BL:.. College Sports Fans vs Pro Sports Fans and…

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BobLee
June13/ 2018

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BobLee:.. Sports Fans: College vs Pro and…

In my latest Life Quest to find topics that are not politically-toxic… or at least not lethally so, I am choosing today to discuss the differences between “college sports fans” and “pro sports fans”.

For the past year I have participated in a St Louis Cardinals fan site. It is not part of any national website network designed to mine for clicks and loaded with obnoxious ads… Those attract a decidedly unsavory faction of the human species. I was a columnist for one of those for several months last summer. As Robert Wuhl’s character in Bull Durham said about “working at Sears” …

“Sears sucks, Crash. Boy, I worked there once. Sold Lady Kenmores. Nasty, whoa, nasty….”

My opinion of current humanity was already dangerously low. That, albeit brief, experience almost nuked it altogether.

Anyhow this other Cardinals site has 6,000+ “members” who hold daily referendums on how stoopid the St. Louis Cardinals’ Owner, GM and Manager are. Also any player who dares to go 0-fer two games in a row… or, God forbid, a reliever who is not Mariano Rivera 2.0.

I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’ve always said what is “unique” about the Triangle-area Hated Rivalries is their geographic proximity. Unlike tOSU / Michgan or Alabama / Auburn or ECU / SMU (Huh?) is that the bulk of the fan bases share the same regional media as well as sharing cul-de-sacs, church pews, civic clubs and area sports bars.

If Familiarity Breeds Contempt was ever on-point it is the college sports fan rivalries in the Triangle… but I think my over-arching premise holds true even beyond this particular situation. Especially in the SEC where each fan base has its own aberrant stereotype.

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That premise IS…

For college sports fans the focus is on rival fan bases.

For pro sports fans the focus is a team’s roster & management.

The “obvious” Incompetence of the idiots are that are responsible for putting that roster together… or knowing how to employ it properly during the course of each inning of 162 games.   Inning by inning referendums on a manager’s future are quite common.

HOW DARE they not field a championship team EVERY YEAR. If one’s personal and professional life is pretty much in the crapper “my team” winning is my only vicarious hope for getting thru a day…

NOTE:  MLB teams have not discovered that “the key” to competitiveness is, of course, a $35,000,000 IPF.  Maybe I should share that fact with those 6,000 Cardinal fans.

St. Louis has a long-standing tradition as “a great Baseball Town”. The locals have turned out faithfully for 70+ Cards fansyears… and been rewarded with 11 World Championships and umpteen post-season games. Cardinals fans refer to themselves as BFIBs – Best Fans In Baseball.

Over the past decade the top home attendance in MLB has consistently been Dodgers, Cardinals, Giants. Part of that can be attributed to 40,000+ seat stadiums. Red Sox and Cubs consistently sell-out significantly smaller venues.

The Cardinals “incompetent management” has consistently fielded very competitive teams in “the modern era”… among the top 3-5 performers in MLB viewed over 20+ years.

Other than a bitter rivalry with The Hated Cubs most Cardinal fans have little/no interest or knowledge of the other 28 teams in MLB. They play their NL Central rivals 19 times each season but profess limited knowledge of their players.

St Louis and Chicago are 275 miles part. St Louis and Kansas City are 250 miles apart but in different leagues. They do play each season as inter-league rivals. There is some amount of cross-pollination among residents of those cities… but it’s Not Personal as it often is with college fans.

Many life-long Cardinals fan go their entire lives and never encounter fans of 95% of MLB. Unless one counts the imaginary world of the Internet… and who does that?

Cardinals fans, of course, consider Cubs fans to be “all abuncha ______”. The same convenient broad-brush that all fan bases use to denigrate every other fan base.

The Cubs recent rise to prominence – The Theo Era – has been especially difficult for many Cardinals fans.

That famous BobLee line… “The Best of us = All of us… The Worst of them = All of them” does hold true at the pro level too.

All it takes is one flaming jack-ass on a fan site to create the stereotype for millions of his fellow fans. That’s kinda scary when you think about it.

Luckily, not a lot of “thinking” goes into such matters.

ADs on the college level = GMs on the pro level. In either case, 94% of any fan base is convinced he/she could do a better job… assuming, of course, that they are allowed 20/20 hindsight re-dos on all coach hirings and player trades et al.

Having to make critical decisions involving “somebody else’s” millions without that hindsight is far too risky. YIKES!

The Cardinals currently have over $40,000,000 /year invested in three very unproductive contracted players. The prospects of “eating” much of that to free up roster spots for “productive” players has to be a tough call to make to the “stoopid owner” who signs those BIG $$$ checks.

It is not a Cardinals specific problem. It is epidemic across MLB.

Much of the free agent yadda yadda this past off-season was a reluctance to commit mega-bucks to aging  players past-their-prime.

Pro sports fans can’t do a darn thing about how rosters are put together except bitch a lot when Player X goes “0-fer” or walks a guy in a late-inning.

College sports fans can / do complain about rival fans 24/7/365. Even if their team(s) have down years on field/court “those _____ fans are all still a buncha _____!”

One glaring similarity with Pro / College fans…

They ALL agree that ESPN “hates our guys” and continually praises (insert “hated rival”)… sound familiar?

