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ALL THE (SPORTS) WORLD'S A STAGE.
April 26, 2002
by Bill Hogan

 

 
 

The sports media has to stop lumping all fans together into one big beer swilling, foam finger waving, moron.

C'mon people, we've been over this before. An unfortunate incident happens in the stands at a sporting event and (again) every ticket holder in the joint is responsible.

 
 

At the start of the NBA playoff series between the Raptors and the Pistons, some of the "Detroit fans" booed during the playing of the Canadian national anthem.

The Associated Press reported the incident in their usual sensationalistic manner by stating "… the capacity crowd at the Palace of Auburn Hills booed 'O Canada' from beginning to end".

What's wrong with this sentence sportsfans?

The Palace of Auburn Hills, home of the Detroit Pistons, holds a capacity crowd of 22,076 people.

I didn't see the incident, but I guarantee you that the 22,076 people at the Palace of Auburn Hills did not boo the Canadian national anthem. Maybe the 076 part booed. And don't get me wrong, those that booed should be flogged, then drawn and quartered. But don't pin the antics of a few on the "capacity crowd".

It dawned on me that what these sportswriters need is a special word to identify the few amongst the many. To differentiate between the jackass causing the incident and the rest of the crowd. To pinpoint the perpetrator without indicting the mass of innocent spectators.

I don't consider this small band of rabble-rousers to be sportsfans. They are publicity seekers. And we know them well.

They follow Tiger Woods around shouting "you da man" after every shot. They wear rainbow wigs and tee shirts that say "John 3:16". They're much less interested in the actual sporting event than they are in the collected audience. They are attention grabbers.

They're the same guys that made streaking through the outfield popular until the networks stopped showing their butts on camera. (And they found out the cement seats in the stadium holding cell were freakin' cold).

These are people who use the national spotlight of a sporting event to achieve their fifteen minutes of fame ten or twenty seconds at a time. (String together every "you da man" you've ever heard while watching Tiger and it comes to about twelve minutes of airtime).

They're not fans, they are just idiots posing as fans. They are fidiots.

The fidiot's need for attention transcends the sports world. Anywhere there is a crowd or a camera they will have a representative present. You've seen them. They jump up and down behind the television reporter at the scene of an accident or crime. And it's their sworn duty to sing "Stairway to Heaven" every time somebody breaks out the karaoke machine at a party.

And they're online as well, in every Internet chat room. Fidiots are easily identifiable because they use their own name - first and last (otherwise, what's the point).

A fidiot's contribution to an online discussion about the Cowboys: Cowboys Suck.

A fidiot's contribution to an online discussion about Brittany Spears: Brittany Spears Sucks.

You get the idea.

There are millions of diehard sportsfans in this country. There are a handful of fidiots. The media needs to realize this fact and act accordingly.

"The capacity crowd at the Palace of Auburn Hills…" may lead someone checking out the sports page over morning coffee to believe everybody in the building was involved.

If the line read "Fidiots at the Palace of Auburn Hills…", the guy with the coffee will know that a small group of morons were responsible for the incident.

And a more insightful writer might have led with "The Palace of Auburn Hills was the stage for the latest fidiot disruption".

Fidiots are all over the place trying to get noticed. Trying their best to be the center of attention. But unless they hold a fidiot convention somewhere, you'll never find 22,076 fidiots in the same Palace at the same time.

Unless some rookie journalism major cutting his or her teeth with the Associate Press pulls another gaffe like this one, next week's feature will address the upcoming Kentucky Derby. I have a hunch it'll be very entertaining.

It'll be nice to write about thoroughbreds instead of jackasses.

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