The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Fans over-zealous in adoration of pro athletes

By Chris Cates/sports editor

What’s in a name? Apparently for one Chicago Bears fan, not too much. After losing a Super Bowl bet, a man is changing his name to Peyton Manning. This is just completely insane on so many levels, but once the insanity can be put aside, one begins to wonder … where do we draw the line?

Fans today paint themselves, buy memorabilia for sky-high prices, heckle ruthlessly—some even kill for their team (See Dodgers-Giants game in 2003). There’s absolutely nothing wrong with supporting your team and/or believing in something, but we need a line here somewhere.

I wonder what this man’s family thinks. Maybe he was their only son and now, without warning, his name is Peyton. And not just any Peyton, either; it’s Peyton Manning. This is where the line is.

Nothing’s wrong with overspending on team merchandise. Heckling is part of the package and can even serve as a home-field advantage. But changing your first and last name based on a football game that you play no part in whatsoever—now that’s just plain stupid. Let the players play and be a fan, but not to this extent.

Changing one’s name is not exactly a small decision, especially when you’re changing it to the name of the Super Bowl MVP.

Does this man honestly expect people to start calling him Peyton? Better yet, does he think anyone will take him seriously? If I were the fan, I’d back out now and keep my real name.

Fans these days are getting crazy. From the heckler at Tampa Bay Devil Ray games to the deaths at sporting events because of fan arguments, things are getting out of hand. I’m sure that the 1940s didn’t see antics like this. Then again, maybe that’s a testament to the growth of sports; the ultimate goal is fanfare and money, and both are present nowadays.

Gambling is a major part of professional sports and, unquestionably, a large part of the problem.

When money is at stake, emotions run deep, and judgment can tend to be blurred. Bad decisions and even violence can—and sometimes do—ensue, and that is obviously one of the negative aspects of professional sports.

But when I really think about it, it’s hard to argue. Because fan support is at an all-time high, and as a fan of all sports, I’d rather there be more awareness than less.

If teams don’t sell out tickets, the game is (in most cases) considered a failure.

With the emergence of television came a whole new fan base. More sports fans exist now than ever before, and despite some flaws, I’d rather have it this way than the other.

In the future, Mr. Bears fan, think before you act.

Actions like this give us fans a bad name.

With fantasy sports coming to the forefront, all games televised on some media outlet and the expansion of the Internet, sports have become more fan-centered than ever before.

So go buy your jerseys. Go act a fool in support of your team. But don’t make stupid bets based on your favorite team’s potential performance in the Super Bowl.

You never know what your name could be when you wake up.

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