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I have a rhetorical What If for your contemplation… regarding Kaeper-kneeling and the National Anthem…

Obviously the National Anthem Issue is nowhere near over. However NFL players chose to respond to the NFL owners new policy… “it” is an issue.

IF… you attend your team’s (college or pro) game and someone in your immediate proximity (but not anyone you know) chooses NOT to stand for the National Anthem thereby showing their support for whatever is being protested that day

…. What, if anything, would your reaction be?

  • Assuming you would not physically confront the protesting fan… would you mutter your disapproval in a stage whisper? … convey disapproval via “a gesture”?
  • Would you evaluate the protesting fan’s overall appearance and behavior and assign a political affiliation to him (or her)?
  • OR… Would you convey your support of his/her protest… and/or right to protest?
  • If another fan in your vicinity chose to physically confront the protesting fan would you “get involved”?

Just curious…

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If you enjoyed this… 

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AgentPierceSaid… LINK         /    SoTheBlondeSaid…. LINK

 

BobLee

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Sarah Cummings
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Interesting analysis! Personally, I wouldn’t mind. It’s that person’s prerogative whether they sit or stand it has no bearing on my enjoyment of the game.

Baltimoreheel
Guest

I would not intervene in a low class fan’s desire to sit during the anthem. He/she may be tired, distracted, in a bad mood, or just unpatriotic. I don’t really care. I didn’t pay a butt load of hard earned money to see them. I payed the money to watch world or near world class athletes perform. When said athletes decide to show their arsses by protesting with their politics during the anthem…..that tics me off. Didn’t pay for that. Didn’t come to see it. I’m from Baltimore and will not watch another Ravens game after that debacle in London.… Read more »

Doug
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Doug

REPLY to CNR:
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Thanks Coach for yet another history lesson. It seems MLB is suffering the same attendance declines as other sporting leagues, both pro and amateur.

CNR
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CNR

Excellent perception from BL and commenters as usual. . We first became cognizant of the difference on returning to Southern California in the latter half of the sixties when Claire Van Hoorbeke, the legendary football coach at Anaheim High explained to me the difference between high school, college, and professional football fans. And the reasons for the differences. Van was an excellent person to explain the difference since his teams played many games at the L.A. Coliseum (one game nearly filled the place. The game started two and half hours late as they ran out of tickets at 42,000 and… Read more »

NCSU68Grad
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NCSU68Grad

BL…..keep on truckin’ with what you got. No need for a “liberal” sigh. Thanks for clearing it up….Not a deal breaker, just a minor inconvenience.

Ben in MO
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Ben in MO

I also wonder why the national anthem is played before games other than international contests such as the Olympics or the World Cup. Probably something to do with selling war bonds during one or both of the recent unpleasantnesses for which war bonds were sold. I am pretty sure each city with a team also has a “song” whether official or unofficial, and it would make more sense to play that. St. Louis could go with “Meet Me In St. Louie” or “St. Louie Woman”, or I’m sure Nelly could whip something up to satisfy the younger crowd. Or, they… Read more »

NCSU68Grad
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NCSU68Grad

REPLY TO: 58 WolfKennel… . The REPLY thingie still don’t work….I don’t follow NCSU BB until maybe mid season. It has been a tale of woe and “Typical NCSU Frustration”. When we (the WP) were ranked in the top 5 all season and then died quicker than a has been male porn star at the “climax” of the movie…..I wonder…Elliott Avent was “bunking” with Ex HBBC Gottfried until AD Yow called them in and said….”Lets STOP this ODD COUPLE arrangement. Elliott, you make enough to have your own pad while you are going through your divorce…..MOVE OUT…..” END OF MEETING.… Read more »

ENC#1
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ENC#1

I like college football and basketball better than pro versions but big NFL/AFL fan in the 1960s as a kid. Enjoy MLB more than college baseball too many “I watched a college baseball game and a slow pitch softball game broke out”. . When I was a kid I followed the Cardinals and still do but too many guys chasing the money for me….of course never had the chance to “chase the money” in my job changes during my lifetime. . Who ever first said money is the root of evil had to be a fan of the professional games… Read more »

Fayettewuf
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Fayettewuf

I have never understood why the National Anthem is played before sporting events. People are about to play a game. Do they actually need to be reminded that the event is being held in the United States? Now the performance has become the key aspect of a ‘my country right or wrong’ litmus test?

58 Wolf Kennel
Guest
58 Wolf Kennel

Interesting juxtaposition between college and professional sports. Difference between dollar only Pro sports and it’s players and imbedded learning aspects of college sports. Several vignettes: Last week at NC State reception for Wake Co delegation, Chancellor Woodson ended his comments with a stage whisper, “Shouldn’t say this, but go Carolina and Duke !! ” Discussions with AD Debbie Yow about her last year before retiring, and her comment about “good past year but so much more to do!” Hope blooms persistently for one’s professional teams; so Go Dodgers, Panthers, and Warriors !! National Anthem issues are much ado about nothing… Read more »

Jerry.K.'78
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Jerry.K.'78

What would I do in that NatAnth scenario? No, I would not confront the “sitter” but I would certainly notice his behavior and evaluate what other differences he and I probably have. Now if he got “vocal” that would change things depending on what he said. I can’t imagine that happening unless he was very drunk or quite insane.