It’s that time of year again

I have not been paying as much attention to college basketball this season, for a variety of reasons, but I have some things I want to say about Wichita State, which is that I am sick of them. Yeah, great, they’re undefeated, good for them. They play teams like William & Mary and North Carolina Central. Yes, I know, they won all the games they were supposed to, and now they’re a No. 1 seed. They even made the Final Four last year as a 9-seed. Well, I have a rebuttal for that, and have prepared a speech that you can feel free to steal, should you ALSO have them losing in the round of 32 in your bracket, which inevitably spawns looks as if you’re insane:

Wisconsin really helped them out by losing to Ole Miss, who lost to LaSalle, AND the committee helped them out by giving Gonzaga a 1-seed, which should never happen. So they beat an 8-seeded Pitt, an overrated Gonzaga and then LaSalle to get to the Elite 8, so basically none of that counts.

Troll me if you wish, but that’s just how I feel.

Reva out.

A Q & A with myself: Who will I root for on Sunday?

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Well, it’s finally happened. After people suggesting it MIGHT one day happen, and me just rolling my eyes, Miami and Illinois will play each other on Sunday, with the winner advancing to the Sweet 16.

(For the new kids at the table – I did my first two years of undergrad at Da U, and the second two at Illinois.)

I have fielded many angry comments suggesting I have no choice but to root for the Illini since that is where my degree is from. But it’s not that simple! So, I decided a Q&A to get to the bottom of this might help.

Q: Why would you even CONSIDER rooting for Miami?

A: Miami is a traditional football school but has struggled for about the past nine seasons thanks to Larry Coker driving the program off a cliff. The basketball team has never made it past the Sweet 16 and they have had an amazing season. I would like to see them go all the way. The team is having fun and playing hot. Did you NOT see what they did to Duke in January?

Q: BITCH, YOU HATED MIAMI SO MUCH YOU LEFT SOUTH BEACH FOR CORN FIELDS!! I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY YOU WOULD ROOT FOR MIAMI!!!!

A: I understand your frustration. Truly, I do. You are right in that I was miserable there and left. What you may NOT realize is that my first semester at U of I was so difficult that I considered going back to Miami. My mom warned me, and I DID NOT LISTEN, that transferring to a new school as a junior would be very difficult. Not academically, but socially. You’re new, but everyone else has been there for two years and has established their group of friends. Trying to find my group was hard. I lived in a transfer dorm with mostly grad students, who were mostly pretty mean. My roommate smoked pot in our room. I thought these people were my friends and they weren’t. (Except for Jim and Matt)

It was frustrating, and then 9/11 happened, and I just wanted to be with my friends, but I didn’t really have any yet. So I cried a lot and thought that maybe I made the wrong choice in leaving Miami and was it REALLY that bad? I mean, once I knew I was leaving, I actually started to have fun there because I had the “don’t give a shit” attitude that I should have had all along.

So, because I got off to a rough start in Champaign, I feel less attached to the school than someone who spent four years there. Even though it DID get MUCH better, that first semester was HELL.

Q: Okay, great! It got better. So you’re rooting for Illinois, then.

A: I didn’t say that. And that wasn’t a question.

Q: You’re infuriating. What if it was ‘Nova playing Miami or Illinois? Let’s throw your precious Villanova into the mix and see what you do, bitch!

A: This is like a bad game of marry, fuck, kill!

Hmmm, let me see.

Miami vs. Villanova

Illinois vs. Villanova

I’d root for……

Q: SEE, THIS IS WHY YOU CAN ONLY HAVE ONE TEAM AND NOT 17.

A: That was also not a question.

Q: No, seriously, you’re rooting for Illinois, right?

A: How about this – no matter who wins, I will be happy, and we’ll leave it at that?

Q: No, pick one. Now.

A: Fine – but you won’t like my answer

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Q: When Miami loses I am going to laugh so hard at U. HAHAHAH SEE WHAT I DID THERE? I’M SO FUNNY.

A: Sigh.

Well, that was fun. Though, I did mean what I said in that no matter who wins, I will be happy. Both teams deserve to advance.

 

No one likes a whiny bitch

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I wrote this piece today for Awful Announcing in regards to the whiny Duke bitch who complained about how she was treated during last week’s Duke vs. Miami game. The game was in Coral Gables.

