Sports fan, you’re not part of the team

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“What did we win?”

Chris Rock (above) said this in response to the black community’s reaction to the O.J. verdict. He couldn’t understand why many within that community were celebrating one man’s justification in the murders of his ex-wife and her friend. He pointed out that the verdict did nothing for the people celebrating it, the verdict only helped Orenthal James Simpson.

Rock’s words rattle around inside my head every time I hear a sports fan refer to his favorite team as “we”. This phenomenon is endemic (and I would say fuels) to sports talk radio shows, as callers give their $0.02 as to how their team can improve. They’ll say something to the effect of,

We could win more games if only we had drafted Vince Young or if we had a better offensive line.

Admittedly in the past I have done this in conversations (and sometimes still catch myself doing it, old habits die hard) without much thought.

Had a good friend in college who consistently pointed out that there is no “we” as long as we are not part of the actual team. We all thought he was crazy, but it seems that he is right. It is strange to hear people, who are not part of a team, much less the organization, refer to that team as “we.”

This point became very obvious to me after the University of Texas (my alma mater) foot ball team won the 2006 National Championship. Did I enjoy the outcome? Immensely.

In fact, I ended up hugging a grown man in celebration. The experience was special and I wasn’t even at the game. Yet Rock’s words help to put things in perspective,

What did we win?

Absolutely nothing save some moments of euphoria and so-called bragging rights, is there anything more fleeting?

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2 Responses to Sports fan, you’re not part of the team

  1. People enjoy living vicariously through others. This phenomenon isn’t exclusive to the African-American community and it isn’t exclusive to sports fans, although you make a great point.

  2. Pingback: Philly Fan, Chris Rock has a Question for You… « Last Row

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