Bad Fan-menship

Starting at the end of the season, but what better time to analyze and be a critic on a season after it is over? NFL finished its first postseason weekend and has four teams that are to move on to next weekends divisional championship games….do all of them deserve to move on? And do the four other teams that got first round byes belong as the best out of the 32 teams in the league?

That question is one that I think many people, despite who their team is, forget to remember. All those players on every team are the best of the best football players in the country. To downplay any teams efforts as say “they came out and played like s***today, that is the only reason the other team won” is ignorant. Even if a team is having a very bad losing season (in this season’s case, that would be the Lions or Browns)…people need to remember that these players still beat the ridiculous odds to get to where they are. The coaches are the crème of the crop. All this critiquing and downing teams is simply bad fan-menship, whether it is your own team or not.

I have noticed this all season, but once again today, after Baltimore’s big win in their first postseason game this year against the New England Patriots, all I saw and heard were comments about how the Pats didn’t play well and Tom Brady acted like he wanted to throw the game away, so that is the only reason the Ravens won. Yes, Brady looked like a Rookie QB, not the “comeback player of the year” (which I strongly disagree with…check for future blogs) or past MVP of the year. But those boys are one of the best teams in the league. Not only that, but they also beat Baltimore earlier in the season. For those who forgot about that…there was a lot of debate whether THAT game was fair due to outrageous penalties called against the Ravens favoring Brady. But the season still moved on, the Pats got the W and the Ravens got their first loss.

This time, the Ravens came out to prove who should have won that first game. But this game had more on the line. It wasn’t the beginning of the season. It was a win and stay in, or lose and pack your bags kind of game. The Ravens played great, didn’t commit as many penalties as was typical of them all season and they went out to win a game…and they did. This was one of their best games all season. But…don’t get too cocky Baltimore fans.

Rubbing this game in to Steelers fans is more than acceptable considering it is a mutual dislike rivalry between the two cities. No matter what time of the year, who is playing whom, or what sport is being played, I think Baltimore fans will always hate on Pittsburgh. And vice versus. But—be reasonable and fair and stick to facts. To state that “Shitsburgh is the worst team ever, which is why Baltimore beat them out to make playoffs” is simply making Charm City civilians seem Neanderthal and ignorant. The Steelers may be a team to ‘hate’ but give credit where credit is due. They have fought hard to get to where they are. They have the most Super Bowl rings out of any team in the NFL. Just because they fell short this season does not make them ‘the worst team ever.’ Just the most hated in Baltimore 🙂

Another bad fan-menship I have noticed today is basically the same as I mentioned before–the excuses of opposing players on the IR list or being benched is why the team lost. Again—how many players are on that team? They are all there and getting paid and were drafted to play professional football. Not everyone is going to run like Chris Johnson or throw like Peyton Manning, but there are players that are still good and ready to play backup and help their team get the W. For example: the Ravens and Steelers first match up in Baltimore. The Steelers backup QB for Ben Roethlisburger played one hell of a game. The Steelers played tough and took Baltimore to overtime and ultimately lost, but not without a fight. After the game, there were still the typical rivalry comments, but for the Steelers, instead of standing by their backup players, said they lost because they didn’t have Big Ben. That just rubs salt in the wounds for the players they are fans of in my opinion.

Today’s game was no different. The Baltimore Ravens went to Foxboro and brought a vigor and intensity that has been only slightly lit all season but was fully ignited the whole game through. It was obvious from the first five minutes of the game; Ray Rice’s 80+ yard run for a TD and then Suggs forced fumble and recovery of the ball for Baltimore which in turn led to McClain running in for TD numero dos; and later in the first half, Ed Reed’s interception and lateral pass leading to a third TD for the Ravens; it was obvious to whom the game belonged to. Maybe Brady could have, should have, would have played better. Maybe it was that new baby at home keeping him awake…or wait I thought he was the baby? Ether way, the Patriots have what NFL and ESPN have named one of the best QBs, they have Randy Moss who is no stranger to getting points on the board for his team. To say they did not go out and play to win is being a sore loser and disrespectful to New England and the effort they did put out to get as far as they did, and it is disrespectful to Baltimore who finally played like the team we, as fans, know they can be if they stopped making the stupid mistakes.

Baltimorians, we aren’t perfect either. Every Monday after a game, I listen to a radio station giving commentary on the previous day’s match ups, and the mood of the callers naturally matches whether the Ravens got a W or loss the day before. That is all fine and good. But when they lose you hear “we need a new coach;” or “we need a new offensive coordinator, even my blind 98-year-old grandmother knows Ray Rice is going to run the ball up the middle;” or “the refs hate us and cost us that game.” Well, maybe the comments about Ray Rice are true considering until tonight’s game; the offense highly relied on this record setting running back from Rutgers University. But come on Baltimore…whether the refs hate our team or not, if the Ravens would play the way a GREAT team should, the way we saw them play today, they would win despite the refs being ‘unfair.’ Not every push will be seen, not every penalty called will be rational. But that is the way of the game. You go out there hoping to get the best of your opponents; the refs are there to regulate. The truth was and is that Baltimore was a slightly above mediocre team this year. They could have been and should have been a lot better but they made a lot of stupid mistakes that resulted in a lot of penalties which of course cost them more yards lost in penalties than the Detroit Lions would gain in yards passing or running. (sorry for the low blow Motor City fans, but it is true!)

Be a fan. This bandwagon-only-positive-when-they-win attitude needs to go. Your team is representing you and giving you something to look forward to each Sunday day and Monday night, and every fall season. The fans in the stands get these boys going. I know I have noticed the Ravens react positively to cheers from their fans. Keep those positive cheers all week long. While our boys in purple practice hard every day to hope to do better in the next weekends game, every fan should practice on their fan-manship. Remember what we were all taught when we were younger by our parents: “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all!” Critics, beware 🙂

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5 Responses to “Bad Fan-menship”

  1. frathouse87 Says:

    I think this is one of the best sports blogs I have ever read! You are not shy on opinion but push through with factual information that really solidifies all of your arguments. I'm thoroughly impressed and can't wait to read more in the future Genna.

  2. Lindsay Says:

    Woo hoo… Now the world can see my Genna boo's talent on sports!! Excellent post if I do say so myself girlfriend. – LC

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Who is the sexy female that owns this blog? I would love to have her throw me in a booth again!

  4. Tates Says:

    Baltimore fans can be fair weather fans, although I have seen them stay behing the Ravens in down years. Not so much like in the old days with the Colts.

    • Genna Jean Wittstadt Says:

      Depends on the fans. Especially listening to local sports radio stations on those Mondays after the game, it is frustrating to hear people only talk about the refs screwing us over. Or hating one player all week because they ‘lost the game’ like Mason when he missed that pass in the endzone, or the Ed Reed forward lateral attempt to win a game. It is one thing to be upset about losing, but it is frustrating to see and hear people go up and down. You have to love them even in the worst of times…even if they God forbid ever become how the Lions have been. You have to stick by the players and team no matter what.

      A good example would be with Matt Stover. He is and always will be a Raven. But yet people booed him when Indy played in Bmore this season. More on that later, I plan on writing a blog on Stover in the Superbowl later this week. But basically, just because he wears different colors makes him no less the Raven he was for 13 years…especially when he never wanted to leave in the first place.

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