock (shut up, I know I don't have a job and no one actually does that anymore.) I draw the line at golf though. Golf is stupid. (I actually had a dream the other night that of all things my mom bought me clubs and I started playing. *cringe*)

Point is: I respect your fandom. I do. I hate the University of Florida (less and less as time goes by, actually), but if you went there and are an actual fan? I'll give you some good natured ribbing, and wholeheartedly expect it in return. It's only fair. In fact, discourse with opposing fans is what makes watching sports FUN. I will, however, totally call you to the mat if you a faux fan though, someone with no ties to a university or a team that has just band wagon hopped. And if you claim fandom and it turns out I know more about whatever university it is you went to, I will lose respect for you. Especially if you are male. And yes, I realize for a female I happen to know a lot about college football and a pretty good amount about most other sports.

So when I met a Dodger's fan the other night, a guy born and raised in Southern California (albeit Ventura County), I completely respect that. Only when it's the Dodgers fans at AT&T park trying to start fights will I engage in any disrespect. And even then, it's an elitist higher road kind of thing. Dodger's fans are trash. I will be elite and snobbish, as being a white wine sipping San Francisco fan gives me the right to do. I also show up in the 1st and stay through the 9th, so ya know, I win. But I won't suddenly be rude to said dude in said bar JUST because he's a Dodgers fan. He has every right to be. I mean, it's a poor life decision, but it's his.

Besides which: you never know who you're meeting. If I am rude and completely dismiss you, I may be missing out on the person that happens to work at a firm that I am interested in getting hired at and he likes me because I know my stuff. Not that I'm any big networking guru or anything but: every person you meet is an opportunity and you don't know where that is going to lead you.

The distinction is this: Lisa's rules of fandom: hate the team, not the fans. Unless the fans deserves it. (I'm looking at you, Red Sox nation.) You can't completely dismiss everything someone says just because they are a fan of X. Unless they went to Auburn. Then it's okay.

You should also respect the history of the game. I hate the Dodgers. I am not at all ashamed to call Tommy Lasorda a fat fuck. (This is how my father refers to him. My peace loving, hippie, pacifist father.) But: Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson and Ricky Branch. Kirk Gibson's home run. In my oh so humble opinion, to be a fan means to know and respect the history of the game.

The fact that the Dodger's organization is in disarray and being flushed down the toilet in family court with the McCourt divorce and the Giants are headed for what is going to be an EPIC September makes it easier to just dismiss the Dodgers fans, to pity them, rather than feel any hint of anger.

I like engaging in actual conversation about sports, an opportunity to discuss why your team is going to lose. I also enjoy someone who can tell me what's wrong with my team. Make all the Les Miles clock management jokes that you can. They are completely deserved.

Additionally: be realistic about your team. A true believer knows that sport is a business. I know I have hit this before but: your team's job is to win. Because to win is to make more money. And sport is a business, no matter what your beliefs may be. Even untainted college sports. Your loyalty to a particular player, while adorable, is quaint. Said player will leave if he is offered more money (See: Damon, Johnny and Teixeira, Mark). If said player is not performing up to the standard which will keep him on the team, be glad he got the chance at a second life elsewhere and his career wasn't just over, unceremoniously cut with no chance to continue making the money which he has become accustomed to. (Yes, Irene, I'm referring to your Bengie Molina adoration.) And change is generally good for both parties. Molina has received a new opportunity in Texas, who are also post season bound, and Posey? Need I say more? Buster flipping Posey!

I love J.T. Snow. I still love J.T. Snow. But I knew when his career was over and we needed a new first baseman. Pretty sure he did too. Granted, no one has come close to his defensive skills at first base since. But this is the way it works. I, once upon a time, loved Will Clark too. A sports career is finite. Think about it logically: if you were suddenly sucking at your job, costing your company money, would you expect your boss to keep you? Unless you work for the city, the answer is no. (Related: I need a job with the city.) Lisa's Rule of Fandom 2: Understand the business side of the sport. Are you a fan of the player or the team? If the team, then understand why a player is gone, mourn it briefly, and move on. A fan of a player? You are in for a lifetime of heartbreak with either the player moving for money or his career ending. And when someone gets traded from San Francisco to Florida you're gonna have a hard time enjoying the sport live. Point is: fan loyalty is expected, but continuously earned by the team. A player's loyalty to a team and a team's loyalty to a player are a complete fiction.

Now, excuse me while I pack all the purple and gold I possess to take a trip to the deep south to attend a football game. But only after I talk some trash on the back ramp at Momo's before and after Thursday night's Giants Dodgers game...

No comments:

Post a Comment