The pain of another football season passing isn't as severe as the past years. A certain degree of change is in the air (the ground water, your food, etc) or maybe it is age and the perception the manifests from it. I read Vic Ketchman on Jaguars.com regularly and he notes a sense of anger and hate within the modern fan. The idea of fun and entertainment has been replaced with a greater need. Message boards and blogs foster that environment and feed the need. Confrontation to prove something and be part of something, which itself is empty and pointless. Being right, aka. correct.
Taking a stance and putting forth an opinion walks hand in hand with the fan's favorite team. Whether criticizing or applauding the fan isn't able to escape the self importance of their opinion. It would be like arguing the acting of a movie and getting pissed off about it. Or taking a business plan and trashing the person who wrote it. Lost is the entertainment of even the talk itself. It begs the question of "who cares?". The fan becomes part of something that doesn't want him. The fan forgets that he is not only a spectator but an investor. You buy the tickets, you but the merchandise and you support the team. You don't play. You don't get hurt. You don't get a trophy.
It really begs the questions of "what else do you do?". Passion is one thing. Having a favorite anything lends to the ups and downs of the emotional switchback. But defining yourself by the team to the extent that you become engraged when you're challenged about an opinion is different. The simple idea of respectful discourse is lost, mostly because it is hidden behind a keyboard and a monitor. So when asking "what do you do?" the underlying sentiment is that whatever is, you aren't really satsified. You seek out ownership in a virtual world. That is sad.
The curious stat is found in asking how you would converse when your "opponent" is directly in front of you. I have argued this for gamers and it fits fan as well: you are losing your humanity. The virtual world safeguards you from dealing with the confrontation. It gives you the false sense of power you need. In my experience the more educated blogger or poster tends to distance themself from an emotive response and focuses on reasoned responses. I see those less often.
This is why I believe I don't miss it as much. I dislike fan almost as much as high school parent. Surely nothing brings me more disgust than going to a University Christian and Trinity Christian football game and watching "family fan" acting as if they were auditioning for hell. I've coached football for 4 years and this past year had the gift of simply watching my son play middle school ball. It was great. Pure enjoyment without all the calories. Fan needs to remember to enjoy the game and to enjoy other fan. That is why they call it a game.
...end of word salad...