The Lost Art of Being a Respectful Sports Fan

Every sport has its rivalries moments. However, as sports fans, we have to remember to be respectful, even when things get tense.

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Some people are just plain rude. In general, people act in an arrogant way that is off-putting to others, and it’s especially true when it comes to sports teams and their fans. Nowadays, there are very few people who are respectful when it comes to differences in their favorite sports teams. When I’m working at a sports memorabilia retail store I often ask people who they root for, and there are times when people just act ugly and nasty when I tell them who I root for. When I was taking care of one lady at the store and all that came out of her mouth was “Your team is terrible,” and “I hope you all suck this year like normal.” However, I still tried to be nice to her and tried to make a sale. In every case, I try to say something positive about their specific teams, and if it’s a rival of one of my teams, I try to poke and have a little bit of fun, but I NEVER act rudely toward anyone who doesn’t like my favorite teams. I feel like being respectful to other fanbases is a lost art and I want to try and bring it back. Today I read through a Twitter conversation between one of my fellow BIGPLAY writers Rod Bluhm and an obnoxious Ravens fan and it was just an interesting read. But after all of the comments from that gentleman, using that term loosely, Rod still wished him and his team good luck this season. THAT is the kind of sports fans that we need to breed good, healthy, and competitive rivalries.

Sure you hate that team for who they are and what they mean to your favorite team, but that doesn’t excuse you from being rude to someone because that’s the team they like. Hating a team is OK and there are reasons to hate them. Even though I wasn’t alive when it happened, I can’t stand the Denver Broncos because of what they did to the Browns in the ’80s. I hate the Baltimore Ravens for taking my favorite team out of their city. Even though I can’t stand these teams, there is no reason to hate the people who support them.

My father always told me “You can’t control what other people do or say, but you have control over yourself.” Even when people themselves are rude and don’t know how to act, we can control ourselves and be normal fans. I know some people won’t listen and agree with what I’m saying, but it’s something essential for us not only as sports fans, but as people in general. To this day I am friends with people who support the Ravens, and I still mess with them about it to this day.

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