Finding intelligent fans

Posted by mmq on November 19, 2009 

I'm not a snob. I realize that many fans may be casual ones, or may not know that much about football, its strategies, or its rules.
That said, there's some real doozies at the big Beav sometimes. These past two weeks have really ticked off MMQ something fierce.
It could be that the circumstances have brought out the less than best of some people. Take, please, for example what happened at the end of the Ohio State game. Inside of two minutes to play in the game, I stood up, preparing to leave as OSU began taking knees. Almost instantly, someone a few rows back asked me to sit down. I offered my opinion of their request, then departed. My left-behind compadres told me later that the requester complained that I had stood virtually the entire game. This was most assuredly not true, which they told the requester. PSU didn't do anything worth standing, and even the occasional big defensive third downs were few and far between. Of course, it also raises the question of why it's objectionable to STAND UP during an important sporting event.
Naturally, one of my friends from that night was also with me back in 2002, in those exact same seats, as PSU stormed back from a 35-13 deficit in the last 7 minutes of the game to tie Iowa. Only in that circumstance, even though 30-40 thousand people had left, and empty seats were all around, people behind us were again complaining that we were standing too much. I know, ridiculous, right? In that instance, we told those people that if they wanted any of the three-four rows. Only the male/husband of the complainer took us up on that. (Of course, PSU blundered in OT, in accordance with what B10 officials has already predetermined.)
But back to the crowd. Why is it wrong to stand up and cheer for a big play? Or, in this case, stretch my legs before leaving? Has the Beav reverted to the old days, when the west stands sat on their hands, golf-clapping their way to victory? If PSU had any brains, they'd offer a section where standing and cheering wasn't frowned upon by the blue hairs who want to sit and watch politely and who don't understand what "home-field advantage" truly means.
But then there's another type of fan. The ugly kind. I sat in different seats for IU, and I was disgusted. It was embarrassing. I heard DC get abused and insulted. One guy kept referring to him as "Wally." I can only surmise the idiot was referring to Wally Richardson. But hey, Wally beat UM twice, that's pretty good, right? Clark was getting heaped upon, every miss was greeted with the Wally cheer, or, worse, backhandedly saying that there was "too much pressure" on Clark, excusing the incompletion. Of course, the idiot would later acknowledge that DC hit Moye between the numbers for one TD and one that would've put PSU on the doorstep.
But this wasn't the worst part, surprisingly. He saved that for the special teams, who were admittedly not very special Saturday. Astorino was called a "turd." And Zug was insulted in pretty much the same manner after their fumbles. If this had happened when I had my usual posse there, something would've been said. However, I was alone, and this clown had a few of his pals with him, and they were egging him on. Also, I don't think booze was a factor. Just a guess. I've been around this guy before, and he's usually lucid on the issues.
This stuff crossed a big line in my mind though. Booing and name calling of players is out in my mind. Booing the coaches and the play-calling? Fair game. Criticizing the university for being money grubbing hucksters and liars? Go right ahead. But the players are off limits? Did DA and GZ mess up? Yes. What were they doing? Trying to make a play. Nothing wrong with that.
So that's the state of fandom at PSU. I realize that there's 90,000 other souls out there, and not all are like this. But the samples I've related may be familiar to some of you. It might, quite frankly, be a factor in whether some people accept PSU's latest hat-in-hand extortion attempt. More on that later...

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