There was quite a controversy here in the Capital Region (Albany, NY) in the past week.
On last Thursday, 9/22, a writer for the largest local paper, the Albany Times Union, decided to step out of her normal job as the writer of a parenting guide, and into the shoes of a sports writer (and debatable into her Patriots footie pajamas).
As I read it last week, I thought it was pure satire, and well done on her part.
The impetus for writing it was a mystery to me.
Perhaps she wanted to try something new?
It was funny, a little, until the last line of her article.
As soon as I read it, I let out an audible groan, and quickly realized she was about to be berated on a massive scale.
The link to her first article is below.
Now, to her follow up article.
One word came to mind : wow. Just, wow.
The veracity, and voracity, of the responses were beyond incredible.
Before I go further, read it below.
After reading both articles, and the unbelievable nature of the responses, it leads to a question : when is being a fan really code for being a fanatic nut job?
Clearly, the responses were far, far, FAR over the line.
Was she idiotic for including the last line of her initial article?
Is it fair to wonder why she only printed the most absurd responses instead of a mixture of the insane, kind of crazy, and totally sane? Sure.
The crazy responses lead me to wonder what causes someone to go so far over the line for a sports team.
Is it some kind of automated response, in the case of Bills fans, to circle the wagons, as Chris Berman says, after years, and years, and years of being laughed about and having the city of Buffalo be the target of endless jokes?
I think that is part of it.
I have to think that is not the majority of the cause though.
I went to a Bills game 2 years ago on Thanksgiving weekend.
The tailgating with friends of my brothers was great.
The game experience : not so much.
In fact, until the beginning of the 3rd quarter, it was miserable.
I was in the end zone corner with my brothers, and the section was full of people so drunk that it shocked me how they actually wobbled into the stadium.
For the entire first 2 quarters, it was a constant stream of expletives about an assortment of topics, ranging from coaching decisions, to players not making plays.
I could not talk about the game with my brothers unless I wanted to yell over the cussing, drunken fans that littered that section.
Fortunately, most of them left at halftime, or passed out.
The Bills ended up beating Miami with a big 4th quarter that game.
How much is too much when it comes to this kind of behavior?