Michelle Picon went to Duke undergrad but is a Miami grad student and was sitting in the student section wearing Duke gear. I’m not sure what she was expecting to happen, but any non-uppity, non-self important bitch would KNOW that when you wear the away team’s gear on the home team’s turf, you’re not exactly going to get a warm welcome from the fan base.

Here are just of the few things Duke fans have done to visiting teams and their fans – but you wouldn’t know it reading the letter Picon wrote to the Duke Chronicle. The way she portrays it, Duke fans are nothing but the most exemplary of fans that never offend or heckle the opposing team. Yeah. Right.

In the ultimate show of hypocrisy, the self-proclaimed Cameron Crazies can dish it out but certainly can not take it.

Listen, I moaned and whined and claimed outrage over how we were treated in Columbus when we invaded the town in our Miami gear for the UM/OSU game. We got completely blasted by the Buckeyes, so not only did we have to deal with the loss, but we had to deal with very much being kicked while we were down.

So yeah, when the wounds were fresh back in September of 2010, I was pissed off. But you really have to have a thick skin when you’re a sports fan. That’s just the way it is. Suck it up.

I am of course not condoning any of the violence that happens outside stadiums, what with people getting stabbed, shot and beaten.

It’s just a game, people. Yes, it’s a game we’re vehemently passionate about, but is it worth stabbing a fan of the opposing team over it? Will that make your team win? Are those good manners or bad manners?

In any case, Picon did her school and fan base NO FAVORS by basically living up to every single stereotype that comes with attending Duke.

 

 

What to do when you don’t care about either team in the Super Bowl

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Your options are as follows:

  1. Skip watching the game altogether and host a Sex and the City wine viewing party.
  2. Go to each team’s roster and add up the number of players who went to your alma mater plus the school you transferred from and whichever team’s total is higher that’s the team you root for. Active players only – no practice squad, folks.
  3. When you realize the result is a 3-3 tie, come up with a tiebreaker – root for the team with the fewest players from Ohio State (or whichever school you hate the most). In this case the Ravens are the clear winner: 0 to SF’s 4.
  4. Run this scientific formula by a random jackass 49ers fan who will tell you it sucks and the Ravens are going to get blown out.
  5. Realize that thousands of people are spending the entire week in New Orleans promoting and covering this game from more angles than the Kama Sutra. Again begin to philosophize the importance of sports and why we invest so much time, money, energy and emotion into them.

I’m not saying sports aren’t important – on numerous levels, they are. But when you’re NFL team got bitch slapped out of the playoffs (even after a 10-6 season), it’s easy to be bitter and uninterested. Will I watch it anyway? Of course – if for nothing else – the commercials will be interesting and hopefully not awful.

On the bright side, no matter what happens, it can’t be as excruciating as the 2008 Super Bowl where the Patriots botched 19-0 and then of course last year when the Giants once AGAIN had their number. There is something to be said for being able to watch a sporting event stress-free.

 

What I really think of Notre Dame

This is what I used to think of Notre Dame: It’s was America’s school. The benchmark for Catholicism and greatness, located in idyllic South Bend, IN, it was known for its excellence both in the classroom and on the field/court/pool, whatever. I had high school friends who applied there just to say they had – that they would even consider Notre Dame must mean they were striving for the same level of excellence the school is known for. Everyone wanted to go there, teach there, play there, donate to there and be part of that reputation.

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Why do we idolize athletes? Both college and professional? Because they represent us. We grow up rooting for our home town NFL teams (for those of us who had them) or the team our parents grew up rooting for – and because of that, these athletes represent us. If they win, it means we win, our city wins, we’re above the losing team and city. We feel glorious and validated and hopeful. If they lose, we hurt with them and feel morose and start pointing fingers. We lost because of bad play calling. We lost because of poor clock management. The offensive coordinator is a douche bag.

Finding the right college is hard. We strive to find the perfect combination of location (after all, you’re there for the next four years) academics, opportunities, Greek life, and athletics. Potential athletes are wined and dined and everyone’s effort goes in to convincing them your school is better than my school. Non-athletes go through campus tours and talking to current and former students. How much financial aid will I get? Will I still be paying for this degree when I’m 65? How will this school look on my resume?

