Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My version of the Football Fan's Ten Commandments

On my way in to work yesterday, I happened to be listening to an interview with Michael Tunison, co founder of Kissing Suzy Kolber, a football humor site dedicated solely to the NFL. Tunison was promoting his book, “The Football Fan’s Manifesto” on Steve Czaban’s radio show.

In this book, Tunison talks about the football fan’s Ten Commandments.
1. You Must Choose Your Team by the Age of Eight.
2. Value That Team Above All Else, Even Yourself.
3. Under No Circumstances Can You Switch Teams (And Expect to Live).
4. There is a Limit to the Amount of Merchandise You Can Own (But It's Very Generous).
5. Sportsmanship is for the Athletes. Fans Can Gloat Endlessly.
6. A Self-Induced Coma to Skip the Off-season is a Practical Solution to an Annoying Problem.
7. An Inoffensive Fantasy Football Name is a Lame Fantasy Football Name.
8. Wealth Doesn't Matter So Long As You Don't Have to Work Weekends.
9. Respect Superstitions. If Your Team Lost, It's Because You Jinxed Them.
10. In Life, the Order of Importance: Football First, Football Second, Football Third, Family . . . uh, I Don't Know, twelfth?

Being that he runs a football humor site, I found his interview very funny. However, I did take issue with a couple of his “commandments”. I thought that I’d tweak a few of them to be more to my liking.

1. You must choose your team by the age of eight.
- I would change this to say that a person must “follow” a team by the age of eight. This is the age that a lot of us start to play organized sports (little league, rocket football, youth basketball, etc.). For me, this was the age that I was able to sit and watch an entire football or baseball game and actually know what was going on. I watched the Detroit Lions because my dad did, so naturally, I thought that I was a fan. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that I just followed them. I then decided to choose a favorite NFL team of my own (Kansas City Chiefs).

3. Under no circumstances can you switch teams (and expect to live).
- This is a tricky one. Normally, I would agree with this. However, after what the Detroit Lions had put it’s fans through for decades (especially the Millen era); I believe that each fan is allowed 1 switch. In my mind, each fan deserves a right to a competitive team. There should be rules to switching though. For instance, if a fan desires to become a “free agent fan”, they need to come up with a list of qualities that they are looking for in an NFL team. Then, they should contact each NFL organization (letter, email, phone call, etc.), explain their situation, and ask them what they could offer if you became a fan of their team. I tried this a couple of years ago when I was tired of watching the Lions. Some teams sent emails telling me why I should become a fan of them, others sent magazines and schedules, and some even sent merchandise. I ended up choosing the KC Chiefs because their organization spent the most time on explaining why they love the Chiefs. It really showed me that they cared about their fans.

If a fan is willing to do the leg work in finding a new NFL team, as opposed to choosing a team just for the sake of switching, then I believe each fan should be allowed 1 switch.

The more I think about it, maybe these “tweaks” that I’ve added should be the start of something new…The Football Fan’s Bill of Rights.

I like the sound of it.

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