In Defense of Sports Fans (Sorta)

September 14, 2015

In my post last Thursday on visiting the North Loop for the first time since moving, I commented that I was somewhat surprised to see an apartment advertising its proximity to the new Minnesota Vikings stadium as an amenity. I observed that living near an NFL stadium is definitely not appealing to me and that I didn’t really understand the appeal in general. In making that observation, I commented that NFL fans are the worst sports fans, which is a pretty strong statement I suppose. It was meant as something of a joke, of course, but reading it now it does sound a bit harsh.

The fact is, sports fans in general can be a dodgy bunch, though it’s clearly a few bad apples rather than a population wide plague, so to speak. I guess something about heated competition perhaps brings out our animalistic instincts in a way that, say, a night at orchestra does not. Though I should say that I would pay the finest of American dollars to watch an orchestra fan brawl. I imagine it going something like this:

“A dreadful third movement, was it not?”

“You are quite mistaken. I thought it elegant, masterful even.”

“Methinks your sense of hearing is in disrepair. It was more overwrought than Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony!”

“How DARE you speak such rubbish about the great Tchaikovsky! Alack, I am left with no choice but to engage you in fisticuffs that this grievous insult be avenged!”

Pretty much like that, right? Hey, I know orchestra fans don’t really talk like that, but it’s more fun to imagine they do.

Anyway, it’s also true that most fans for any sport are perfectly fine almost all the time. I’d like to say this is because I think people are good at heart, and there’s a kernel of truth in that, but it’s more because I think most people are boring. That’s just as good in my book.

So if you are a die-hard NFL fan, I almost certainly was not talking about you. If you felt unjustly grouped in my dismissal of the appeal of living near an NFL stadium, I apologize. You’re one of the quiet majority who just goes to the games, maybe has a couple beers, cheers and boos as appropriate, and then makes your way home. I have no beef with you, friend.

But with the NFL regular season now fully underway, I do feel obligated to offer a bit of justification for my condemnation of the Dock Street Flats marketing approach. You see, when I think about why I don’t want to live near an NFL stadium, I’m not thinking about you. I’m thinking about this guy, who really started the season off with a bang yesterday. It’s only 30 seconds, but it’s important you watch all of them.

Now, that guy might seem like mostly a danger to himself. True enough! So if that doesn’t convince you, I’d like to point out that it wouldn’t be that awesome to have this go on just outside my door, either. And again, I know you are a good sports fan, but this Vikings fan isn’t invited to my apartment.

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