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DirkGently

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Orlando
Home country: USA
Current location: Holistically detecting
Member since: Wed Jan 27, 2010, 04:59 PM
Number of posts: 12,151

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Sports fandom in particular harbors insane ugliness.

Twitter seems to have rejuvenated some of the darkest corners of our culture.

I remember that guy a while back tweeting sexually threatening comments about some retired baseball player's (Curt Schilling?) daughter.

What struck me was not just that it was so overtly horrific and demeaning, but the sense that the guy didn't even think twice about it. Like he was hunched over his keyboard somewhere like that troll cartoon, drooling and waiting for a chance to come up with the most disturbing things to say to show how strong his sports partisanship was. Because Schilling played for the "enemy team" back in the day, apparently.

I lived across from the university baseball stadium for a while in school. Games were free, and it was two-minute walk away. I went over one day and watched part of the game, and people were sitting a few steps behind the batters, SCREAMING insults and taunts, nonstop, at the top of their lungs. Nasty stuff. They thought they were "helping" their team, I guess, and it was all you could hear in the relatively small and quiet stadium.

I know sports fandom can be healthy and fun, but there is a weird level of acceptance of absolutely despicable behavior that ought to go away sooner rather than later. People are clearly acting out scenes from their childhood, or fantasizing about some power they lack in the real world. You see these 50-yr-old lawyers with floor seats in the NBA, snarling epithets at players like they want to kill them.

"Fan" is short for "fanatic." Maybe no one should be a "fan" of anything. Support, cheer, encourage, sure.

But if people can't enjoy it without losing their goddamn minds to the point where racist gibberish or rape threats seem like a logical response, they need to find something else to do for fun.

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