The Fine Line For Fans

Published: Nov 15, 2013 14:23pm EST
By JLangley4, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Nov 15, 2013 @ 02:23pm EST


Fans across America are passionate about their teams, and go to great measures to make their passion known.

We see it on game day, where fans paint their chests, dress in ridiculous costumes, and make fools of themselves for the love of their team. This is what makes sports great. It brings groups of people together from different social classes, and they ban together with one goal in mind: willing their team to victory.

This is not to debate whether or not fans should be passionate and raucous. Fans should be as passionate as possible. It is their inalienable right to be as invested in a team as they wish. But, there is a line that should never be crossed when it comes to passion.

I myself cover the men's basketball team at Canisius College for the school newspaper and tv network, and the school has been looking for a passionate student fan base to make some noise and show up to home games. This season, it has finally happened after the schools first 20-win season in over 20 years. The students are finally packing the Koessler Athletic Center, and it is a great sight to see.

But, on Sunday night, some students took a joke a little too far, and it resulted in more controversy than was necessary. The prank started out as a call to visiting coach Joey James cell phone saying his team was going to lose, which is a harmless prank that even James thought nothing of. Soon enough, students began calling his phone, joking that his son was abducted and that he didn't deserve to be coaching and would be fired soon anyway. This is taking a tiny joke, and taking it over the edge. These students had no right to say what they said.

This isn't just a small issue of college students taking a joke too far, though. This problem falls in professional sports as well, and the angered reactions are taken too far. Just last month, angry Houston Texans fans showed up at quarterback Matt Schaubs house and confronted him in front of his family. Luckily, the situation didn't escalate from there, but the danger was always present.

Too often, there are stories of fans showing up to houses of athletes and, honestly, breaking the law. I heard a story of Bills fans burning the words "get out of town" on cornerback Leodis McKelvin's lawn a few years back. This isn't just scary, it's illegal. Fans have a right to cheer on their team, and be upset when a player doesn't perform up to par, but to take it a step further to make their point, is wrong.

Then there is the issue of fantasy football. We all enjoy the game that pits one man versus another in a battle of whose players will perform better. Honestly, the game is great for the NFL. It brings fans into the game, and gives motivation to watch more than just your favorite team. But, consequently, the game has resulted in fans betting money, and taking personal attacks at athletes for not performing. I have seen the tweets at Ray Rice this season, some going as far as saying "I hope you break your legs." This is a bit wrong, don't you think?

These athletes may have a superior talent to the average man, but at the same time, they are still people. They have families just like everyone else. They just make their living a different way.

With all of this being said, be passionate about your team. Get angry when they don't perform well and get happy when they do. There are better ways to channel that anger, though. Don't barrage them with insults and go to their homes and threaten them. It is wrong.


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