In the sports universe, everything has its place. Players play, coaches coach, and fans cheer. In the complicated world that we live in, this simplicity is refreshing. Everyone knows their place. No one element of this order controls sports, but combined, it creates something special.
That’s what makes sports so great. It’s an opportunity to get away from the hectic world, and cheer for something you enjoy. It’s the friendly competition, your favorite team against your brother’s or your best friend’s favorite team. Nothing more, nothing less.
Every now and then, however, certain fans decide to step out of their place and do something stupid. The most recent incidents were in the National Football League, where fans in Cleveland and New Orleans got rowdy after officials in both games missed calls.
Fans then proceeded to throw beer bottles, cups, and basically whatever else was in arms’ reach, onto the playing field. It got so serious in Cleveland, the officials stopped the game.
Fans like this disrespect the order of sports by becoming a bigger part in that order than they’re supposed to be. Never should a game have to be stopped because of a situation created by fans, or a home run be called an out because of fan interference, or a team get penalized because of its rowdy fans.
Any player from any sport can tell you, when they are out on the field, their concentration is so high, their senses are so sensitive, they don’t even notice the fans unless something crazy happens in the stands. That’s not to say fans aren’t important to the game, it’s just to say that a player has so much to focus on during a game, they cannot and do not let the fans distract their performance.
If a player has a good day or a bad day, it’s not because they played in an arena that was either sold out or half empty.
Earlier this month, the Miami Hurricanes won college football’s national championship in a stadium that was 75 percent filled with fans from the opposing team. Additionally, Miami ranked in the middle of the Big East conference in attendance.
In 1997, the Florida Marlins won the World Series, even though it didn’t sell out all of it’s playoff games on the way there.
To say that fans make no impact on sports is ridiculous, and is definitely not the point I’m trying to convey. However, to think that fan support, or lack thereof, determines a team’s production on the field is just as ridiculous. Fans have their place in the sports world, and that is to be spectators. Nothing more, nothing less.
Kevin Fair is a freshman newspaper journalism student from Fort Lauderdale. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.