Fanhood is one of the most delicate aspects in the sporting world. Fans will go to extreme lengths to prove that they stick with their team through thick and thin and the most “diehard” would do anything to show how loyal they are to their team.
There was plenty of fanhood going around at Dodger Stadium when Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants kicked off their 2011 seasons on March 31. The local teams put on a show for their fans as Clayton Kershaw got the best of Tim Lincecum in a 2-1 pitcher’s duel.
Bryan Stow was sitting in the stands that day, proving his fanhood by wearing foreign orange and black garments in a blue and white country. A couple of Dodger fans decided to respond to Stow’s fanhood by performing an act of their own “fanhood.” They beat Stow so badly in the parking lot that he suffered brain damage and fell into a coma — he still remains unconscious.
Those men may have thought they were standing up for their team that day, but if they believe it, they are sorely mistaken. Fanhood isn’t proven through animosity and violent acts like the attack made on Stow; it’s proven through commodore.
There’s been too many times when I’ve seen people who believed their actions were that of a fan when they actually were that of an imbecile. I don’t know when fanhood became predominantly based on how much “trash” you can talk about another team or how much you can degrade them, but that needs to change.
I have no problem with someone going out, watching a game in his/her teams’ colors and being as loud as they want. However, their words should be positive statements because support is what the true merit of someone’s fanhood should be based on.
I have the most fun watching sports when I sit around with other people who share an interest in my team. Once I start to encounter people who get in other people’s faces, saying how much the other team sucks is when I start losing interest.
So, next time you go out and watch a game, try to focus on the positive things, please. Do it for me, do it for yourself, do it for people like Bryan Stow.
Brandon Gould can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.