College Basketball and the Fans

I watched the rival game between the University of Louisville and the Kentucky Wildcats yesterday. Actually, I didn’t. I couldn’t. I watched the first 45 seconds, in which 4 technical fouls were called, and a player that needed to be ejected from the game, took a trip, instead, to the free throw line. That is when I donned some headphones and popped a movie into my laptop.

My thoughts on the game are many. My thoughts on the fan base are even more. I can sum it up simply by saying, “OMG! What?!! Seriously?!!” But I can expound, and I think I will.

I grew up in a house of UK fans. The tradition of UK basketball was deeply rooted in my family of origin, which is why I naturally had to become a UL fan! It’s a game! A game you’re not playing! A game between two colleges that a lot of fans never attended! Enough said? Unfortunately not.

College basketball has become more than just a sport for some. It appears to have taken over their lives. I know folks who have anxiety attacks if it looks as if their team isn’t going to win. They tell me this is common, not just something UL/Uk fans experience.

I think it may be considered a bit over the top, if at family functions, the conversation goes to a game played in 1998, and how this player did that, and that player did this, and you know this because you own the recording and watch it on a somewhat regular basis. Seriously?

The banter that goes on before, during (via social media), and after the game, between fans is enough to make you hurl. Maybe it would be wise to subscribe to the philosophy of Mother Teresa when asked to protest against the war. She responded that she wouldn’t do that but to contact her when they had something to stand up for.

How did cheering for one’s team become about trash talking the other? How did cheering on one’s team become applauding when the opposite team misses a shot? How did college sports become about taunting people in regards to their screw-ups and mistakes?

“It’s all in fun, good-spirited rivalry:, I am told, “You just don’t understand.” Oh really? Why have referees at all then, if the madness is just about the game? Why not just play to the death, like the gladiators of old? Or at least until a player becomes dismembered?

I do understand being an avid fan. My hackles rise a little by unfair calls or obnoxious fans. I want my team to win same as the next guy. But to listen to adults hand each other insults and slams in the name of loyalty and team spirit has become too much for me to stomach. Reading the status’ of sore losers and winners isn’t my idea of a good time. I don’t really care about your opinion on the game but I guess that’s the nature of social networks. I showed much restraint while reading the banter between the fans of both teams after the game. My status is, and will remain for the rest of the day, “It is better to keep one’s mouth closed and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.”

Enough said? I think so.

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