Around the world, fans everywhere are either celebrating or lamenting as the round of 16 starts to be set for the World Cup. In addition, here in the United States, there’s also the NFL (football), the NBA (basketball), and the NHL (hockey) currently ongoing with the MLB (baseball) starting soon and MLS (soccer)just ending.
I recently went to a professional sports game in my city. The team my team was playing have fans who travel well. And to me, they always seem to be somewhat disrespectful and rude.
And I recognize I’m biased. I understand that. This isn’t a post about my perception of fans or something they did during the game. Rather, this is a post on the idea of being a good fan.
A big thing about being a good fan in my opinion is not to analyze every single play. Now, I say this with a grain of salt. Let me explain a little more. If you’re a player yourself and looking how the professionals do it to make yourself better, then it’s one thing I did that when I was in high school. But if you’re what we call an “armchair quarterback” where you analyze every play and look for faults, what went wrong, and what they could’ve done better, then I think you’re a bad fan. I know some of those fans.
It’s also part of being a good fan to respect an injury, no matter the side where it occurs. After the game ends (and during it), the players are people too. While injuries may seem a little more minor at times, it could still be painful. I was around some fans the other day who got excited that someone got injured. Not only was it a player, but it was a player of the team they supposedly support! It made me so incredibly angry, and I was about ready to be escorted out by security for starting a fight. I don’t care what side you’re on, to me that was despicable behavior.
Another aspect of being a good fan is being hospitable. I was a cheerleader in high school. When we faced other teams at home that had cheer squads, I always made it a point to go over there and talk to them when I could. This way they would know they had someone to talk to and ask questions. Fans travel all over the city, state, country, territory, and world. It’s so important to show kindness and respect.
As a fan, you are an ambassador for your team. You are how people think of your team. It’s not all that difficult to win or lose graciously. But you represent that team to other people.
Now I’m not saying I’m perfect. I want my team to win and there are many times I disagree with an official call. But I can recognize the humanity we all share at the end of the day. And I hope that makes me a good fan.