If you couldn’t tell at this point in the school year, I live for sports. I love playing, watching, reading, and trying sports. From baseball to skateboarding, I love it all.
I am the type of person that is the reason for five different ESPNs, a channel owned by each league, and text message alerts for up to the date scores and news.
I know that I am not alone. Many guys and some girls share my obsession with their favorite team and the sports world. However some of these fans take it to a whole new level.
Opening Day in baseball is a weekend that some fans usually celebrate with a day off. I mean, I skipped one of my classes to watch the Yankee game and have no regrets about it whatsoever.
Some fans took it to a whole new level. In Los Angeles, a San Francisco Giants fan took the trip to Dodger Stadium to watch his team start their campaign as reigning champions. He planned a nice afternoon at the ol’ ballpark but how wrong he was.
This Giant fan ended up getting jumped by two men wearing Dodger gear. The two opposing fans beat the Giant fan so badly that he was put into a medically enduced coma.
Unfortunately, this will not be the first nor last example of violence between fans. Who hasn’t heard multiple stories about someone getting stabbed, beat up, or even shot for wearing the wrong colors? As sick as it may sound it, being a fan has become dangerous.
I am not saying rivalries aren’t good for the fans, in fact that is what makes them great. Even some extremes can be hilarious. My friend Hollywood from Danbury is a die-hard Yankee fan.
He used to tell me stories of how he would go to the bars and try to pick up girls. As soon as he found out a girl was a Red Sox fan, no matter how pretty or perfect for him she was he would say, “No thanks, I don’t date Red Sox fans.”
But when fans take trash talk to actual violence, I think I would almost hate going to a Red Sox vs. Yankees game.
I’m sure some idiots out there would get too drunk, start talking smack, and eventually it would escalate into a fist fight calling for security to come and break things up.
It’s like a Saturday at Railroad except there is a $30+ ticket charge on top of it. Fighting has to be one of the stupidest ways of settling an argument possible. Over sports makes it even worse.
The last time I was in a fight was in sixth grade and even afterwards I thought I was too old for this.
If you want to spend all day drinking and fighting, go to the bars and watch the game and don’t ruin the game for the people who are actually there to watch.
Violence isn’t the only extreme when it comes to sports. Over-loyalty can become a factor that can affect one’s social life. Some guys expect their girlfriends to miss important dates for a game. I am guilty of this, as I once blew off a date during game three of the 2009 ALDS by saying, “Baby, game threes don’t happen all the time.”
Even friendships can be at risk from sports. One example came from the University of Connecticut game. Thanks to Boom Boom, our group of friends started to or already were following the Huskies based mostly on his intensity during the games.
However, one of our friends made prior arrangements to see a band perform.
For the rest of the night and the next afternoon he was harassed about being whipped and being called a bitch. Jaws dropped to the ground when he replied, “Relax, it’s just a game.”
With the way our society has advanced with texting and being able to check ESPN on their phone, you can follow a game wherever you are. It’s not like he wasn’t checking or hearing what was happening. And god forbid he spends an evening with his girlfriend before he can’t see her for three months.
I was able to understand his situation, but others were not.
Many people use sports as an escape from reality. Being a die-hard fan allows you to not worry about other things in your life. Even though I love my teams I have come to realize there are more important things to life.
After all, it is just a game.
Chris Thelin can be contacted at email@example.com