And then we choose. And the first thing that happens when you get there is football. Take the incoming freshman to a football game so they can see what the school is all about. The players aren’t just students. As a team, they shoulder the school’s reputation – if they win, we win, if they lose, we lose. Losing means criticism from ESPN on down to the dorm newsletter. And so we win and lose with them. And maybe that’s why people will go to extreme lengths to protect the athletes, and by proxy, the school’s reputation.

This isn’t about me, but I am going to use myself as an example.

I am originally from New Hampshire. The only school that I thought about going to when growing up was Michigan, because my mom went there. Then, when it was actually time to pick, I wanted to go south. I wanted a break from brutal New England winters. And so, I ultimately chose the University of Miami. It sits in the middle of Coral Gables, a lush campus with palm trees lining the entrance. I picked it for that reason, knowing nothing about the football team. I lasted two years there. I was miserable, the girl walking around campus in jeans and a long sleeve shirt because I was so self-conscious about my body. I felt like I was at a day spa rather than a college. I longed for something more normal. And so I transferred to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in the fall of 2001. A school that could not have been more different. That was the season Miami started its undefeated run. And because I was at a new school and lonely, I latched on to that success, that greatness, as if I were still a part of that school. Because even though I left, I still had friends there and memories there and was a part of something there vs. that first semester at U of I when I struggled like I could never have imagined. So I rode the coat tails of a perfect season all the way to the Rose Bowl because it gave me something to focus on and made me feel special, important, and bonded with everyone else who was still there.

We spend months dissecting a season. When it’s over, we start planning for the next one. It’s our school and those are our players and we want to be represented by winners, not losers.

So when they lose, the excuses come out. And when the players fuck up, the excuses come out.

Which brings me back to Notre Dame and this whole Manti Te’o fiasco with the fake dead girlfriend.

While I am not sure what to believe in terms of how it happened and who is behind it, I do not, for one second, believe Te’o to be the victim in all of this.

Pat Forde, of Yahoo Sports, who I do respect, wrote a column in which he believes Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick’s declaration that Te’o was duped:

Chin quivering and voice catching, the Notre Dame athletic director fought emotion in describing Manti Te’o as “the single most trusting individual I have ever met.” 

Yeah, whatever dude.

Forde also writes:

Swarbrick says a private investigator hired by Notre Dame to look into the matter has evidence that Te’o was victimized by individuals who invented an online girl and engaged her in a relationship with the player. Due to privacy concerns, the school is not in a position to release that evidence, but hopefully Te’o will provide some documentation that corroborates what Swarbrick said.

Te’o must also explain why he said he met Lennay Kekua, when that apparently never happened. He must explain why his father, Brian, also said the two met. He must explain why, if he felt for this dying girl the way he reportedly did, he never left the Notre Dame campus to be with her near the end – not at the hospital, not at the grave. He must explain why he went along with the storyline instead of publicly correcting the record, even after telling his coaches and Swarbrick about the hoax on Dec. 26.

Here is what I think: I think Te’o was a part of this whole thing – who dates someone for three years and NEVER meets them, but says they met? Your team plays Stanford every year where your alleged girlfriend goes and you’ve never met her?

Outkick the Coverage makes some excellent points about this:

First:

If you believe there is a straight man on earth not currently in prison who has a three-year exclusively online relationship, then you’re a damn fool.

Period.

There’s just no way this actually happens.

Especially for a college kid who happens to be the best player on a football mad campus.

Exactly – when he probably had thousands of options, why would he pick someone in Palo Alto that he never sees?

Which brings me to their next point:

What’s more, she purportedly canceled several face-to-face meetings with him. At some point if you’re remotely intelligent — or even just a horny college student — don’t you start to question a relationship when your online girlfriend won’t meet you?

I don’t know if Te’o made her up so he could fake her death and triumph in football for the feel-good emotional story of the year. The media was falling all over themselves to laud him with praises and now they’re failing all over themselves to beat this to death and find the truth and Jack Swarbrick is crying over a fake dead girl versus an actual dead girl.

