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Booing is a fan’s right

Abraham Lincoln — the President, not the vampire hunter –
– once said you can please some of the people all of the
time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t
please all of the people all of the time. The saying
originally described 1860’s politics, but it also sums up
the relationship between sports teams and their fans in
the new millennium.

Let’s be honest, as sports fans we are at best a fickle
bunch. At worst we experience emotional swings that would
make Lindsay Lohan embarrassed. We can go from thinking a
player is the best to thinking he’s a choker and back
again faster than a Bugatti roadster goes from zero to 60
and it’s all amplified by the instant gratification that
is social media and the internet. That’s not to say it’s a
bad thing. As a matter of fact, it’s great. It makes the
games and major events like trades and free agency more

These emotional outbursts should be about as surprising as
finding out Nicolas Cage’s hair isn’t real in most movies.
It’s the reason for being a sports fan. It’s also built
into its definition. Fan is short for fanatic, as in
obsessively and emotionally concerned with something. It’s
that obsession that leads us to strange and irrational
behavior from time to time.

It’s why over the years in Arizona we’ve turned Max Hall
and Craig Counsell into cult heroes, rooted for Stoney
Case and Ryan Roberts to be starters over more experienced
players and thought that Josh McCown, Nikoloz
Tskitishvili, Marcel Shipp and Eric Byrnes were going to
be Valley stars. (OK, I didn’t think that, but I knew
people who did.)

Our passion and desire to see our hometown — or adopted
hometown in many cases — teams win makes us blind to how
ridiculous or outlandish our actions as fans really are.
Take the Cardinals Fan Fest for example. On the surface it
looked like a meaningless practice three months before the
season. But when you add in an audience of 15,000
football starved fans, things get a little strange. That’s
why when Kevin Kolb threw an interception and had a pass
knocked down during the workout, the angry birds showed

Was booing the potential starting quarterback of your
team, who was coming off a season in which he was under
prepared due to a lockout and cut short due to
concussions, the right thing to do? Of course not. Was it
a complete overreaction to what amounted to a bad decision
or two in an early summer practice? Yes. But that’s the
business we’re in as fans.

Remember, we’re the same group that thought a young
quarterback from USC was a better starting option than a
handsomely-stubbled former Super Bowl MVP. That is until
one atrocious preseason start against Oakland a few days
later helped swing the pendulum, and the opinion of most
fans, the other way.

It’s our right as fans to boo and criticise when we want
to. Without that, sports wouldn’t have drama, athletes
wouldn’t sign multi-million dollar contracts and when we
talked about people with great closing skills we’d be
talking about guys selling insurance for a chance to win a
Cadillac or a set of steak knives from someone who looked
like Alec Baldwin.

As fans, we’re emotional and passionate. That’s why we’re
in the stands and not sitting behind the desk of a sports
team’s front office. It’s why we boo, cheer and question
every little move teams make. It’s also why we have to be
ready to admit we’re wrong because even though our
favorite teams and athletes can’t please us all of the
time, that doesn’t mean they don’t know what they’re

Hopefully Kevin Kolb will prove that this fall.