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Stupid Brand Loyalty

It’s just a freekin’ game. Sure I have written about the important life lessons that sports can teach you, and I’m an advocate for playing team sports, but extremist brand loyalty like this…it is everything that is bad with society.  Last week on opening day for baseball, a cherished day among fans, a spectacular day for family and friends (the memories created on opening day is the kind of stuffs you tell your grand children about-that good), some idiot fans at Dodger Stadium stalked and beat up a rival San Francisco Giants fan putting him in the hospital.

Bryan “seems like a cool and normal guy” Stow was wearing giants gear at the opening day game between the storied rivals and some idiots beat him up, put him in the hospital, in a coma, and last I heard, there is possible brain damage. All accounts claim that 3-4 individuals stalked Stow and his posse after the game and basically jumped them. Stow’s posse members were lucky enuff to get away, but the paramedic, father of two, from super mellow and awesome Santa Cruz, was not as lucky.

I’ve mentioned my allusion with sports a couple a few times here, before, esp. in the last couple of years. Sports is the girlfriend that I can not quit and the g-friend that doesn’t make me happy anymore. I’m clinging on, refusing to quit, because of history. We have had such a great history (oh, the memories). But the relationship has become abusive, and I find myself continually enabling sports, making up excuses for it’s behavior-or more specifically, the behavior of the fans and the jerk millionaire athletes.

The most recent jerk millionaire athlete to let the fans down is none other than Manny “Man Ram” Ramirez. I’am guilty, myself, of saying, “Oh, that is just Manny being Manny,” as if that phrase justifies bad behavior. Dude just got busted for the second time for the ‘roids.’ I have no excuse for him now. Damm, I forgot the dudes name, but about a month ago a baseball player was arrested for (allegedly) DUI’ing, drinking straight from a bottle of whiskey while the officer questioned him, then he got out of the vehicle and yelled, “Do you know who I am,” over and over. Then there are the ones that can’t feed their families (Latrel Sprewell) because 17 mill. a year is not enuff, or they will just straight up go on strike (NFL) because, as one ball player put it, “The NFL is slavery (really, slaves earned millions of dollars and acted like sexist jerks-sounds like pseudo-history).”

Fan is from fanatical. It is an extreme position, I’ll dare say irrational. Why do I heart my Phoney Niner’s so much. It doesn’t makes sense…and it doesn’t have too; that is until peeps get hurt. Word on the street is that Dodger Staduim has been like this for years. Up here in Nor-Cal we have the Raiders and talk about an irrational bunch (Raiders fans can start and end an argument…with their fists. Passionate or stupid). One time at a Niner’s game, there were these disgusting fellow Forty Niner’s fans behind me and they were yelling at a Tom Brady fan in front of us. They said things like “b*tch, whore, you suck this or that, etc…” I was ashamed…and a little bit scared. They had genuine hate on their faces, they, and I really believe this, wanted to kick some white, blond arse (the ladies looked Samoan to me).

What has happened. Has it always been like this, this fierce brand loyalty. It is reminiscent of gang philosophy. Wrongly, they believe that they own parts of the city, blocks of the city. They believe that being born into a neighborhood gives them some kind of right, some kind of privilege, some kind of “something something” to use harassment and violence to protect their brand, their tribe. They have their colors, and their gear that represents something to them (to me it represents stupidity). At one time in the evolution of humans, that may have been the sh*t, but now, it’s just sh*t.

“It was going to be one of the greatest weeks of our lives,” says John Stow, a cousin (link).” I used to feel that way also. The anticipation of a good, no a great game, the match ups, the thrill and the drama….yea, I used to feel that for sports. Now I just feel jilted…like a lover.

* Good luck to the Stow family. Giants stadium and fellow paramedics are raising money for dude. there are many ways to help. Thank  you.

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