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Fandom Is Good

T Kyle, as always, shows off why he is one of the best bloggers out there.  You should read the whole piece, but he essentially uses a silly recruiting feud that honestly, I wasn't the slightest bit aware of, as a jumping off point for a discussing on being a fan

The internet is a wonderful tool and an amazing mechanism for broadening our horizons, sharing insights and information, and connecting with our fellow man. It also enables us to unleash our basest instincts with impunity. This is not the fault of the internet, of course; in the words of the Drive-By Truckers, it don't make you do a thing, it just lets you.

We---and I certainly include myself among that "we"---are worse sports, and worse people, because of the ways in which we are taking advantage of these astonishing technological advances. As the world grows smaller, seemingly, so do we. That has to stop.

Hey, we're not innocent either.  We do our best around these parts to not let the discussion devolve into the usual message board tripe of "LSU Rulz!" and "You suck!" but I'm not going to claim I'm above some well-placed barbs.  We've traded harsh words with our friends over at Red Cup Rebellion, but in the end, it was just internet woofing.  And admittedly, it was pretty funny, and no one's feelings got hurt. 

I don't think all harsh words are out of bounds.  Part of the fun of sports is that it allows us to blow off some steam and ridicule the "other" in a safe way.  No one should ever let team loyalty go past the general mockery phase of fandom, but a little good natured rivalry is good for the soul.  When I say I hate Auburn, I don't actually mean that.  I hate them in the "sports" sense of hatred.  My hatred for those who went to Auburn usually only lasts for three hours a year.

And there's nothing wrong with that.  But one shouldn't let the colors of their alma mater prevent them from trying to engage their rival fans.  The best example is that LSU fans take pride in the fact that we will "Tiger Bait!" the opposition fans, right before giving them free beer and food.  Take the "hatred" in stride, and most fans can tailgate together and hopefully, forge some friendships.  When you act like a jerk, you give the entire fanbase a bad name, which is why there are hundreds of absurd internet stories about how LSU fans raped and killed <INSERT SCHOOL HERE> fans during their last trip to Baton Rouge.    

In the end, we're all more similar than we are different.  We all are on this internet thing, and we all love our school, and we take pride in their athletic accomplishments.  We like the give and take, as long as there is give and take and not just the intent to inflame.  And, of course, we all like the Drive-by Truckers.  Or should.