Sunday, November 6

CFB addenda

Couple of points that need to be added/clarified to my article on college football fandom:

1) I left out a point about people who attended schools that don't compete at the highest level of college athletics. Should those fans be excluded entirely from participating in the experience because of their educational choice? I went to a D3 school - does that make supporting a FBS football squad off-limits for me for life? Of course not, though I should mention that CMU (the one that has, not the landlocked jerks in that state up north) just notched the 500th win in the program's history.

2) I made my argument through the lens of being a Buckeye fan myself, but obviously one is free to support whatever team one likes. As with any such situation, picking a far-off team simply because they win a lot is lame ("yeah, I like the Steelers and the Yankees and the Lakers...") but not off-limits.

Except michigan. No one, for any reason, should ever root for michigan.

3) This is only tangentially related, but it does have to do with sports fandom, and I don't have time right now to spend an entire article destroying it, but Chris Jones' article on Grantland criticizing fans for saying "we" was utterly moronic. Here's a quick excerpt:

Here's the deal: If you don't play for, or you are not an employee of, the team in question, "we" is not the pronoun you're looking for.

"They" is the word you want.

Well, thanks for coming down off of your high horse and telling us this, Chris Jones. "We" fans are really glad you took the time to dazzle you with your intellect and staunch pronoun principles!

Aside from the whole thing being incredibly condescending and making a completely inapt analogy with being fans of a band (he says apparently with a straight face that something called the "Weakerthans" is the best band ever), he ignores the obvious communication advantage "we" vs "they" offers, possibly because he's never been a fan of a team, who knows. He completely disregards the community aspect of sports fandom (and takes a shot at non-alumni college fans), making it really seem

Consider, just as one instance, if Figgs and I are watching an OSU game and a penalty flag is thrown. If he says "that's on us," then I know he means the Buckeyes. If the flag is on "them," then I know he means OSU's opponent. But if we adhere to Jones' arbitrary and stupid rules, we've basically taken plural pronouns out of our vocabulary any time fans talk about sports, because everyone just became "them." How does this make anything better?

This is the sort of article one writes to try to look cool, and does not succeed. Not sure why I decided to leave the Simmons-Klosterman section of Grantland, won't happen again.

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