What does it mean to be a fan? Sports fans place more importance on one team over another, this is so very common. Few embrace logic when making this distinction, however. In most instances our fondness is founded in emotion. Still, once established as a favorite we begin to demand a higher level of performance from the members of these teams.
The player’s performance on and off the field or court is important to their fans. While they focus on what made them famous – the athlete in their sport, the actor on the screen or stage, the politician in office – it is their personal, their ‘normal’ life, that tends to bring the most consternation.
This week while watching the NBA playoffs, I found myself disgusted by the actions of a few players on my team. Yeah, I considered them my team – at least until this week. No, I don’t play basketball. I’m hardly good enough to play a game of H.O.R.S.E. In fact, I do not usually watch much throughout the normal season. It is the playoffs I find enjoyable. Each game is important. Well, I enjoy watching most of the time. This week we witnessed flagrant fouls and players ejected from the game more than once. Once is bad. Thrice is untenable.
Certainly, the famous didn’t ask to be our role models. They simply did something better than others. Tiger Woods plays golf, Charlie Sheen acts, and basketball players play ball. Not that I thought they were my role models or considered these young men anything more than the basketball players they are but to think I would watch in disgust as these “professionals” flagrantly, and inexcusably sought to cause harm to the opposing team members. So disgusted was I that I left the room without any desire to watch the rest of the game. They earned that loss and will remain losers in my eyes.
A life-long fan of the Lakers, I am left wondering to whom I should throw my support, my fanaticism. And so I question how do you do that. How can one just change what their favorite team might be? Maybe I’m better off just taking a break from professional sports. I’ll focus on the Angels for now, in any case.