Sunday, April 20, 2014
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An open letter to diehards

Sunday night was the main event, the big show, the burrito supreme — when is Boston University getting that Taco Bell?

BU took to the ice against BC.

“Oh. My. Gosh. You aren’t going to the BC game?” I heard freshmen girls say to other freshmen girls all week.

“Why does everyone hate BC so much?” said one pal to another in the dining hall.

“Because they suck, dude,” his friend replied.

“Oh OK.”

“Where’s section 119?”

“Is BC good this year?”

“Who’s Steve?” — referring to the banner above section 108.

You heard these things as the game’s beginning neared.

You more loyal fans surely spent a lot of time face-palming.

In fact, I know you did because I saw you, and I heard your sighs.

Your blood pressure doubled when you heard someone ask, “What does icing mean?”

Those carefully timed chants you know and love were slightly off at times during the game.

“Hit him!”

“Get it!”

“Shoot it!”

These are the cries you heard coming from over your shoulder all game long.

Steam came out of your ears every time the guy to your left yelled, “You suck number 12!” then high-fived his friends.

I heard you whispering about the new influx of fans.  You didn’t enjoy them.

Fans, in all sports, look down on other fans.

Red Sox fans who tune in for all 162 games call those more selective watchers “fair-weather” fans.

Even fans in certain cities look down at those across the country.

“Lakers fans are soft,” say the Celtics diehards. “They show up 15 minutes late. They don’t get in fights in the stands. They don’t yell expletives at opposing players.  Soft.”

Why does it bother us so much when we perceive others to be less of a “real” fan of something than we are?

I loved Zach Galifianakis when he was just an unknown comic. He got cast in “The Hangover” — suddenly everyone loved him.

It gave me a weird feeling of indignation and pretentiousness.

“I knew him before he was big,” I thought.  I felt oddly possessive of his fandom.

I looked down on people who called him the “guy with the beard in ‘The Hangover.’”

“The Office” was my favorite television show from its inception. From episode one I was hooked.

The characters, the style, the subtlety — couldn’t get enough.

When it moved to the U.S., it only got better, but it lacked big ratings at first.

But by season three, season four. Everyone was watching.

People were constantly quoting the show — the lines that weren’t even the “real” funny ones in my opinion.

I felt like most people didn’t “really get” the show.

It miffed me beyond reason. Again, I looked down on those new viewers.

Not only did I not bond over my love of the show with fellow fans, I stopped watching for a long time — I let it bother me that much.

But, finally, I put that behind me. I recently watched the first seven seasons — the Michael Scott seasons — on Netflix and fell in love all over again.

It was foolish of me to stop watching, foolish to feel that I was above others as a viewer.

It’s my favorite show, why be annoyed that others enjoy it too?

I’m not better than someone else just because I discovered it first, or because I view it differently. We’re all fans. We all love the show — we’re on the same team.

Truth is, the show wouldn’t have gone on as long as it did without its mass following.

I wouldn’t have gotten to watch it in primetime all these years. It wouldn’t be all over various cable stations at 2 a.m.

All that extra support saved a great show from being canceled after a season and half.

Terrier fans, I know it’s hard.  I know it goes against your impulse. I know it’s hard to not be annoyed when someone pronounces Wade Megan’s last name the way one would pronounce Megan Fox’s first name.

But, don’t be like I was. Don’t be that guy.

You’re only hurting yourself. You’re letting your own arrogance tarnish what you love — letting perceived entitlement detract from joy.

The fans who show up just for the BC games and the Beanpot aren’t your equals in terms of dedication, but they’re not your enemy either. They’re your friends — you’re on the same team!

You all want to see BU win.

And don’t you want the arena to be as packed as possible? Don’t you want it to be as loud as possible?

Every additional fan, diehard or rando, is only furthering the support of something you love.

Would BU be a hockey powerhouse if it didn’t have a ton of fans?

Sure, you’re the more sophisticated fans. You’re more loyal. You care more.

You know what icing is.

You get frustrated because you feel you deserve a greater reward for this.

But don’t you see that you are rewarded?

When BU wins your joy is exponentially greater. Do you really think that girl who asked you who “Steve” was is going to get as much joy from the team as you do?

Don’t resent others because they aren’t as fluent as you are in something.

Welcome them with open arms. They’ll learn, but they have to start somewhere.

Don’t be arrogant. Don’t look down on people. Don’t be that guy.

Just enjoy the game. You’ve earned it.

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