I am a season ticket holder for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I attend as many of the games as I can. When I am in the stadium, I see the regulars. The die hard fans. Some wear their gear proudly, others just a hat or jersey combo. But they are there to cheer for the Bucs.
But there are other fans in the building. The ones who are there to root for the enemy. The Dolphin Fan, Browns Fan, 49ers Fan, Giants Fan and this week, the Cardinals Fan. In fact, the person who has the tickets for the seats next to me has sold their seats to opposing team fans every game this season. I am heading into this weekend with the trepidation that the Saints fans sitting next to me will be obnoxious and loud all game (unless the Bucs take an early lead and manage to hang on all game).
I am a member of Facebook Buccaneers Groups and I am amazed at how many “fans” are so hateful of the team, ownership, coaching staff and individual players that they should have their fan card revoked. The team posts live videos on Facebook, and some of the commenters are posting that the Bucs need a white quarterback… as if skin color has anything to do with the ability to play football. They are getting out of hand, and it is mostly because they are sitting safely behind a computer or phone, miles away, and feel like they can lash out with no fear of repercussion.
Look, I understand, I hate to be 3 – 6 in November and watching all the other teams maneuvering for playoff spots. But if those same fans had been on board early on and supporting their team instead of tearing it down, where would the team be right now? People who don’t go to home games because the team isn’t winning are part of the problem. When the Steelers were doing bad early in the season, did their fans stop going to the games? (The answer is no, and because the fans are so supportive, the team invested some of their draft picks for next year on Minkah Fitzpatrick this year and it has turned the team around in a big way).
Football is all about being out on the field – even if your team is outmatched or outplayed. If the players are out there in the heat or cold, rain or snow – why can’t the fans be there to support the team? It is funny to me to hear people who complain about the team for years while they are not doing well suddenly get mad at all the “new” fans showing up when the team starts doing well. Those new fans are called bandwagon fans, yet a lot of them were fans all along, they just got turned off from all the negative griping “fans” who complain about everything from the playcalling to the ownership. Come on, people, give it a rest and enjoy your team while you can. Having a home field advantage would actually help your team win some games that they would otherwise lose. Fans in seats do make a difference. Ask the teams with real fans.