Friday, March 9, 2007

My least favorite group of sports fans

Anyone who watches or discusses sports regularly knows the kind of fan I'm about to describe. All of a sudden, team X starts to win a few games in a row, or they win a close game on national TV. Then, out of left field, you see one of your friends or maybe even some random guy or girl you know jump on that team's bandwagon and claim he or she has always been a fan.

There's been a perfect example the last couple weeks. As Maryland tore through the rest of their ACC schedule down the stretch run, people started talking about them again. There were columns on ESPN about their chances and how the team has grown up and matured. Lots of fans around the area started getting excited about Terps basketball again, and some students even started making groups on Facebook to talk about not only their chances, but to name their pools after the Terps since they'll be back in the NCAA tourney. I have no problem with that. I think it's great for them to be back in the big picture this year.

The problem I have occurred after Maryland lost a disappointing and confusing game against Miami. I'm not going to talk about why they lost the game. They shouldn't have, and it was ugly to watch. But they lost. Suddenly, there was talk about how overrated Maryland was. People who had been cheering for them or wearing their clothes or whatever wanted to jump the Terp ship. Why... because they lost 1 game? Give me a break. They hadn't even lost a single game for over a month.

Look, it's already disappointing for people to watch their teams when they aren't playing their best or they just can't beat a team that isn't as good as them. Everyone reading this knows that Maryland is better than Miami. Everyone reading this, especially AJ, knows that Georgetown is better than ODU. But for some reason, Maryland lost to Miami twice this year and somehow ODU beat the Hoyas. Teams lose. Rarely, if ever, does any team go undefeated in any sport. But how can you start cheering for a team again and then randomly choose to dislike them again within a matter of days? I'm not talking about being mad that they lost. I'm talking about jumping off the bandwagon completely or at least temporarily until they win the next day.

There aren't any rules about this sort of thing though. Everybody can choose to love a team one day and then hate that same team the next. It's hard for people to be loyal sports fans. Everyone wants to be a Yankees fan, or a Mavericks/Heat/Suns fan, or a Patriots fan these days. People want to look cool when a team they "like" does well. Maybe some people feel they get cool points for it.

Well you know what, I don't want to hear about it. Pick a team and stay with them. It's still possible to enjoy teams that aren't your favorites. Sports and crazy games, especially during March Madness, are still fun to watch no matter what.

You just don't get to claim allegiance to those teams.

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