Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Jul 3, 2012 by

 

Do you boo your favorite team or player when they struggle? Can you, or anyone, enlighten me why?  What good does this produce?  Does it build the confidence of an already struggling player?  Or does it make them start to press and play uneasy?  It seems in today’s society the “great” fans are those who boo their favorite team when they struggle.  Just because a sports fan is willing to boo their team does not make it more meaningful to him or her.  I think it is a lack of respect for athletes and the easy way out for sports fans who think they are better fans than they really are.  Seriously, when Mark Sanchez throws his 3rd interception in the middle of the 4th quarter of a tied game, do the “great” NY Jets fans’ boos really help the team out?  Sanchez is going to get the ball back, and the more confidence he has the better chance they will have to win.

When a starting MLB pitcher goes out and gets shelled, does it make sense for his home team fans to boo him as he walks off the field?  I am sure he went out there, toed the rubber and purposely pitched terrible to embarrass himself…right.  The typical sports fan has a false sense professional athletes making millions of dollars are superhuman, without emotion; they expect them to be perfect.  This just in – they are also competing against the best players in the world and all of them will go through a few bumps along the way.  Sports fans should display a little more common sense, if a player struggles long enough they will be sent down to Triple A or the D League, but booing them because you are a “great” sports fan makes little sense at best.

I do not have a problem if sports fans boo a player who has cheated the game through steroid use, been caught cheating on his wife or plays less than 100% because they want a new contract.  These are times when you can boo your team’s favorite player.

No doubt about it, early this year Albert Pujols could hardly hit the baseball off a tee.  The guy was struggling beyond anyone’s comprehension (April Stats – .217 average, 0 home runs and 4 RBI’s) He had just signed a huge contract (10 years, a cool $240 mil). Naturally, and rightly so, a lot was expected of him.  Did this give Angel fans the right to boisterously boo Albert in the midst of his poor start?  Some people will say yes because the Angels had just given an arm and leg to sign him.  Folks, I know his stats are beyond gaudy going back to his rookie year, but Albert Pujols is human too.  The dude had the pressure of an entire organization weighing down on his shoulders and his family was still back in St. Louis as he started the season.  Pujols admitted he was pressing while trying to get comfortable with his new team, only the second MLB team he has ever played for.  He starts slow and the Angel fans go red in the face booing him……makes no sense to me in a 162 game season.

Many of us were taught at a young age to encourage others.  Is it a requirement?  No, but imagine what could have happened if Instead of booing, the Angel fans gave Pujols a standing O during the midst of the biggest slump of his career?  Would it have “fixed” his slump?  Maybe not, but It would have been an opportunity for Angels fans to do their part to help increase his confidence.  Maybe it would have helped him grow accustomed to his new team, league, and surrounds.  It certainly couldn’t have hurt.  After all, isn’t that what they wanted, Albert to succeed?

Funny how some things come full circle…The Angels have shaved the MLB best Rangers lead to 5 games and would be in the wild card game if the season ended today.  The same Pujols who hardly could hit the ball out of the infield in April, has raised his average to .273 along with 12 home runs and 48 RBI’s.  His batting averages by month are April .217; May .263; June .326.  By the end of the year I bet he will be up to .300 with 100+ RBI’s.  Those same fans who got as red in the face as Camp Randall on a Saturday booing Pujols, will be cheering him on come September and October.  This article is not a knock on Angel fans in particular but they are recent victims of being those “great” sports fans.  I would gamble on the Angels come September….oh wait back in March I already did taking them to win the World Series.

I guess my simple point is does booing your frustrations at a game that is not life or death really worth it?  Does it help your favorite team or player?  Maybe in some rare circumstances, but in general, I don’t think so.  Encouraging sports fans are where it’s at!  I am biased being a Celtics’ fan, but I thought it was awesome to see the Garden cheer the Celtics at the end of game 6 after Lebron and company destroyed them, taking away a golden opportunity for the Celtics to reach the Finals.  Obviously, we all know the Celtics game up short in game 7, but nonetheless I thought it was a classy thing for the fans to do.

At some point during the season, the player or team you boo will be the same one you cheer and pray to deliver. Take the high road and encourage them during the good and bad times.

Happy 4th of July everyone!  Go Joey Chestnut!

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1 Comment

  1. You make a good point here A-Star. Imagine if the LM fans started booing you in the first half of the Verona game in 6th Grade? Would you still have been unconscious in the 2nd half…leading your team to, yet another, tournament championship, and capping off a perfect 23-0 season?

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