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In the past, I have bemoaned people’s behavior on the internet. You can read more about it here, here, here, and here. Oh, and here too. This behavior has mostly be centered around militant fanboys who like their comics/movies/nerd-related item too much, thereby making their behavior pathetic and my personal interest in said topic dwindle. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll use the whole “Marvel Comics versus DC Comics” as an example. You get things like name calling, belittling others and their opinion, and even threats flung around towards people who have different opinions and even those who have no part in the rivalry and are only work for the opposing company.
I know I am not the only one who looks down on the behavior. It appears that modern society does too as this behavior is showcased in the general pop-culture image of what a nerd is. Heck, Big Bang Theory has successfully been milking this for humor for years. This kind of behavior sometimes makes be ashamed to be a fan of such nerd-related things and I would be lumped together with that crowd.
So if this kind of childish behavior is looked down upon with nerd stuff (and rightfully so), how come it seems socially acceptable to act the exact same way when it comes to professional sports? Last night, there was a pretty big game in Chicago – some might arguably claim it was bigger than the Super Bowl. The Bears faced off against their main rivals the Packers. In a pretty exciting (and close) game, the Packers ultimately won, and my Facebook (which consists of mostly Bears fans) exploded in juvenile complaining and whining in the same manner that some uber-nerd would complain about something DC Comics did better than Marvel.
I should state – and I cannot stress this enough – that I am neither a Bears nor Packers fan. I had no stake in that game. As such, I feel I can look at this in an objective light.
I read some really crazy, disturbing things over the past 24 hours concerning the game. Between vicious desires of Aaron Rogers getting paralyzed, Jay Cutler being thrown from a car, hopeful prayers to God (because, you know, the Almighty would apparently care about a football game), mocking and belittling references to players, and sniffling cry-baby attitudes, it is time like these that I am glad I don’t have Twitter (subscribe to the Culture Cast’s Twitter account!).
I am not saying one is better than the other. Both are equally pathetic and sad. All the stuff about Bears/Packers and Rogers/Cutler I’ve read could be replaced with DC/Marvel Comics and Dan Didio/Joe Quesada, and no one would know the difference. Why is this socially okay, but the other not? Both are unacceptable.
I get that you want to see your team to win and a rivalry is fun. And becoming disappointed when your team loses is natural, but not to the levels Facebook fans make it out to be. Some claim that they are “just passionate fans”. But, when you seriously desire to see someone paralyzed so they can’t play, no, you’re not. You’re just an asshole. It is just a game you have no part of other than a spectator. Say “rats”, shrug your shoulders, and get on with your life. Why is it necessary to get this worked up over it? The truth is, it isn’t.