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Top Three Signs that Sports Are Being Taken Too Seriously: A Fan’s Take
I enjoy college and professional sports a great deal. Over the years, I have been to many different games and enjoyed watching countless contests on television with family and friends. Unfortunately, sports can also bring out the worst in fans. I suspect this is rooted in deeper aspects of the human condition, but sports do seem to bring out profound human emotion in strongly positive and negative ways. After the 2012 NFC Championship Game, the sports world saw two of the three signs. The third sign has been seen many times in the past.
Kyle Williams of the San Francisco 49ers made key errors in the loss to the Giants on January 22. I am guessing that he feels pretty bad about that, and I further suspect that he didn't go out of his way to make mistakes. After the game, the player reportedly received death threats. I understand that fans are upset when their team loses, but death threats? Really? That sort of reaction seems to suggest that people have lost touch with reality and are unable to understand what is important in life. I like sports, but after all, it is just a game.
Fan on fan violence
After the 49er loss, there were also reports of fan on fan violence. In this case, 49er fans were caught on video attacking New York Giants fans. Unfortunately, fans like to talk to each other before, during and after the game. A little friendly banter can be an entertaining part of the game experience, but clearly some fans do not put themselves in a position to act like rational adults. When alcohol is added to the mix, angry people decide to take out their frustration on other people by inflicting violence. The sad reality is that there is no reason for this sort of violence to ever happen.
Rioting in cities after championship games has happened a number of times. The Vancouver riots were a very sad event in 2011, simply because there was so much destruction and mayhem inflicted on the community. What kinds of citizens destroy their own city, including local businesses and public property? Again, fans pour a lot of time and emotion into their favorite teams, but there is never a defense for violence against people or property.
Sometimes fans need to put down the beer, and back away.
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