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Which brings me to how I NOW feel about Notre Dame: I feel nothing but disgust over an AD that is crying and claiming his football player is a victim, when he said NOTHING about Lizzy Seeberg, the St.Mary’s student who committed suicide after being sexually assaulted by a Notre Dame football player. It can’t be that he’s not crying because she didn’t go to Notre Dame. The fake dead girlfriend went to Stanford. It’s because Notre Dame will do anything and everything to protect their precious football program and players, no matter how horrific their actions.

I love that the team was curb stomped by Alabama. I love that their egos were flattened. I have nothing but disgust for a school that has scrambled to hide multiple sexual assaults (hello, Notre Dame? Do you REALLY want to be compared to Penn State?) but claims one of the football players is the victim of a scam. And if Te’o was really fooled, who has that kind of TIME, to create a fake person and keep that façade going for three years?

I hate that Notre Dame is now scrambling to protect their own players when they refused to protect victims of sexual assault. Because when your football team shoulders your reputation, you’ll do anything to protect it. And that, maybe, is the saddest thing of all.

I’ve had it with you people

disappointedinyou[7]It started, for me, on a cold-ass January night in 2011 when the Bears and Packers were playing in the NFC title game (I was nearly disowned and forced into WI rehab by my mom’s entire side of the family, all from Wisconsin, for posting a FB status in favor of a Bears win, but that’s neither here nor there).

Jay Cutler sprained his MCL and couldn’t go back in the game – he tried, and he couldn’t. Instead of praising Lovie Smith and team doctors for preserving Cutler’s knee, athletes and media members alike ripped Cutler a new one for not being tough enough to finish the game. That’s bullshit. Anyone with a modicum of knowledge of the NFL knows the Chicago Bears have an offensive line so paltry they couldn’t protect my two-year old niece. Poor Cutler gets sacked more than ANYONE and ALWAYS gets up, so don’t talk to me about his toughness.

Last weekend when RG III hurt his knee and continued to play, his coach was vilified for keeping him in and risking further injury to his QB’s knee.

Hello, people, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

I wrote more about this over at Awful Announcing, which you should read.

But anyway. Now, today some jackass lawyer is suing the San Antonio Spurs for resting their best players during an irrelevant November game against the Miami Heat.

1) Seriously? You’re bitching about ticket prices when you probably bill $500 an hour to drink martinis while going over your mergers & acquisitions documents, so seriously shut the fuck up.

2) You’re not beating the Heat at home, sorry. (Even though the Bulls did it, yay!)

3) Is seeing fucking Manu Ginobili get owned by LeBron James really that important to you? (No, I don’t know or care if that’s even possible given their positions and me not knowing jack shit about basketball.)

4) I doubt anyone at that game truly suffered “economic damages”, as you allege.

5) Seriously??? Try playing four road games in five days and tell me how tired YOU are.

I love sports. I really do. You don’t want to see me when Villanova is losing in the first round of the NCAA’s. But come ON people. The expectations of fans should not be driving athletes that we claim to WORSHIP to play with injuries or when they’re just goddamn tired. Who ASKED you? No one. We all know we’re all still going to watch the games and go to the stadiums and worship these people for reasons I still can’t figure out (myself included – arguing Cutler has beautiful baby blues gets me nowhere).

Who died and made us the martyrs for sports of which we’ve never had to experience the physical demands and the people who play them? And who are athletes to question the heart and toughness of one another, PARTICULARLY a QB that gets pummeled on a weekly basis while the o-line is collectively picking its wedgie instead of doing its job.

But, I’m not bitter, just so we’re clear.

The NHL is back

Apparently the NHL is back – I say apparently because I haven’t been following the lockout at all. I know hockey fans are pissed off because the commissioner is a jackhole and the league strikes once a decade, if not more often.

I used to LOVE hockey. I think it is required of you if you grow up in the Northeast. After I first saw The Mighty Ducks, I had visions of playing ice hockey because it looked like so much fun. Alas, I never did, but that’s neither here nor there.

My high school’s hockey team won the state title three years in a row (I think, but far too lazy to google it). Okay, I just googled it and I was actually right! 1997-1999. And I remember going to one of the games at UNH. Speaking of UNH, they have a pretty good hockey team every year, but are unfortunately known as the University of No Hardware since they can never quite seal the deal. The team had an epic collapse in the Frozen Four one year, I want to say 2003 maybe.

