02 February 2011

So What?

An inevitability when playing a team with storied success such as the Gophers is their fans' inability to comprehend why one would bother to cheer for a team that isn't as successful. Gopher fans are certainly not alone in this; Wisconsin and North Dakota fans will act the same way. It's not even a phenomenon only for college hockey fans. My BFF MEg is a Lions fan and when we went to the Lions-Vikings game together plenty of people acted as if it was horribly gauche to cheer for a team like the Lions (who at that point were NOT ahead of the Vikings in the conference standings.)

I wonder why people act like this. Every single fan has made a conscious choice to cheer for their team. It's a choice that those of us who struggle through hard times with our teams have to make over and over again. Guess what? We know we haven't won a national championship ever, or in a long time, or we're losing the all-time series against your team, or we don't have as many NHL alumni, or as nice an arena, or as many fans, or as much TV exposure, or whatever. It's not a secret. And yet we still choose to cheer for our teams. If you don't get it, well, just get out of the way.

I grew up in the Twin Cities and I could be a Gopher fan if I wanted to. I could be a Merrimack fan if I wanted to, although it's not that convenient. My point is anyone can be a fan of any team they want to. There is no quota of Gopher fans that has already been exceeded; we fans are not "Gopher rejects" forced to flounder about latching on to any team that is willing to take us.

I talked to MEg about this very subject, as her team is, well, sucking. She said that "Everyone has the right to cheer for their team, even if that team is Michigan Tech." Her major pet peeve is the "scoreboard" chant. "What? I didn't know my team was losing! There are only two and a half more periods to go! There is no way we can overcome this! I'll leave now!" she said. I could practically hear her rolling her eyes over the phone.

So, indeed. We. Get. It. tUMD fans know they haven't won a national championship ever. Tech fans know they have a 22-game winless streak. Other fans know other, unnamed things. It's one thing to say a team sucks or make fun of their record or thump one's chest over one's team's past achievements. It's another to question another person's fanaticism or imply there are only certain teams worth supporting.

Of course, we retain the moral superiority of knowing we are true fans who support our teams through thick and thin, not crybabies who wring their hands over *gasp* not having a national championship in the last five years!!! OMG!!! Other teams than us have won!!! Suicide!!!!

So, there's that.

7 comments:

Dirty said...

You made a poor life choice. It's OK. As long as you're still proud of yourself, don't listen to what other people say.

Runninwiththedogs said...

I appreciate your affirmations. I would be lost without your guidance.

USAFA Bulldog said...

Very well said Donna. I grew up in the Duluth area, so I suppose I was "forced" to be a UMD fan.

That's a fantasic quote from MEg. That just might be one of my all-time favorites.

Still, I've also never undersstood why it's weird to cheer for a team who doesn't win. You really can't be that much of a fan if you stop, just because the team had the audacity to lose can you?

You need to be fair though, through the "late Sertie years" attendence at the DECC was very sparce. Even some of the Sandlin years as well. Attendence is up right now because of the new building and having a good (great?) team. Many of the people in the stands are certainly wandbagon jumpers, which is fine.

That also being said, yes I darn well sat through all those lousy UMD teams.

Donald Dunlop said...

Your views especially apply to ollege sports. When and if your usually less than successful team finds some success it is sweeter than any fool who simply glommed onto a "winning" team can ever know.

Go Bulldogs.

Sioux Fan said...

It could also be said that we all choose to LIVE where we live. Gopher fans, and Minneapolis fans in general are constantly taking potshots at Grand Forks, Green Bay, St Cloud, etc. If anything, people are FORCED to live in the Twin Cities metro area, due to the fact that there are many jobs available there. I was one of those people, and moved away as fast as I could, when I found a career back in my home state of North Dakota.

Good blog entry.

Runninwiththedogs said...

It is interesting that people have such a vested interest in other people's personal choices and feel like they need to correct them.

I do like to make fun of St. Cloud though. :D I think it's funny when people make fun of Duluth. I don't live there but I would love to. It's one thing to joke about the lack of trees or the snowmobile jackets or the Packer fan mentality or whatever. It's totally different to act like someone's decision to live somewhere or cheer for a team or whatever needs to be corrected or is unfathomable.

marooned said...

Well said. I'm a BSU fan living in Alaska. Feels good to come out of the closet.