Ace Butterknuckles wrote a nice article, http://www.dailynorseman.com/2013/10/24/5024648/the-power-of-a-fanbase about the positive effect cheering can have, instead of booing. I started to write a comment, but had to convert it into the fanpost you are reading instead, when the comment started to rival in length with Ace’s original article.
Firstly, I've never understood the concept of booing your team or a player of that team. Shouting out something in frustration, after a boneheaded play for example, that is something I do understand. I'd say that the former is more of a decision, and the later more of a reaction.
The decision to boo just seems wrong. Imagine a guy. Imagine that guy honing a craft for years, not without sacrifice and pain. Then the guy is paid to do a job. He gets paid well to do that job. He plays a team sport, and all his teammates rely on him doing his job. His performance is watched by his family. His performance is watched by many fans across the land, some even from faraway places like Finland. Then he performs badly. Who is more hurt? I, the fan of the team, or the guy not living up to his salary and to the expectations of himself, his coach, fans, family and teammates? I'm frustrated, but that guy would be hurting. Hurting bad. Still feel like booing?
You might answer, "YES! That's is my right I've paid my ticket, and that crappy excuse of a player get paid big bucks to perform. It's my right to boo if he stinks!" Well yes, but not really. Technically you *do* have the right, but using that right also makes you a jerk (keeping in mind who is really hurting). So even if you have the right to be a jerk, why would you choose to be one?
You might also answer, "but I cannot help it, I'm just such a fan of the team and I must have a way to ventilate my feelings. Besides it’s not really a decision like you have tried to make it sound. Booing just comes automatically when everybody else star booing".
We'll the concept of booing is surely not as black and white as I have made it to sound earlier. It's not only about a boo, a decision, it's also something generated in unison by a larger crowd. In a way it’s like some kind of mass hysteria. But still, that doesn't make it acceptable. If you or I would see Ponder in person, would we boo at him? I wouldn't. I can't imagine you doing it either. That former made me think though. One could say the same about negative writings on the Daily Norseman. Why do I for example choose to criticize when I could and should be encouraging the team? Why do I keep writing virtual boos about Ponder and Musgrave (especially Musgrave)? Shouldn't I cheer them on instead? I wouldn't write a personal letter to them criticizing them, like I would not boo to their faces either? No, I would not. But there is a difference. And it’s a difference that I would like to mention, as I notice pretty regularly a clash of opinion on the matter here in the Daily Norseman.
For example, I view Arif’s Ponder-Bashing as sort of a concept. I’ve also noticed that he has gotten plenty of critique for that. Not that many are necessarily arguing with his reasoning, but they see his outwritingness and outspokenness about the subject as being, not being a true fan. Sorts like booing instead of cheering him and the team on.
I noticed another example of the above behavior in Ted Glover’s recent article "http://www.dailynorseman.com/2013/10/23/4948038/josh-freeman-has-a-concussion-ponder-will-probably-start-against". I even commented on the matter. Ted touched the subject of starting quarterback, and the Minnesota Vikings. Not a good combo. Throw in a concussion and Ted was accused of not supporting the team and writing shit.
But here is the deal: it’s different. It’s all about the timing and audience. Take the following examples:
I’ll get the task to write to Ponder before the upcoming game. He will read that letter.
Would I write, "U suxor big time!!!" or "my sister have more arm strength than u – and she’s only five years old!"? Hell no, even if there is actually some truth in those statements (albeit in hyperbole). Ponder has *not* played well, nor does he put plenty of velocity into a football. But I would not write that to him. I would not lie to him and say the opposite either. I’d try to inspire him. I would tell him about the times when he has made me happy by playing well (and he has done that). I would mention some games and some plays. I would ask him to focus on those times. I would ask him to believe in himself. "That is the way for you and the team. But it’s only a beginning that continues with effort, mental strength, pain and repetition, study and perseverance. It’s a long and hard road. But I wish that you succeed on that road from the bottom of my heart." And that I do. I don’t see it happen, but I so very much wish for it to happen.
What if I’ll get a task to write a note to be read during half time to the whole team? Would I write "dear men in purple, there is probably nothing that I can write that would change the fact that you’re probably trailing by a score or two, and playing with as much energy a rusty battery, so I won’t bother."? The statement is perhaps likely to be true, but no, I would not write that. Perhaps I’d write "Coach, just say what Winfield told the team last season. That seemed to help". I don’t know really, but I would not write like I’m usually writing on the Daily Norseman.
So, as you should sheer your team on during games and respect the players when you adress them, I would also do that in written form. No written boos.
Last Vikings, well technically it was a "game"? But a rather call it showing of apathy, or purple death, or the-even-poorer-than-regular-poor-Vikings-primetime-game. Anyway, during the end of that (horrible horrible) Giant’s game, was only the second time when I wrote anything (out of frustration) on the DN game threads. Thus, breaking my guideline to sheer during the game. Normally I don’t break that rule. Instead I manage to keep up unrealistic hopes. But this season there will be no last second Walsh field goal or last second Favre to Camarillo pass. Hell, I’d settle with no end game blow outs and some effort at this point. But even so, writing during a game thread is something not directed to the players and cannot influence the game either. So not as bad as booing during games in my book.
But what about writing a fanpost or comment here on Daily Norseman? Writing something after a game has been decided. Or writing something that fellow fans will read before a game, but no Vikings players? *Open the floodgate*. Because kid yourselves not, even though I’ve seen plenty of signatures containing AD or 28, even Cordarelle Patterson, I’d highly doubt any Vikings player follow this site. They are living it, as we are only glancing at it and sharing the experience here on the Daily Norseman. Therefore I feel free to share my angst. It’s sharing of information and feelings. It is not bashing the Vikings. Admittedly I sometimes go too far with it (not bashing?). I definitely should tone down regarding Musgrave and brain damage. But still, I consider myself very much a Vikings fan. A fan that for example looked at the fiasco at he Giants through NFL gamepass. I watched them and I cheered them on: "Come on guys you’re just one score behind". "come on there is still time left and only two scores behind", "Come on guys, just show me some attitude at least". Then we lost, and look awful while loosing to an awful team. Well, game over then! So let’s lurk and occasionally rant over at the Daily Norseman!
So let’s keep ranting until next game folks! ;)
Hit publish instead of preview. Nice. Added Poll.
Cleared some (of the numerous) typos.
Typos. Weird sentences. But hey, I'm from Finland and I'm not supposed to write anything in english (or watch american football for that matter)...