Welcome to the 2nd edition of CJS Fact or Fiction (the first, covering booze, can be found here). Today, your faithful CJS authors Lee S. Hart and E Dagger tackle six statements related to sports fandom. Can a grown man wear his favorite athlete’s jersey in public? What is the proper behavior for foul balls? What about hockey pucks? Who wants to hear about your fantasy football team? All this and more await inside.
You decide who wins. Just let us know in the comments section. Let’s play!
1. It is acceptable for a grown man to wear an athlete’s jersey to a sporting event.
Lee S. Hart: FACT. But the stipulation here is only to a sporting event. If you’re going to a bar to watch the game, then leave the jersey at home. While it may be all bullshit, there is still the idea that what you do at a live sporting event helps the team. This is why there seems to be a pass on other social faux pas. This is a place where people can paint their faces, or stand in single digit temperatures with their shirt off so the mighty “A” painted on the chest can be seen. The idea that these dumb little things fans do in the stand are inspiring the team to go forth and do better than the other team. The jersey is one of the least obnoxious ways to do this.
E Dagger: FICTION. I say this is fiction because based on recent experience, if you’re a guy wearing an athlete’s jersey to the event (and you don’t have kids), then chances are outstanding you’re also going to be the most obnoxious a-hole in the entire arena, or a sad ass loser like Patton Oswalt’s character in Big Fan. Dressing up as your favorite player is a child’s pursuit and should be left to the children. And since many of us are now older than the very athletes on the field, it’s sort of charmingly pathetic to see someone playing dress up as someone younger than he is. In my lowly opinion, hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts and the like are all fine. And please, for the love of God, if you’re an adult going to a baseball game without a child, please don’t bring your glove.
2. A person’s fantasy football team is the least interesting conversation topic in the history of time.
Hart: FACT. There were caveman talking in monosyllabic grunts (many of which were just the same grunts) about dirt that are more interesting than fantasy football. I was in a league for three seasons and I never wanted to talk about it. Fantasy football is just a different, and much less interesting, way to talk about stats. It’s also very egotistical as you try to take credit for the great game by someone with the athleticism the “team owner” lack. When someone tells me they won because Tom Brady went 24 for 27, I essentially hear that person beat the dungeon because they rolled a 12 magic spell. They’re both fantasy games, and they are both boring as shit to everyone except the person talking about it.
Dagger: FACT. I recently started playing through Tony Hawk on my Xbox again, and I couldn’t get the last stat point on Skater Island until one time as Eric Koston I accidentally grinded the skull and crossbones flagpole on the ramp to bowl transfer and opened up the secret pirate ship area and found it at the end of the bow. Did you that interesting? Of course not. Then we have a deal. I won’t talk about my pointless dork pursuits, and you won’t talk about yours.
3. Two part statement: You should always give a foul ball to a nearby kid; but it is okay to keep an errant hockey puck for yourself.
Hart: FICTION. While I agree you should give the foul ball to a nearby kid, why wouldn’t you do the same for a hockey puck? What is the difference here? Considering the difference in popularity of these two sports, it seems it would be more beneficial to give a kid a hockey puck to help keep their interest in hockey. When that kid gets a ball or a puck it’s a big deal for them and it makes the whole sporting event experience more special. Here’s the stipulation I’ll add. If either of those things, ball or puck, injures you in a significant way, so more than bruise or jammed finger, than you should keep it. It should be your trophy telling all that you have shitty reflexes. This does not include if you injure yourself while diving for a foul ball, you sad excuse for an adult.
Dagger: FACT. I agree with you about the injury clause. If a foul ball cracks you in the beak, that ball was destined for you, and it’s yours. However, I will disagree on the puck thing. True, growing the sport of hockey is a noble and worthwhile pursuit, and I further concede that an errant puck would likely instill a love of hockey into a youngster forever. On the contrary, no one expects a hockey puck going to a game, whereas you always at least half expect a ball during a baseball game. How many pucks go into the crowd during a game? Four, maybe? If you catch it, akin to catching a beautiful butterfly, that’s going on your desk. And I don’t think anyone would begrudge you that.
