The Rules of Football Fandom
I take being a Redskins fan very seriously. Some would probably say too seriously, like myself. I know I take it way too seriously. A Redskins loss bothers me for two days minimum, and that’s if I didn’t watch it. A watched loss bothers me all week. It ruins my Sunday night to the point where I can’t sleep. I think it’s best for everyone that I continue my current practice of watching very few Redskins games. It’s better for everyone involved.
But I digress. The point of this post is to illustrate certain universal truths, nay, commandments, about football fandom. These rules are very clear and simple, and yet are violated to a ridiculous degree. We need to stop this from happening. We must shame the transgressors, and if they insist on continuing, then we will be forced to bury them up to their necks in sand and throw rocks at their faces until they die. It’s a commandment, whattaya gunna do?
Commandment 1: Thou Shalt Not Own Multiple Team Jerseys
This rule, like all of them, is straightforward and simple. As a Redskins fan, I am not allowed to own a jersey for any other NFL team. Any person who, for example, is a Packers fan that owns a Jets or Vikings Favre jersey is breaking this simple commandment. Players DO NOT transcend team fandom. Additionally, just because you have some kind of bizarre homoerotic man-crush on Kurt Warner does not give you the right or privilege to wear his jersey, if you claim to be a huge Jets fan. It simply isn’t allowed.
Commandment 2: Thou Shalt Not Have More Than One Favorite Team
Again, this is a rule that should be very easy to obey. You cannot say that you have more than one favorite team, allowing you to shunt onto another team as soon as yours is eliminated. You are allowed just ONE favorite team. This is the team for which you may own jerseys, calendars, blankets, and the like. See Commandment 1.
Commandment 3: Thou Shalt Not Pull For More Than 3 Teams
This rule is not quite as simple. “Pulling for” a team is NOT the same as a favorite team. Instead, it connotes a team that you have some interest in and liking for, and when your own team is eliminated from contention, you are allowed to cheer for. Now, there are additional rules around this, the first being Commandment 1. Just because you pull for them does not mean you are allowed to own a single item that a fan of that team would own, no jerseys, hats, etc.
Additionally, two of these teams MUST be in the other conference that your favorite team plays in. You are allowed to pull for these teams to win, specifically because they will not usurp your favorite team’s possible Super Bowl entrance. Normally, this is restricted to one team only, BUT married people are allowed a second team if their spouse has a favorite team in that conference. I call it the Rooney Rule due to Lady Aravan’s Steeler allegiance. You are allowed to choose your pulling-for teams at will, unless you are married, where you MUST retain your spouse’s team.
Finally, after AND ONLY AFTER your favorite team has been eliminated from Super Bowl contention, you are allowed to select a team in your own conference to pull for. This team is chosen on a season-by-season basis.
This may seem complicated on paper, but it is deceptively simple. For example, my favorite team is the Redskins. I pull for the Colts and Steelers in the AFC. This year, I have selected the Packers to be my pulled-for team in the NFC. Next year, I will continue to pull for the Colts and Steelers, but I must choose an NFC team based on next year’s playoff teams.
Commandment 4: Thou Shalt Not Post Any Cheering For a Non-Favorite Team
Be it Facebook, Twitter, or any verbal crowing, you are NOT allowed to make reference to any team but your FAVORITE team winning. No Facebook statuses about the Jets winning unless they are your favorite team, EXCEPT as noted in Commandment 5.
Commandment 5: Thou Shalt Hate
You MUST hate at least 2 NFL teams. Not dislike. HATE. You must greet any news of ill sort for those teams with a grin of triumph, NO MATTER HOW SEVERE. For example: Philly fans cheered when Michael Irvin hurt his neck and was wheeled off on a stretcher, earning derision from pundits the world over. THEY WERE CORRECT. They hate the Cowboys, and MUST cheer their ill fortune. A mid-air collision between the Cowboys and Patriots team jets would REQUIRE that I cheer myself half-unto death. I’m fine with that.
Posting of Facebook, Twitter, or verbal engagement IS ALLOWED for the loss of hated teams. Therefore, I cannot post cheers for the Jets winning UNLESS I am cheering the fact that the Patriots lost. You should make it clear that it is hate you are espousing, but any verbal expression of joy for their loss is permitted.
You are encouraged to hate as many teams as possible. It is understandable to have differing levels of hate, as long as hatred is present. For example, I FUCKING LOATHE the Cowboys and Patriots. I DESPISE the Giants. I HATE the Eagles, Saints, and Ravens.
It is permissible to no longer hate a team ONLY if a significant change in team culture occurs (head coaching change, etc), UNLESS that team is in your division, in which case you MUST continue to hate them.
Now that these simple rules have been laid out, I want each and every one of you to do your uttermost to uphold them. Shame your friends and family firmly when they transgress. If they continue their blasphemy, then you are duty-bound to find fans that hate that person’s favorite team and form a Stoning Circle. It’s for their own good.