My friend Susan and I used to go to Manchester Monarchs games all the time. She is a die-hard Sabres fan. I used to follow hockey and it used to be fun. I’m not sure what happened – between my stint at Villanova that spawned my basketball obsession and living in San Diego where hockey doesn’t exist, I lost interest.

The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010 and I barely cared. I have yet to go to a game.

We have had far too many lockouts in recent years – NFL, NBA, and now NHL – again. Lockouts piss me off in general – it is millionaires fighting with billionaires over money while league and team employees have to worry about job security through no fault of their own. The collective bargaining agreements are so convoluted I don’t even try to understand them. All I know is that this is always beyond frustrating for the fans. So, even though the NHL is back, below is the only hockey I will be watching anytime soon.

Monday – The Bachelor vs. Notre Dame vs. Alabama

At long last, the new season of the Bachelor starts on Monday – starring some dude whose name I can’t bother to remember and the 25 drunk cat fighters who will vie for a Neil Lane ring that they won’t get to keep when the lucky winner and some dude inevitably break up four months after the show ends.

Oh, you thought I was going to talk about the Notre Dame vs. Alabama BCShit National Championship? Joke’s on you! Actually, no, the joke is on the geniuses at ABC for premiering their show the same night 100,000 Notre Dame fans descend to Sun Life Stadium to cheer on their precious football team. (Bitter football fan, table for one!)

Two of my friends suggested to me that I actually watch this season of the Bachelor and keep a running commentary on this blog – I just hope the episodes end up on ABC.com because I don’t have a DVR and I am going to an Alabama watch party.

I am sure the ratings for the first episode will be in the gutter as a result of this game.

As far as the game goes, well, I could not care less who wins. If Alabama winning will make SEC fans more insufferable and Notre Dame winning will make Notre Dame fans…well, actually, I am going to keep that thought to myself. I am pretty sure their alums rule the world.

 

Here we go again

Last night, I posted this picture on Facebook and proceeded to get a world of shit for it.  More often than not, I get a ton of crap for rooting for too many teams.  First of all, allow me to ask why all these people I’m friends with who did NOT go to Notre Dame were posting “Go Irish,” but I’m not allowed to root for Michigan when my mom went there?

Second of all, if you have a problem with teams I root for, well, nothing is going to change so I suggest you invest in lots of hard alcohol to deal with it.

I root for Miami because I went there, Villanova because I worked there, the Boston pro-teams because I’m from there.  But yes, I adopted Chicago teams because I’ve lived here for five years and love this city more than I can tell you.

Do I root for too many teams?  Maybe.  Is there a point to this post?  I’m not sure.  I love sports, and I try to not be a bandwagon fan, but it’s FUN when your teams are winning, and when they’re sucking the life out of you by not being able to score and the starting pitchers unable to find the strike zone with Google Maps, it’s okay to take a break and focus on something else.

I now leave you with a Will & Grace montage.

Why I’m a “Bandwagon” Fan

I have to thank Katie for inspiring this blog post with the following text:

“Chipper Jones has been playing baseball for 18 years and only has one World Series ring.”

First thought:  Who the f is Chipper Jones?

But I figured she was going somewhere with this, so I just wrote back “holy crap.”

And then I figured I should ask, “Who does he play for now?” (AKA who is he because I follow baseball but not THAT CLOSELY?)

She responds, “Braves still…and only.  He’s retiring after this season,” and then went on to express her irritation with Braves fans for being bandwagon fans — loving the team only when they make the playoffs and not giving a shit any other time before, during, or after said season.  But the team’s one World Series title over Chipper Jones’ time there speaks to the fact that the Braves are not, say, the Yankees (Okay so they WENT to the World Series five times in the 1990s, but they only WON it once, in 1995).

The city has the largest baseball stadium in the Southeast and uses that as the excuse to why it is never sold out (despite the fact that you can buy tickets for like, a dollar).

If you put that stadium in Wrigleyville, St. Louis, or NYC, it would be sold out.  Atlanta fans love Atlanta teams ONLY when they’re winning– and if not, they’re latching on to another team.  Cubs sell out games even when they have the second worst record in all of baseball.  Before you send me hate mail, please know this is coming from multiple people who were born and raised in Atlanta.

