Last night I made a comment on Twitter with the gist being, since Mark Sanchez and Tebow were doing so horrible for the Jets, maybe they should sign Jacory Harris, because, after all, he was "a walking interception" and would fit right in with the debacle taking place.* Some REAL CANES' FAN immediately shot back because he was the arbiter of fandom. Being the arbiter of fandom, he was the judge of what people can and cannot say about former football players so he told me not to talk ish about Jacory and then proceeded to call me a loser and said I needed to grow up.
He didn't go any further and that should have been it. But it wasn't. I let that stupid comment burrow into my head and here we are, the next day, and I'm writing 1,250 words on it. Why? Because it's the logic of REAL FANS, Hurricane or not, that confounds me and frustrates me. Here's how I see it festering in the REAL FAN'S head:
- Jacory Harris played for Miami (go ahead, make your own substitution for any player or university throughout this missive, it's like an idiot's Mad Libs anyway);
- Because Jacory Harris played for Miami, we must unequivocally support him forever and ever;
- Anyone who does not unequivocally support former (or current) players are not REAL FANS but are, instead, some lower form of life (in this instance, a "loser" who needs to "grow up"), which from now on I will refer to as FAKE FANS;
- REAL FANS must take their wrath out on FAKE FANS and defend the honor of any player who was chosen by the almighty Sebastian to have the holy U bestowed upon his helmet.
That line of reasoning is completely asinine. If someone is so delusional to think that REAL FANS don't gripe about players or take shots at them, I have a herd of unicorns that crap rainbows for sale.
Honestly, being a fan of a specific team, when boiled down to its core, gives joy in two instances.
- The joy of winning and doing well. When this happens, you'll argue about your team's worth and place in the world and that their rightful place is #1 in all polls. You'll parade around with an inflated sense of worth because your team signed a stud recruit. Made a bowl game. Whatever. No player can do wrong, and if they do, well it's just something minor. But then something starts to happen. That minor thing becomes important and you pick at it like a scab on your knee. You know in the back of your mind that underneath that scab is a giant tumor that will bring about the second thing that makes being a fan great.
- The joy of being the only person that can critique your team when things go wrong. Anyone else who critiques it doesn't know the team like you do. You understand the problems like no one else and will point them out at any opportunity. The kicker/running back/safety/head coach/strength and conditioning coach/mascot is a bum and here are the reasons why. If anyone else brings up the same problems, they don't know what the hell they're talking about. And when those players (or coaches) graduate or quit or are fired? You're still the only one who can talk bad about them because you were emotionally invested. Everything else is BS. Sure, you point out the good things, but that's only fun to talk about for a minute. Greatest Miami Quarterback has 3, maybe 4 options. Worst Miami Cornerback? That discussion could go on for YEARS because more are being made every year.
But REAL FANS don't see it like that. They don't have two joys. They only have one and that's when the team is winning. When the team is bad, REAL FANS are miserable people who only talk about how great the 2001 team was, why can't we go back there, Jimmy Johnson should come out of retirement, etc. They can't wallow in the mud and soak up the ineptitude because they can't get over the fact that someone, anyone, especially a FAKE FAN would dare to talk bad about a player because no player on their team ever did anything bad (or stupid).
I mean, it's not like Jarret Payton missed all of spring practice one year because he cut his foot on a piece of coral while snorkeling. Or that Jon Peattie had an unblocked 6 yard punt (I was there. I remember it well). How could you ever talk bad about that? How about when Andre King jumped up from 10 yard catch, made the motion for a first down...but it was actually second and 5 because of a penalty (again, I was there.) Or I don't know, how could you ever bring up that a former player POOPED IN A LAUNDRY BASKET.** That's obviously off-limits, right? Only a FAKE FAN would ever bring up that stuff.
It's ludicrous to say you can't bring up the bad things. Leon Williams wasn't very good when he was a Hurricane despite all of the hype. Leonard Meyers was horrible and you can't say anything to change my mind because memories of him continually getting burned in coverage are seared into my brain. Mike Rumph was possibly the worst cornerback in the NFL (John Madden said so, but I can't find the quote) and was hidden while he was a Cane because of the total baddasery around him.
So call me a FAKE FAN. I'll wear the label and then say that Brandon McGee was a disgrace as a senior and Ray Ray Armstrong made dumb choices and had too many chances to remain on the team. That, as much as I'm happy he plays for us and I'm really hoping for big things next year, Anthony Chickillo didn't progress much from his freshman season. And, despite all the hype, the Miami Northwestern Recruiting Class (the vaunted #1 recruiting class in the country) was a bust as a group.
Now, recruits are a whole different story for me. They're children. They're allowed to say stupid things and switch allegiances, and drop commitments and take visits. However, once you start college and step onto the practice field, you're an adult. If you screw up, you deserve to be called on it. And these aren't personal attacks either, they're opinions on the quality and ability of players (and former players). No one is saying anyone is a horrible human being, except maybe for REAL FANS calling other people losers.
So stand up and proudly declare that Buck Ortega should have never made it onto an NFL roster because honestly, he was Buck Ortega. He played like 4 different positions in 5 years.
Have it at REAL FANS, this FAKE FAN is waiting.
*In the same Twitter thread, I learned that Jacory signed with the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL. Good for him. But it still doesn't mean he was very good. He threw 48 interceptions in his career and 70 TDs (1 pick for every 1.45 TD) on 1170 attempts, so 1 INT every 24 attempts. The FBS record for interceptions is Timmy Chang with 80, but that was over 2436 attempts (so 1 INT every 30 or so passes on average). Now, he had 117 TDs, which puts him with 1 INT for every 1.46 TDs. What's my point? It doesn't really matter, except that JACORY HARRIS HAD THE SAME TD TO INTERCEPTION RATIO AS TIM CHANG, WHICH MEANS HE WASN'T THAT GOOD.