Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Big Saturday Pet Peeves

As I compose this furious screed (for some reason, I really love that phrase), my beloved Michigan Wolverines are battling a tough, undefeated Wisconsin Badger team that is doing everything they can to avoid getting steamrolled the way Notre Dame did last week. So far, they're doing well. But some shots of some of the crowd brought to mind a couple of pet peeves that have come to the fore because of other events this week.

A comment from a fellow forum staff member pointed out that I'm not the only one who feels this way: being a fan (sometimes called a FANatic) does not give you the right to use the nominative singular pronoun "we". "We" didn't score the game winning touchdown. "We" didn't work hard in the preseason and in practices all season long. "We" didn't come back from a devestating injury. As a matter of fact, to quote Morty from Layer Cake , "we" had "absolutely sweet ****-all to do with" with how the team does. Nothing. Zip, zero, nada, and perhaps even less than that. You do what all fans do: buy gear with logos on it, download fight song ring tones, watch a game with friends. If you're really lucky, you get to go to Ann Arbor and tailgate before (and after, to do it proper) going in to watch the game wearing maize and blue. I have a couple Wolverine hats, and I think I've got a shirt or two, as well. If they made foam Wolverine hats, I'd wear 'em on game day. I even dig the foam claw, which is a variation of the giant foam "#1" finger. If I had epic amounts of money to spend on clothes, I'd even have an authentic jersey. And guess what: none of that makes me any more than a fan. Get it through your head, FANatics: you're not on the team. You're not a coach of the team. You're not even a ball-or-towel boy. You're nothing but a fan. You're probably the same jackass that plays in the Division DD municipal softball league and wears your team's gear to play, while getting bent out of shape at a missed call and acting the fool because you think you're still an athlete. Guess what, bro: I played at the same level as you, and batted in the neighborhood of .900, and I suck. Get over yourself.

The first pet peeve took quite a long time to get all out, didn't it? That doesn't mean I'm going to leave out Pet Peeve #2, becuase its what ruins going to see college sports lives. These people fall into a sub-catagory of the FANatic, because they're also guilty of the "we"-ism: the college band.

Bandies get to thinkin' that because they make a lot of noise during the game, playing goofy selections that nobody asked for and making it so people can't hear the coversation with the people they want to be there with, and because they do the "lets go get a some food and drink" show (halftime), they get to use the "we". I was in band in High School. Sadly, I didn't make it to the big leagues of college pep-bands. I know how some of them think. They wear a uniform with team colors on it, and they play the fight song. Sorry, geeks, it does not mean you get to use the "we".

Several times back in the day, I was able to go to SDSU games with my friends and their family. My friend's mom worked in the athletic department at State, so they got really good seats to games. Unfortunately, those seats were next to the band during basketball season. It wasn't long before John and I were bringing kazoos to play along with the band. I've never seen such an offended tuba player. You'd have thought we were Skinhead O'Connor ripping up a picture of the band dressed as the Pope on Saturday Night Live.

C'mon, bandies. Lets get a grip here. you're playing at what will probably be the pinnacle of your musical career. You're not going to join a band that sells millions of records after college. You're also not going to get into a symphony and get paid big bucks...or even medium bucks. Probably not even small bucks, because you're the equivalent of the D league softball player in comparison to minor league baseball (never mind the big leagues). Its not like you're pullin' chicks being in band, either. I know; I was there. Get the head screwed on, straight and tight, and realize that even with all that practice and effort, you don't get to use the "we" in terms of the team, either. You do get to use the "we" in terms of all the glory that comes with being in the band, though.

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