Fan on fan crime

By Jared Stanger

Today’s embarrassing 9th-inning collapse by the M’s has reopened a lot of old wounds, and it’s given me pause to think about how people fan in the social media world.

I get the part of the fan-base that is calloused and jaded from how many years now without making the playoffs, and go about their springtime pessimistically. I get it if that’s your starting point. I get it if you quickly regress there after starting 1-6. I, personally, moved back to that neighborhood this week.

I get the side of the fan-base that is optimistic, patient, and don’t want to react too soon. I don’t relate to that side of the fan-base, only visit it on holiday, but I recognize it and assume they’re lovely people. They’re a sort of miracle to me…to be admired like nurses and teachers. Probably people I’d like to be friends with. They’d, in theory, be understanding of my frequent lack of social etiquette and argumentative nature. “He’ll be better tomorrow.”

But there-in lies the catch. It seems a lot lately that the latter of those two sides of the fan-base AREN’T particularly patient, optimistic, or understanding of the FORMER part of the fan-base.

When it comes to the franchise that is DOING the failing; the optimists are optimistic. But when it comes to the fans that are judging the failing; the optimists are pessimistic. The optimists judge the judgers rather than judging the root of the problem: the franchise’s failures. A mind fuck, right?

If you’re really secure in your stance; why feel so threatened by the other side? It’s almost as though the optimism is projection; a fragile facade of denial hiding the same sadness in a rudderless franchise that the pessimists have.

Admittedly, I know these rolls reverse when the team goes on a really solid winning streak, and the pessimists just won’t let the optimists bask in the thrill of hope rewarded. Which is fucking absurd.

The greater sin is being wrong. Being up when the team is down is ridiculous. Being down when the team is up is ridiculous.

The truth is: most of the fan-base is in the middle. We’re up when the team is up; we’re down when the team is down. But right now, the team is down…and we should allow the wallowers to wallow. And we should let the pessimists back on the bandwagon when the ship rights itself.

And if you’re actually HAPPY that the team is doing poorly, then you’re not a fan. Please set your twitter filters/mutes accordingly, and GTFOH.

Thank you, and Go M’s.

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