Blogs > From The Bleacher Seats

A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fanning the flames

Sports talk radio.
Hi, I’m Wes from West Bloomfield. Joe Nathan is a jerk.
Hey, I am Frank from Fraser. Brad Ausmus is abysmal.
Hello, this is Rick from Royal Oak. What is wrong with Matthew Stafford?
Yeah, this is Oliver from Oak Park. Oops, all right, I have turned my radio down. How come the Pistons have been so pathetic recently?
So there you have it. The voice of the fans.
Everybody has an opinion, especially the irate. Everybody can be heard loud and clear, especially if they yell loudly enough. Not just on the radio, but also on television, through blogs, on Twitter, Facebook and a variety of other social media tools.
And, at the stadium.
Freedom of speech. It is guaranteed in our constitution. I’ll bet our forefathers never envisioned Tweets.
Everybody is entitled to their opinion. Wes from West Bloomfield. Frank from Fraser. Rick from Royal Oak. Oliver from Oak Park.
Even yours truly.
Criticism is part of the game. Especially when Nathan blows a one-run lead in the ninth. Or Ausmus makes questionable decisions from the dugout. Or Stafford throws two interceptions. Or Jimmy Howard lets in four goals. Or the Pistons lose yet again.
That brings up this old truism. The worst jobs in town are the closer for the Tigers, the starting quarterback for the Lions, and the top goalie for the Red Wings.
Those folks are frequently the most unpopular people around. The best jobs in town: the backups for all of the above. Hurray for Joakim Soria; yahoo for Dan Orlovsky and Kellen Moore; and how come Jonas Gustavsson doesn’t play more?
We adore our athletes. We despise them occasionally, too. We love our teams. We just don’t like them sometimes. Win and we’ll put chocolates on their pillows. Lose and there is a flaming bag on the front porch.
It is the epitome of a love-hate relationship, and when fans hate we speak very, very loudly. Justified or not, the volume increases when we start thinking about how much our professional athletes who are screwing up make. They are all largely millionaires.
Conversely, most of us are not. We pay to get into the stadium. We pay 20 bucks or so to park our cars. If we go out to eat, the food is more often than not served via a drive thru window. We regularly have to make decisions like whether to pay the mortgage on time, or instead pick up a prescription at the drug store; should we put a new muffler on the car or deal with Detroit Edison and Consumers Energy?
I am not sure our professional athletes agonize over the same things. Do they want a Porsche or Mercedes; an Escalade or Land Rover? What do they feel like eating tonight, filet or lobster tails? Where will they vacation; the French Riviera or Tahiti?
Sure we get mad at times, but don’t take it personally, guys. We love you. We love our teams. At least most of the time.
When we don’t it’s time for Wes from West Bloomfield, Frank from Fraser, Rick from Royal Oak and Oliver from Oak Park to speak up.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home