F*** sides, man, what we need here is a little solidarity! – Mr. Pink, “Reservoir Dogs”
Mr. Pink is right.
I realize he was referring to a jewelry store heist and not being a motorsports fan but the general idea is the same. If we can put away some of our differences in the stands, on Twitter, and in the comments section, rooting for your favorite driver or team would be a more communal experience.
(Side note: I never thought I would invoke Quentin Tarantino dialogue in a motorsports column but anything is possible on a Chromebook.)
Rivalries are awesome and the passion from watching your favorite driver do well in a race is a top experience, but do you need to be an a**hole when Kyle Busch wins a race and your driver was pulling up the rear? Nah, man, enjoy the fact that we get to watch racing together and scream at the top of your lungs after a proper day of enjoying some cold ones at the track or on the couch.
I get it, I really do, that energies run high during a race and to see your driver lose and his rival win can be tough but there’s no need to be a jerk to the guy sitting next to your or to start a fight. Yell, cheer, clap and boo but realize that the fan next to you also loves racing and you two probably have no history together, beyond watching a race in close proximity, but ultimately you have the solidarity of motorsports.
As a longtime sports fan and sports reporter I’ve seen too much hostility between strangers that are watching the same game, motorsports race, or any kind of sporting event, but forget to realize that ultimately we are watching a contest without real world consequences.
I try to keep things in perspective when I am enjoying a game or race. Yes I was bummed that the Phoenix Suns lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals and I sulked for a few days after Game 6, but life goes on. Hopefully the addition of Nevada Wolf Pack alum, JaVale McGee will help their front court depth that Milwaukee exploited, but that is neither here nor there.
Rivalries are awesome and can make sports more interesting & entertaining.
Case in point: My beloved Red Bull F1 team has bumped heads with Mercedes-Benz F1 a few times over the years, mainly due to Christian Horner and Toto Wolff not always seeing eye-to-eye on F1 guidelines. The rivalry has been enhanced by Red Bull’s better race results in 2021 and as of this writing Lewis Hamilton has a three-point lead over Max Verstappen.
If I was to come across a Mercedes F1 fan, probably not likely in Arizona but I’m optimistic, hopefully we could keep our dialogue civil when debating the merits of our respective teams. And that’s the point; a debate is bit has connotations of dialogue and civility. One argues when emotions rise and the blood is up.I don’t know about you but I prefer a friendly debate.
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We don’t need fights in the stands when talking sh*t gets out of hand. We can use the comments section or Twitter in a more courteous manner. I don’t really know why there is so much negativity in relation to a game, but I was once part of it.
My main negativity and all of those bad sentiments were directed towards the University of Nevada Las Vegas Runnin’ Rebels, aka the in-state rival to my beloved Nevada Wolf Pack. Nasty comments, a general sense of disdain and a tendency towards schadenfreude clouded my perceptions. In time I realized that UNLV fans had the same goals as Nevada fans: Beat the in-state rival, even if that is your only win of the season.
We are opposite sides of the same coin, or whatever cliche you wish to use, because ultimately your rivals are probably like you.
I’ll get off my soapbox now.