4. Milestone homerun balls should be given back to the player without a big fuss.
Dagger: FACT. In the infinitesimal chance you’re the one who catches serendipity, you should not be a complete d-bag and return the ball to the player. If you act like a greedy tool, then don’t be surprised when the universe treats like a greedy tool. This isn’t your moment. It belongs to the player. You’re just a chump that got struck by metaphorical lightning. Besides, if you’re cool about it, greater things will come your way anyway. Just ask Christian Lopez. http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/news/story?id=6752505
Hart: FACT. You’re a grown ass man (or woman) with someone else’s accomplishment in your grasp. There is no way that ball could mean as much to you as it would to the player. What are you going to do with it? Put it on display and annoy those who will listen about how you caught John Doe’s 500th home run and weren’t a decent enough human being to give it back to him? Or wait for that off chance you’ll meet the player and have the overwhelming guilt lead you to blurt out, “I don’t have your fucking ball!” Don’t be a bully and just give back the ball.
5. If you move, you have to become a fan of the home team of your new city.
Dagger: FICTION (with conditions!). It’s tempting to say fact here given that we live in Denver, a city with a lot of transplants, and therefore, a lot of strident opposing team douchetards at all of our games. Cub fans at Rockies games are insufferable. Red Wings fans at Avalanche games are even worse. But you can’t change what you grew up with. You’ll always love who you loved as a kid. When I moved to Houston during high school, I didn’t magically become a fan of the Astros. In fact, I somehow hated them even more. But out of deference to popular opinion and respect to my new city, I didn’t turn into some loudmouth turd about it. I say you don’t have to become a fan of the new city’s team, but you can’t shoot your mouth off whenever your favorite team comes to town either. Respect the locals.
Hart: FACT: Now I’m not advocating that you should turn your back on your team, it is acceptable to like more than one team. Additionally, as a sports fan this would be something that would be difficult to avoid. The local news channels will cover the local team more than any other, most bars will put the local team on the majority of the TV and the big TV, very rarely does the local team not play in the nearby stadium or arena. You’ll have very little choice about which team to watch. So if you’re a sports fan, this will probably happen anyway and you might as well embrace it. This doesn’t apply if you happen to move to the land of a hated rival.
6. It is ok to be a fair weather fan.
Dagger: FACT. Because if only die-hards were allowed to be fans, the system likely wouldn’t be strong enough to support itself. And die-hards can be even worse than fair weather fans. Ever talk to someone who’s really into soccer? Within five minutes of their bloviating about it being the best and most popular sport on earth, you’d literally sell your soul for a pencil just so you can jam it in your own eye instead of listening to them anymore. Plus it’s fun to get swept up in a team when it’s doing well. Good energy is infectious, and being a part of that makes you feel good. For a brief window in 1999, even I was into the US Women’s World Cup team, and I don’t regret that. Fair weather fandom is ultimately harmless.
Hart: FACT (with conditions!) It is great to get caught up and support the national team in a world event, or get behind the home team when they’re doing well. These things help build a strong community. Though this can be annoying when you’re trying to get Championship Game tickets. But to suddenly start liking, say the Red Sox, when they win a World Series despite the utter lack of ties you have to the team or city is obnoxious as shit. That’s not to say you can’t root for them during a Championship series, because you like them better than the other team and you have to root for someone, but to carry that false loyalty beyond that is unacceptable.
In our second edition, Hart and Dagger once again agree just as much as they disagree. That’s value! Or middling. Whatever. What’s your take? Feel free to weigh in below in the comments, and let us know who you think won. This is sports, after all.
See you at the ballpark.
Hart & Dagger
27 Mar 2012 CJS Staff