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Why can’t fans just be fans?

Published: Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 12:38 a.m. CST

This just in from the obvious network: Fans are good for sports.

Want a clear example?

Take Thursday’s 1A Amboy Regional championship game between the Clippers and Erie Cardinals.

The gym was nearly full. The Amboy student section was large and excited.

When the Clippers clinched their first regional title in girls basketball since 1990, the students rushed the court to make a great achievement for the girls hoopsters feel even more important.

Just ask foward Kaitlyn Liebing what it meant to her and her teammates to have that support.

“We’ve never had this many people here, and so many kids from the student body,” Liebing said. “They were really into it, and it made the game seem even more exciting. It’s great to have that support.”

Erie’s student section also came prepared, dressed in various basketball jerseys. At halftime, they added to the fun by going through an exaggerated yoga workout.

It was great. It was fun. It enhanced the experience for everyone.

That’s not always the case.

A few weeks ago, I was at a game where an error was made on the scoreboard, and the game was delayed for a couple minutes while it was being rectified.

During that time, there was one man in the crowd that repeatedly kept shouting that there was an error, even when it was obvious that the officials were working to correct it.

After about the fifth or sixth time, the referee finally looked up to the man, who was sitting at the top of the bleachers, and asked the man if he was finished.

Another fan behind me seemed offended the ref did that. I applauded it.

While the fan had every right to express himself, what example was he setting by repeatedly pointing out an honest mistake?

What would he have done if someone shouted at him every time he made a mistake at his place of employment?

The referee didn’t kick the man out, and didn’t even threaten it. He just called him out for poor behavior.

Earlier this week, Oklahoma State basketball player Marcus Smart was suspended (and rightfully so) for shoving a Texas Tech fan in the waning moments of a game between the two teams.

Smart claimed to have heard the fan shout a racial slur at him.

Running into the stands and shoving the man wasn’t the right response, despite what the fan – Jeff Orr – said.

Orr denies yelling a slur, although admits to calling Smart a “piece of crap.”

That’s better?

Fan behavior is a constant concern in sports.

But, I’ve never understood why some people believe being a fan ever needs to include being vulgar, upset and cruel.

Isn’t watching sports supposed to be fun?

 

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