Sportsmanship: It’s For Fans, Too

Erin Ennis

Every Sunday of the fall semester, right around one in the afternoon, I pull a chair up to the nearest TV or computer and engage in my favorite fall past time: professional football. For those who don’t know, I am a diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan and there is nothing I enjoy more than watching my team hit the turf and play some pigskin. I go to the games, I wear my jersey, I yell about my division rivals, and I cry when we miss out on the Super Bowl…again. There is nothing that can mess up a Sunday game: not homework, a lack of coverage, or a disappointing turn out. Well…almost nothing.

I hate 90 percent of professional football fans. Now that may seem incredibly rash to say, but let’s hunker down and look at it. Most people in today’s society watch football because it’s popular, not because they actually understand the game. That, in and of itself, is not a problem. Anyone should be able to enjoy the sport, whether they know the job of a tight end or not. But it’s these fans, the ones that jump on team bandwagons that tend to ruin the sport for others with egotistical jargon and pathetic attempts at being “supportive”.

I’m talking about the fans that spew constant bs about their teams. The fans that overload my facebook stalker feed every single Sunday with crap about how certain players should be injured just because they’re on the opposing team. The fans that constantly have to belittle another team just because they aren’t winning, or because they think a win was “unfair”. The fans that have no clue what they are talking about…and no sense of humility or maturity.

Now back to my team: the Philadelphia Eagles! I have been watching the Eagles play for a very long time, and I have learned one very big lesson during the past few years. Sometimes, we have THAT game. Sometimes, my team plays like I’ve never seen them play before and it leads to big touchdowns, big plays, and an even bigger sense of triumph when our record wins increase by one. But sometimes, most times even, we don’t play that way. We don’t win. We don’t score the big points. Hell, we even make plays that have me screaming from my seat because even I can see they’re bad calls. But a REAL football fan knows how to embrace their team in both scenarios, and how to own up to their mistakes as well as their triumphs. A REAL football fan knows how to support teams that are playing really well to an extent…even if they are divisionary rivals.

Essentially what I’m getting at is this: stop ruining my favorite fall pastime. Stop walking around acting too-hot-for-trot when your team wins. Honestly…no one cares. Celebrate, but remember that last week, you probably lost. Or worse, if you do lose and a team you dislike wins, don’t try to write it off as a “bad game” or something along the lines of “you should have lost, you just didn’t”. GET OVER IT. Move on. There are more games on, and even more the week after. Grow up a little bit and stop making excuses. But mostly, above anything else, learn to have some sportsmanship. Real football fans know how to be gracious in the face of losing, regardless of how many losses that may be.