The passion for sports seems to stir at the very core of all sports fans. You have to love when a fantastic play happens and when a fantastic finish makes goosebumps pop up on your skin. And what makes those moments even better is when your favorite team is on the positive end of that moment. The pride you have for the team you root for goes to another level. And there are some that talk trash before, during and after the great moment that happened. But along with that, there is also the sports fan that takes it too far. We all know that one sports fan that can never recognize when his/her team or a player on his/her does anything wrong. We call this homerism. And it seems to run rampant at times when a supporter of a team does not know when to recognize things. Unfortunately, there is no talking to this type of fan because in their world, the thought that the team they support did something wrong is insane to them. And in the end, they will never believe you. Honestly, if a homer is reading this piece, they probably will not know it’s talking about them, but maybe they will recognize some of the examples here like the everyday sports fan does.
The New England Patriots fans are passionate about their team. New England has been a successful team ever since quarterback Tom Brady took over for Drew Bledsoe. The pairing of Brady with head coach Bill Belichick has led to great success and multiple Super Bowl rings. But this pairing is not without its criticism. Back in 2007, the Patriots were found guilty of taping the New York Jets signals. Now videotaping things is legal in the NFL, but only within certain parameters. The Patriots violated those parameters and it ended up costing them a 1st round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft(31st overall) and the NFL fined Bill Belichick $500,000. In that instance, there were many Patriots fans that felt the NFL was out to get them. And there were even some that were giving off the vibe that there was nothing wrong with what the Patriots did and the NFL was picking on them. Well, if the NFL was picking on them, would the Patriots be as successful as they were as a franchise? I don’t believe they would if the NFL was deliberately sabotaging them and their success. And in the most recent issue, Deflategate, the same feelings have come about again. The feelings of the league is out to come get them despite the commissioner being chummy with the owner of the Patriots for all these years is something that can be laughable at times. And what is even more laughable is the defense of Brady in this one. Brady could be innocent in this matter and he did answer all questions from the NFL investigators. But when he was asked for information from his cellphone, he refused to do so. Ted Wells, the independent investigator on this investigation, even said that he would not take his phone and only take copies of the texts he asked for. Brady and his representation still refused to do so. Instead of viewing that as an act to cover up things, many that are Patriots fans are viewing Brady as right to not do so. Honestly, if it were someone else that was not a Patriot player, then the Patriots fans would not be reacting the way that they are. They would be reacting with the rest of us in this matter. But alas, the homerism has thrown a glaze over their eyes at this point. And in this matter, the team over everything has become the mantra. This instance even has some Patriots fans throwing out there how the suspension is unfair and judging what Brady did on the field to instances where players got in trouble off the field. Newsflash: each case is a separate entity. Not one of these cases has the same premise. You may not like how they are handled by the NFL, but they do not have one thing that is common about them all. But in the end, there will continue to be those that continue to try an tell us that the Patriots are the “woe is me” team and that “the NFL is picking on them” despite being one of the most successful franchises over the last decade.
But this isn’t the only instance where homerism took over the scene. In Cleveland, emotions are high as LeBron James has returned home and brought with him championship aspirations. And when LeBron-led teams face the Chicago Bulls, it seems that tensions always run high. Earlier in Game 3, there was an instance of words between James and Bulls big man Joakim Noah. That began to rise some of the tension in this series. But in Game 5, the game took another turn late in the fourth quarter. Bulls forward Taj Gibson was thrown out of the game after it was perceived, at first glance, that he kicked Cavaliers backup guard Matthew Dellavedova after those two getting into it a little bit down the stretch of the game. But after further glance, it was noticed that Dellavedova actually locked Gibson’s leg where he could not disengage from him. The result was Gibson violently pulling his foot from Dellavedova’s grasp. Looking around social media, there were plenty that were calling Gibson a few choice words and saying that he deserved to be kicked out of the game. But many of those that were yelling that were fans that did not see the entire incident and also there were many that were Cavs fans. Of course the instigator did not get caught in this instance initially and with replay, he should have been caught. But unfortunately, he was not assessed a technical foul until after the game and that absolutely does nothing for Gibson. And with Gibson kicked out of the game, the Bulls could have used him to maybe secure that big rebound or get a big putback in the game. Instead, he was in the locker room and Dellavedova was out on the court helping his team win. But leave it to some Cleveland fans their player’s actions and focus on the opposing team’s action. And even after seeing the video of the instance, some even were still able to put all the blame on Gibson and none of Dellavedova. Now could Gibson have handled that one better? Yes he could have. But that does not excuse the mess that Dellavedova helped cause and instigate. And if you know any of his history from college, you will know Dellavedova has a history of being an instigator. Apparently, that instigator in him has not changed a bit. But leave it to some Cavaliers fans to say he was a saint on that play.
Both are examples of blind faith and belief that some have in their teams. And unfortunately, this is just a small sample of homerism in the sports world. The unfortunate part is this happens tons of times and these are some of the mild instances where it rears its ugly head. It’s all good cheering for your favorite team. But sometimes you have to take the tint of your team off your glasses so you can see things clearly. If you don’t, homerism has taken over your sports perspective. And that disease could be one that you could potentially not recover from as a fan of sports. This is a PSA for homerism. Don’t do it. It can be a plague on your sports life.