The New Rules of Being a Sports Fan

As a sports fan, I root for two schools/sports consistently: Notre Dame football and Xavier basketball. I grew up watching those teams play. Most of my all-time great sports memories are of those two schools. I'll never forget the time I spent with my dad and brothers watching those teams play year in, year out.

But I didn't go to either of those schools. And that causes a problem for dumb people.

I can't tell you how mad people get when they find out I root for other colleges more than the one I went to. They always say "where's your loyalty? You go to School A, not Notre Dame or Xavier!"

But what sort of loyalty is it to turn on a team you've rooted for over the past 18 years and jump on a new bandwagon?

If you aren't an athlete, you pick a school based on factors like atmosphere and academics, not just because they have a team you like to root for. You can root for Notre Dame football for free, you don't have to pay $95,000 a year to root for them. That's just like a really, really expensive season ticket. Similarly, no one should give a damn if you support another sports team just a little bit more than your alma mater.

If you go to a school because of a sports team dumb, you are dumb. It's that easy.

This issue came up again recently when a friend of mine at the University of Cincinnati was kicked out of the school's football stadium last month because he was wearing a shirt of a different school.

He wrote about the incident for the school paper.

If you aren't familiar with college football, UC has gone to a BCS bowl two years in a row after winning the Big East under Brian Kelly. Then, like any real coach would, Kelly left UC for his dream job of Notre Dame.

He went to get paid and UC felt used and abused. They don't get how the system works, fine. But that still doesn't make sense to ban other school's apparel from the stadium.

It's one thing for athletes, who get free gear by the box, but who cares what the students wear? Are they going to start posting a watch and monitoring the stadium 24/7? Aren't they taking that whole "we must protect this house" prophecy the Under Armour guy was talking about a little too seriously?

Or maybe it doesn't go far enough. Maybe the fashionistas at UC should detain anyone wearing another team's colors and beat them viciously with sticks.

Also, I think the football team should force anyone who wants to be in the stadium to get a haircut to look like the new head coach, Butch Jones. Finally, anyone in the stadium named Brian or Kelly should immediately be given a sack of money and transportation to a much, much nicer stadium.

Because that's how champions are made.

Comments and Conversation

May 28, 2010

Andrew Jones:

I think inheriting loyalties from one’s parents is something that nobody has any right to complain about. It is one of the greatest things about sports and you should feel proud to cheer for those teams and the nostalgia in brings regardless of where you went to college. Nice rant.

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