***Nate is a Clemson fan who occasionally contributes opinion pieces to the site. Opinions are those of the writer and may or may not be shared by the website***
Well ladies and gentlemen, for the first time in literally a decade, the Clemson football team suffered two consecutive losses in a row, the first to the Ohio State Buckeyes in January, and the second to the Georgia Bulldogs in September.
The men’s basketball team had yet another mediocre season, although this time managing to stay undefeated until ACC play, and the baseball team suffered it’s first loosing season in 50 years. These three topics of discussion have brought out the worst in a lot of Clemson fans.
Some fans have been critical of some of the coaches, as well as certain athletes, positions, and even the entire team. This has been going on for a while, though, as in at least the past decade and it continues to spark debate on good, bad, and terrible fans. Here is what I believe makes the difference.
The Good Fans: The ones the athletes keep referring to as the best fans, support every team they can and continue to spread kindness, love, and positivity to the athletes. They also make opposing fans feel welcome to the campus, and are great guests at away and neutral site games. Sometimes, even those fans get annoyed at the teams for bad games/performances, because, who doesn’t? The difference is, they don’t take as long to release all the bad energy, and they never send that bad energy to athletes or coaches. They release it in their own way that few will ever hear, and then they go right back to boosting the athletes up rather quickly.
Not So Good Fans: These almost always have something negative to say. Even when the team has a high quality win they still have something negative to say. They get annoyed at every little thing, set unrealistic expectations for the athletes and coaches (such as having a perfect record, whether overall or even just at home) every season, in every sport. These fans also allow themselves to get caught up in fights and arguments with the bad fans of other fan bases (especially, for us, fan bases with red as a team color). They trash talk to the point where it isn’t even good natured anymore, start fights, get into fights, judge other fan bases for doing the same thing, and just overall talk down to those other teams. They also blame the referees as often as they can, and think the players and coaches from their team deserve some sort of immunity to the rules of football. “Bandwagon fans” if you may (they go for the most successful team and then leave when they have trouble).
The Poor Sport Fans: They have all the same qualities of the bad ones, except they are far worse, even though it seems that may not be possible. Not only do they do the bad things listed above, the message and write nasty letters and condescending hate mail to athletes and coaches. They poor salt on wounds, kick them when they are down, and do everything they can to make the team look and feel worse than they already feel.
Each fan base is a combination of all three of these put together. So my question to you is, which type of fan are you? Are you building player confidence or tearing them down? Supporting the coaches as they make each decision or trying to make the decisions for them? Contributing to a fun game day experience or digging the inflammatory knife deeper into the wound that has boiled blood for years?
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