Attention superfans. Yes, I’m talking to you. Homers, die-hards – you know who you are. It’s easy to find you, so don’t bother hiding. I can see you crying after your team’s loss. I notice when you log 15 hours a day scanning your team’s Web site. You think I don’t see the 23 different team-themed T-shirts you own. But I do. It’s time to come out from wherever you are.
This aggression in sports will not stand. So much havoc is wreaked in the name of sports, even in our own backyard.
Though the USF-UCF rivalry was recently put to bed, you can already see the chaos the immature “War on I-4” caused. A small number of UCF fans trashed a parking lot and jumped USF’s mascot following a game that no one outside of a square mile in Orlando thought they could win.
I understand that sports breed emotion. I don’t think I have ever cried over a game, but I do own close to 20 assorted team shirts. I would possibly give almost anything I had – save any offspring or organs – to see my team win the national championship. But I don’t think I’d fight over it.
From the Clemson/South Carolina brawl to the Atlanta Falcons/Philadelphia Eagles fracas this year, fights are about as common as first downs in football. But it is different for athletes; some sports are played on pure adrenaline, and sometimes it’s hard to bottle the fury that players use to fuel themselves. The fans should be a different story.
After Texas Tech upset Texas A&M at home in 2001, Red Raiders fans took the entire goal post and used it as a battering ram to strike a section of Aggie fans. A melee ensued and several students and parents walked away with stitches and broken bones.
It’s not just football fans, and it’s not just Americans.
Soccer is notorious for its hooligans – rabid fans with a penchant for rioting. In 1985, 39 people were killed at the European Champions Cup Final in Belgium after a riot broke out when a wall separating rival fans of England’s Liverpool and Italy’s Juventus of Turin collapsed.
Can’t everyone just enjoy the pageantry, wear their pride, pound some beers and enjoy the game?
Some superfans just can’t.
In Beavercreek, Ohio, a man was allegedly stabbed for being an enthusiastic Ohio State fan. Police said the man was having breakfast at a Waffle House restaurant when he overhead a woman talking about Ohio State. The man announced he admired the Buckeyes. Later, when the man was at his car, the police said another man approached him and asked, “So, you like Ohio State?”
When the man answered yes, he was slashed across his abdomen and suffered a four-inch cut. The police are still searching for the culprit.
So come out, wherever you are. I think I know who to look for.