If you read the Washington Post's Alan Goldenbach's item below this one, you'll understand why he and I are sometimes cynical about our interest in organized sports. It's hard to remain a fan when fans act as Dick Meyer describes. Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs frequently praises the hometown fans who attend the game. Obviously, he doesn't sit in the stands:
At a recent Bears-Redskins game in Washington, D.C., CBS News.com’s Dick Meyer was horrified by the behavior of his fellow fan — obscenities, stripteases and aggression were the hallmarks. It will be the last pro football game he attends, Mr. Meyer writes in the Washington Post. “There simply was no code of conduct, no social superego, that discouraged this behavior, even around children,” Mr. Meyer writes. “Worse, some people were there precisely to get drunk, angry, loud and vile. The idea that fans would have manners or courtesy in any form seems archaic and silly. Americans have been worried for a decade about the social isolation known as ‘bowling alone.’ But if the social bonding generated by ‘watching together’ is like the atmosphere at the Bears-Redskins game, it’s understandable why many people prefer to watch alone.”Sportswriters need to be able to separate themselves from being a fan. Is that something you can do?