Sunday, December 16, 2012

Swag rag

I absolutely detest douchebag fans. Every last one of them. The ones that will wear a Michigan jersey to a Florida-Florida state game just because. 

I recently met one at an IU-Michigan State football game.

It was a freezing but bright fall Saturday morning. I trekked up College Ave. to the tailgating grounds to meet Lisa and company. The new rotation student Drew had a spot for us with hot breakfast and cold beer. I was a bit surprised by the large turnout all the way up College Ave. and at the tailgating grounds. IU fans had pride; it would take some effort for me to do this chilly outing even in Gainesville, FL. I found my bunch at the tailgate spot and met some new people. Within five minutes I struck up an intense conversation with David, another first year grad student. David was stroking the coals in the bbq rack and seemed to enjoy talking about recruiting classes and 3-3-5 defenses as much as I did, and a mutual respect was quickly seeded and growing. We were talking about pass-catching half backs when we were rudely distracted by a drunk Michigan State contingent in their merry green. We both rolled our eyes and I told David about my thoughts on douchebag fans.

"I saw a Michigan fan like that once. I hate Michigan fans."

"Really?" said David and pulled off his black sweatshirt to reveal an eye-blinding maize T-shirt with blue writing on it - 'Wolverines'.

He was a Michigan fan? But he was cool to talk to! One hasty switch of topics later, I caught Lisa's eye and signaled to her that I wanted to go scalp tickets. We left immediately and I poured to her on the way what I thought about douchebag fans and she sniggered politely.

The tickets were scalped and we were surveying the tailgating scene as we made our way back to Drew's truck. I was really very impressed with the number of people in Indiana Crimson all around. IU has always had an awful football team and these fans really had to either be clueless or just plain stupid to brave this weather to watch them lose to a mediocre Michigan State team. And tailgating before that? Man are they nuts!

We almost reached the truck when I saw him. He was walking up past the intersection of College Ave. and Madison, a stocky guy with short hair, a beer belly and a Nike Pro combat orange and blue jersey from the the 2009 Florida-Florida state game. A Florida fan!! I yelled out to him "Go Gators baby!!!" (scaring Lisa to an inch of her life in the process) and unzipped my faux-leather jacket to reveal a bright orange T-shirt with blue streaks and a roaring alligator logo. I ran over to him as he noticed what was happening and we screamed as we did a chest bump followed by several gator chomps at everyone staring at our war dance.

Yeah I met a douchebag fan that day. That douchebag fan was me.


My thoughts go out to anyone that has ever been hurt by arms. I am not smart or motivated enough to drone on about gun control and therapy for criminals but somewhere in the reactions and the political debate, the value for a life lost is shamefully neglected. Let us not sensationalize, politicize or commercialize sadness. The human condition has a responsibility to be better than that.

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