That title & image are what are known as teases – because no, I really don’t want to talk some smack.
I’ve been a big fan of Jim Rome for well over 15 years now. I love listening to smack talk between fans. It can be oh so creative & funny.
Yet, I hate participating in it.
I wrote once before the ’08 election about the parallels between being a passionate sports fan and being passionately into politics (yep, that’s me double dipping into both those territories) & how we should look at is as *rooting* for one team or another vs tearing down opponents.
Of course, it’s obvious that our political discourse is all about tearing opponents down, but I’ll ignore since this isn’t the site for such discussion anymore. This time I’m wondering how weird I am in regards to my sports passion.
You see, while I am passionate and knowledgeable about my sports, I am also not into smack talk. Anyone who follows me on twitter knows that I love my Padres & Chargers. You know that I tweet as they play and that I tweet about THEM, not their opponents. My most “In your face” comment is simply to add the #BeatLA hashtag when the Padres play the Dodgers.
I’m hyper competitive of course which means really hating to lose. I’ll get mildly depressed when that happens which is silly of course, but trust me, that 10 game losing streak the Padres threw down did NOT lighten my mood! But I was frustrated at THEM, not at the teams who beat them.
I was recently kind of taken aback though by fellow tweeters who had really rarely tweeted about their teams all year, yet took the opportunity while their teams were playing the Padres during the losing streak to smack talk at me. I know that I am most likely in the minority on this one, but I didn’t like it. That comes off as obnoxious to me. I know, I should probably lighten up. It’s too much for me to expect people to play by my rules of being positive only fans, but I haven’t figured out a way yet to now be irritated by it.
The thing is, I had a great conversation a friend yesterday. His son’s freshman team had pretty much wiped the field off with my son’s team Thursday night 48-0. But he didn’t smack talk at all. We dissected the game from our perspectives without tearing anyone down. We talked about the positives of how well both our son’s had played, how much talent is obviously on his team, how they could have won by 60 if not for some discipline issues & dumb penalties. We mostly agreed we were both thrilled there were no injuries (typical parental point of view), then wished each other good luck for the rest of the season. That was FUN. I enjoyed it even though it was my team on the way short end of the score.
I wonder though if that tendency to smack talk, to tear down opponents vs focusing on building your team UP, had any influence on a real life example of beating someone down this weekend during a varsity high school game. A player was already down, obviously not getting up, when an opponent trampled on him. It was away from the ball, so the player was not penalized and it seems like not that many people saw it happen. Certainly the coaches & officials didn’t, but the parents in the stands did. Even parents on the side of the offending, trampling player say they saw it. The player who was down has most likely has his football career (a promising one with colleges scouting him) ended and was possibly lucky his life was not ended as he suffered a third degree concussion & bleeding on the brain. Horrifying. But why did that kid think it was OK to trample on an already downed opponent?
Why is it that in order to elevate yourself, you need to tear someone else down? I may be viewed as overly sensitive, or not cut throat enough, or just plain old fashioned (how ironic is that?!), but I will never be THAT kind of fan.