Monday, October 27, 2014


If you were a boxing fan and your favorite boxer, Punchy Knockchop's manager or agent put out a press release that said that he was getting a bit addled, long in the tooth, and due to extensive and repeated head injuries, Punchy was going to retire, you might be a little sad. If the same source said that upon Punchy's retirement a promising young fighter named Sockem Indaface was going to take over and be Punchy Knockchop for here on out and you should continue to idolize him and pay exorbitant amounts of money to see him fight you might say something along the lines of, "WTF? Are you shitting me? That would be totally insane!" So why is it people are so fiercely loyal to professional sports teams for decades or lifetimes? For the sake of history or loyalty they will follow a losing team season after season and pay the same price for tickets, hats, jerseys, etc., as for the championship team's memorabilia and such.

I wasn't raised in a sports family, so those people look like tools and masochists to me. If you change one player, coach or trainer, it's a different team even if the essence remains temporarily. Teams are sold, move to other cities, and are renamed and people get that. Why is the rest so hard to grasp? Why do people hold a grudge against "their" teams rivals or against a team that shares the name and location of a team that beat the team that shared the name and location of their team twenty years ago?

Tribalism run rampant.

Watching sports is a fun form of entertainment. We see great feats of athleticism and it's hugely rewarding to root for and see an underdog win. I've seen sports bring out the best and the worst in players and fans, but I've never once seen a single sports hero.

If a movie star gets exposed as a drunk, drug addict, wifebeater, dog fighter, or communist, we quit supporting them through refusing to pay to see their films and they become obsolete. If a director puts out several movies in a row that bomb, we quit going to see their next one.

Professional athletes are some of the highest paid people in the world for doing something they enjoy with relatively little prior experience or training. They get paid to play. Not to win. Not to perform, to play. We, the fans, pay to see them play, and we pay to advertise for them by buying clothing, collectibles, autographs, household goods etc. with their ugly logos plastered all over them, even if they are the worst team in the league year after year. That isn't fandom. It's marketing and being a tool.

Don't even get me started on Go Fast, Turn Left NASCAR.

If your team sucks, pick another or just enjoy the sport for what it is: entertainment. You owe no professional sports team anything until they start paying you. Additionally, you owe other sports fans nothing.

If you want to support a college or high school team because the school's athletic department adds so much to the school's academics or finances, have at it.

Now that you've been deprogrammed, feel free to go outside and play with yourself.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Loyalty is Earned.

I'm on the fence. I've always said The Chicago Bears were my football team, but the last two years that I have really started learning about and paying attention to football have left me disgruntled. The 1985 Chicago Bears were my team. I met Walter Payton, Mike Singletary, Virgil Livers, Noah Jackson, and Alan Page when I was young and they were stand up guys who played for the love of the game, the team, and the fans, not just the money and their egos.

 The current Bears' Quarterback, head coach, and owner just plain suck. I didn't grow up a sports fan, so blind undying love and unquestioning life long loyalty to a group of people based on the uniforms they are wearing and where they are "from" gives me the head shakes at best, the heebie jeebies at worst. Just because the Bears are stuck with Blameless Jay Cutler for at least two more years doesn't mean fans are. We owe them nothing. If he can't pull his head out of his ass soon, it might be time to look at the other 31 teams or just enjoy the game for the game's sake although the rivalry is fun.

 Martellus Bennett, the Bears' tight end, said the fans had a right to boo them after their poor performance against the Miami Dolphins. He said their job is to entertain. You have to earn your fans. And keep earning them. Just like actors, singers, or any other entertainers.

 You wouldn't live in a condemned house just because it had some great history. Life doesn't work that way. Neither should sports fandom.

 They've got some great talent, but with poor leadership they are a constant heartache. Near weekly. The Chicago Masochists.

I've been a big Aaron Rodgers fan for some time now...

Twisted Faces - Caricature Art from Rock Cowles

Twisted Faces - Caricature Art from Rock Cowles
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