Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fans who use "we:" normal or annoying?

I've blogged about my History of US Sports class in this space before, but we had a particularly spirited debate this evening - and it wasn't about a team, or a player, or even a sport. It was about the fans. Specifically, how attachment to a particular team is displayed.  There were students who were personally offended when fans used "we" in most contexts, students (including myself) who use "we," and some who didn't care.

Personally, I only get annoyed when people will say "We won," when their team wins, but "They lost," when their team loses. Don't lump yourself in only when the team is successful, then seek to distance yourself during the bad times.

In class, there were more people who used "we," or who didn't mind when others did, than those who disliked it. However, when I asked if people minded the use of "we" on social networking sites, opinions seemed to be more split. On Twitter I got two responses, one on each side of the issue.

 On Tumblr, I got five responders who bristled at the use of "we," and four who either didn't care or embraced it.  On Facebook I got four answers: three didn't care, and one was particularly vocal and articulate about her support for "we:"

"I've got my time, money, and emotions invested into these teams, go through the ups and downs with them.... sometimes fans can be the difference maker in a game... Teams can't thrive as professional teams without us... I def feel justified using "we""

The crux of the issue (on both sides) seems to come down to ownership and attachment to the team in question.  Those who thing "we" is inappropriate seem to be concerned that fans who use the term feel too close, and that they should step back some.

For me personally, sports are EXTREMELY personal. I have a visceral, emotional response to the team. I feel elated when they win, and depressed when they lose - the Boston athlete's accusation that the fans take things too seriously sometimes describes me to a "T."  I feel like my Facebook friend quoted above: I spend a huge amount of time, money, and energy on the Red Sox, and I use "we." [I do NOT feel invested enough in the Pats, Celts, or Bruins to use "we."]

What do you all think? Am I crazy and/or annoying to refer to the Sox as "we?" Do you ever do this?

1 comment:

  1. Love this. I notice myself using "we" mostly with the Sox as well.. Not as much with Pats, Celtics or Bruins. I think it has to do with the sense of family and community that comes with being a Sox fan. We are definitely a "we" team :)