We established unequivocally years ago that few things in America are more of a proxy for the entire culture at any given time than sports. Back in 1980, at the height of the cold war, the national pride that resonated with the Miracle on Ice was palpable. In the days after 9/11, the swelling of patriotism through major league ballparks was energetic.
In recent years, we’ve been able to see the continuing breakdown of what we’ve become by looking no further than sports fields and arenas. Whether it be the ongoing pussification of everything under the guise of player safety, or the continued effort to reward showing up by giving out “participation trophies,” or the behavior of the fans, sports are changing at a rapid fire pace because our society is changing at a rapid fire pace.
Professional male athletes now cry over anything and everything and are encouraged to do so. Entire games are halted because one player is incapable of going back on the ice and another player has anxiety as a result of it. Major League Baseball players leave their teams for “paternity leave,” and are heralded for it. Anytime anyone suffers a major injury, the first thing we do is scream out for new mandates of safer equipment and stricter rules, no matter what the cost to the game might be. We have gotten so soft.
Fans are more obnoxious than ever. Some are being beaten into comas in parking lots while others are pouring beers on the heads of women and children who have the audacity to show up to a game in the opposing team’s uniform. Even those who go nowhere near any form of harassment or assault are beyond rude and obnoxious, they’re almost some sort of subhuman species propelled by a sense of survival and identity; as if to say “if my team isn’t the best than I ain’t worth crap.” We have gotten so angry.
I have argued for years that of the myriad examples of our decay, none should be more obvious than how stupid we’ve become. Stupid covers a lot of ground. If you attach the meaning of your existence to a sports team as a fan, that’s obviously pathetic, but it’s also stupid. If you feel so personally insulted that someone else disagrees with the team you chose and that leads you to violence or rage, you obviously have anger issues, but you’re also stupid. You get the idea.
At the top Mount Stupid has always been the fan who insists that the games, the leagues, and the outcomes are rigged against them. Up until about a decade ago, we referred to these people as Oakland Raider fans. But now, they’ve branched out and spread their seed and they permeate every corner of our tiny little patch of Earth. Nothing, of course, is more pathetic than failing to acknowledge your own team’s shortcomings. The total inability to admit that your team got outplayed, didn’t adapt as well, or simply wasn’t as talented on that particular day is wretched. Oh, and it’s stupid.
It’s been over two months since the NFC Championship Game sent the Seattle Seahawks to the Super Bowl after they beat the football team I’ve been rooting for since 1978, when I was age 7 and they were awful, the San Francisco 49ers. As a Bay Area resident for the first 18 years of my life I’ve always been aware of how horrible the sports fans in that area are, but like everything else in our country, they are getting worse by the day. On the heels of that game being mentioned last week on our show as we were talking about some rules changes coming to the NFL in fall 2014, I received the following pitiful (and stupid) email from someone named Johnny:
To that jerkoff who was trying to say that us niner fans were still butthurt about the Navarro bowman play, **** you. He is obviously a seacock fan and they have to say shit like that to make themselves feel like their team actually won that game…how rigged that entire NFC championship game was! Sure, it ultimately came down to a bad throw on Kaepernick's part, but that whole game was bullshit, ****ing rigged. If seahawk fans call me a whiner for it, I don't care. Cause anyone who watches football and is not a stupid bandwagon seahawk fan, knows that that game was rigged. And I know that you rob are going to say that it wasn't and the niners or kaepernick just sucked, but I've heard arnie make the same remarks I have made about that game.
It's funny that after all that bullshit, the last play that could've still won it for the niners was a clean play, just an under thrown/bad pass. People focus on that and the bowman play and forget or just neglect how terrible that game was officiated. Of course I'm just flossing a dead horse here, but of all these stupid, pussifying rules that the nfl is implementing now, they're all redundant, cause until they fix the 'fixing' of games, it's going to piss off more and more fans, (if you're saying I'm an idiot, just wait till it happens to your team) and with these stupid rules making the game 'safer', they're just ruining our beloved game even more. I wish they would just fix what needs fixing and leave the rest alone…I still love it, but I'm growing more sick of it every year too. Go niners!
OK, I admit it. Clearly, without me reading anything into the content of his note, anyone can see that Johnny is an idiot who likes to ramble uncontrollably and make little to no sense. He is perhaps not the greatest example of a fan gone bad…or is he? Perhaps he is so far beyond stupid that he perfectly represents the average fan and average American walking amongst us today.
Getting into pissing matches with morons like this is a fruitless endeavor, and more importantly, an unnecessary one for reasons I shall show in a moment. But just to quickly address a few of the points Johnny raised, before discrediting the entire basis of his asinine argument, allow me this:
To say “Sure, it ultimately came down to a bad throw on Kaepernick's part,” and “the last play that could've still won it for the niners was a clean play, just an under thrown/bad pass,” is to speak excuse making American-eze of the 21st century. Thank you, Johnny for proving my point. Even if I were to agree with your galactically stupid argument that the game were rigged, the 49ers still had their own destiny in their own hands and they blew it, period. To say it was “just an underthrown pass,” is to say JFK “just made a bad turn in Dallas.” When the moment mattered most, the Niners faltered. Winners rise to the occasion; losers have throngs of pathetic fans make excuses for them. At least credit Kaepernick for acknowledging he blew it after the game, because he did.
But never-you-mind all of the specific reasons that Johnny’s assertions are so grounded in baby-speak, and just step back for a moment and evaluate and analyze the premise of the argument. Johnny’s assertion is that the NFL rigged the game. They told the refs to give the Seahawks the game, anyway possible.
Now, I realize I’m asking a lot here, but can we all just try, for a brief moment, to exercise common sense here? IF the NFL were to engage in rigging outcomes, they would do so for only one reason; to make even more revenue than they already do. Certainly, at the very least, the league would not be interested in setting up scenarios which would limit their revenue. The Seattle Seahawks are a nice little story out of a sparsely populated portion of the country with almost no national appeal and basically, at the time of the alleged rigging, no nationally known superstar player names. The San Francisco 49ers, meanwhile, are a team steeped in NFL history, based in the 4th largest media market in the country, with Kaepernick (one of the 3 most popular players in the game today based on jersey sales, endorsements and what the Harris Polling company calls the “Q” factor), and multiple other players known by many across the nation.
So I ask you, my common sense friend. Which team would have been a better rig job? Just the hype alone leading up to the game reminding the world that Peyton Manning chose the Denver Broncos over the 49ers two years ago would’ve bolstered sales of all things NFL even more.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this; grow the **** up. Life, whether it be sports, your job, your relationships or anything in between cannot be about who is out to get you (even if they are). It can and must be only about how you’re going to overcome whatever is thrown at you, regardless of the intent. The Niners failed on that day, just like people like Johnny will fail everyday and forever because of their pathetic outlook. “Oh, woe is me, the world’s not fair, let me count the ways…”
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Though I am not a sports fan (I have my reasons) and have only I think watched one football game to completion my entire life and I happened to be there I did find this article interesting. I think it might be interesting to any of you who are sports peeps.
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