There are several definitions of what a bandwagon fan actually is.  And it’s something I’ve been accused of being MANY a time.  Let’s explore, shall we?

According to Urban Dictionary there are three possible definitions:

1)  Anyone who claims they are a “fan” of a particular sports team, even though they had no prior support for/interest in the team until that team started winning. These types of fans only show playoff interest, have probably never watched a regular season game, don’t own any type of team merchandise, nor would they buy any.

2)  Switches support to whatever team/game/allegiance/belief happens to be successful at the time.

And my FAVORITE definition:

3)  Anyone who became a Miami Heat fan in 2010-2011 (or Notre Dame, if they didn’t go there.  Seriously, I don’t understand Notre Dame fans that did not go there and then throw a party when the fencing team wins a national title)

If you assess definitions 1 & 2, then yes, I am a bandwagon fan, but I feel can justify these decisions.

1)     Villanova – I didn’t go there, but I interned there, so the school is a part of me.  For nine months I spent seven days a week (at least it felt like it) in the athletic department.  I got to know the coaches, athletes, and staff.  That year, the basketball team made it to the Sweet 16.  The atmosphere was electric.  It all sunk in and stayed with me.  I cried, LITERALLY CRIED, when we made the Final Four in 2009.  I cried, LITERALLY CRIED, when we were eliminated in the second round the year after, because I wanted to see Scottie Reynolds cue up another deep run, but oh well.  The team is not going to be good this year.  They’re just not.  So, while I am not going to masochistically follow each and every game, I am not going to adopt a new team to root for just because Villanova is bad this year.  Rest assured, I will continue to hate Duke, UNC, and Ohio State.

2)     Chicago White Sox – Technically, I am part of the White Sox family.  I worked out of the stadium for a year.  Sure, last season I didn’t follow the team as closely as I am this year because they were really bad, but I have FINALLY picked my Chicago baseball team, because you can’t be both.  Plus, now we have Youk, which is awesome.  Before this year, I always rooted for the Sox of a different color, but that team is in the gutter right now.  So yeah, fine, bandwagon, I get it.  But baseball is a soul-crushing, 162-game season.  Might as well have a team to root for that’s fun to watch with a manager who’s not a complete psycho.

3)     Chicago Bulls – I’ve never cared about the NBA before, but Ed Pinckney, who was an assistant coach at ‘Nova while I was there is now an assistant for the Bulls – so not only does the team also fall under Jerry Reinsdorf’s ownership, but Ed and I go way back to 2004.  Good dude.

4)     Miami Hurricanes – This is probably where I am the most bandwagon-y – when the team is losing, I shift my attention elsewhere (Michigan, Illinois, anyone who plays OSU, etc).  So I have focused my attention elsewhere since 2005, minus September of 2010 when I spent over $1,000 to go to fucking COLUMBUS, OHIO to see us get our asses kicked by the team I hate the most in the world, so that was awful, because Columbus sucks and OSU fans are wretched people (with the exception of like, two) and the only coach I hate more than Jim Tressel is PROBABLY Urban Meyer, so that’s awesome that he’s at OSU now and Miami blows and is going to be put on major probation soon and WHY WHY WHY?

 At least when I’m not rooting for my core teams, I pick a team to root for that I have SOME connection to (I went to Illinois, my mom went to Michigan, etc).  The people that drive me crazy are the ones who choose to root for Duke just because, even though they could not find Durham on a map, or the people who choose to root for Notre Dame because it’s an elite school that usually has good teams, for the most part, even though it’s mostly Olympic sports, but they somehow manage to have a rabid fan base, which drives me crazy, so no, I don’t root for Notre Dame, but thanks for asking.

And then there’s the people who root for Tim Tebow – contrary to popular belief, he is NOT, in fact, God’s gift to Florida, women, or football.  I’m sure he’s a nice guy, I don’t buy the virginity act, and rooting for him does not make you holier than thou, so unless he’s playing for your actual team, cut the shit.

So, when you think about it, I could be WAY worse of a fan than I am.  Watching sports and rooting for teams is supposed to be fun, not stressful.