I want to give myself an award that I just created 37 seconds ago. It is the Worst Sports Fan of the Year Award. As the first ever, and probably only, WSFOTY (pronounce that Was-foe-tee) winner I would like to explain how I was able to reach this accomplishment.
First I rarely watch a full game. This means of any sport. I consider myself to be an avid hockey fan, but I only watch the whole game when I am at the rink and the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day. Other than that I flip between the game, any game, and the History Channel. Most of the time I don’t even remember what season is going on because I don’t have the time to commit to following a season. Last Sunday I was texting my brother getting a fill-in of who was playing and what for. He was thoroughly embarrassed.
I think most televised sports are boring, except hockey. In my opinion nine innings of baseball should not last 15 days. Baseball is 10 minutes of play punctuated, frequently, by 14 days 23 hours and 50 minutes of conferencing on the mound, spitting and cleat tapping. Basketball is seven minutes of play interrupted by 307 TV time-outs. Football is a game of “wait while Fox Sports shows off their newest camera angel from under the turf…15,903 times in a row.
Second I claim to have favorite teams, but the truth is those are my favorite teams from when I was a kid. I have not paid attention enough to form an alternate opinion. As far as I know Brett Favre, Reggie White and Shannon Sharpe still play for Green Bay. Go Packers! I was surprised to find out last season that Charles Barkley and Danny Ainge retired from the Phoenix Suns.
The real truth is that I am not really a fan of any particular sport, except hockey of course. I am a fan of personality. I started liking the Packers not because they were such a great team I could not help being a fan. I started liking them because I liked how invested the community of Green Bay is in their team. The team is the only community owned professional franchise of any sport played in the United States. The people of Green Bay, WI, leave their porch lights on to welcome the Packers home from an away game. I liked the respectable and clean-cut manner of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, Karl Malone and John Stockon in an era of Dennis Rodman.
I dislike teams and players or fans with poor attitudes. I have never been a Dallas Cowboys fan because of the drug scandals of the 90s. Raiders’ fans have always struck me as unruly and rude, which is quite a criticism coming from a hockey fan.
This may seem contradictory, but that is what it takes to win a WSFOTY and I freely admit when it comes to sports I am a fickle fan.
Because I am a fan of personality I saw something this past Sunday I really liked.
I became a Richard Sherman fan.
Sherman had just played a significant role in moving the Seattle Seahawks one step closer to a Super Bowl win, including being part of the final play of San Francisco’s final offensive drive of the season. There was an often-talked about, long standing, trash talk competition between Sherman and 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree. Crabtree was also involved in that final play.
When a reporter stuck a microphone in Sherman’s face seconds after the game ended and got, the now infamous, Sherman Rant. That reporter and the viewing public got exactly what we all say we want, but never accept when we get it: truth.
“I’m the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you going to get,” screamed Sherman.
Within a few hours we were treated to another social media explosion with people tweeting very nasty things about Sherman including many that used racism to make their displeasure known.
What was Sherman supposed to do? Come up with a Shakespearian style response in the half a minute he had to prepare between the end of the game and the interview?
“Oh football. Wherefore art thou pigskin? For Crabtree is the receiveth and I am, but the cornerbacketh.”
That would have played well on ESPN.
Sherman was as excited as he should have been. He proved that, for at least one day, he was better than Crabtree. He expressed his feeling in his words without swearing or impugning Crabtree’s personal character.
He spoke to the facts of the day in an honest manner with a truthful voice.
Sherman has nothing to apologize for, yet he has apologized; further proof that he is a gentleman.
If you didn’t like Sherman’s rant blame your technology. The power, channel up or down and the mute buttons were all at your disposal.
On the other hand, I have found a new player to root for.