(This post was inspired by a friend's post on Facebook. The original post follows the story.)
Tom was worried about his friend Jim. The two of them had been great supporters of the high school varsity football team. For years, they attended games and cheered their team, but it was four weeks into the season, and Jim hadn't been to a game yet. This was disturbing. Tom decided to pay his friend a visit.
Tom: Jim, ol' buddy. How you doing?
Jim: I'm fine, Tom. Just fine.
Tom: Are you sure. I haven't seen you at any of the games on Friday evenings. Is something wrong?
Jim: Tom, I'm through with football games. I just am not going to go anymore.
Tom: Can I ask why? I mean, you used to go to every game. You used to sit in the same spot and cheer long and loud. Everyone counted on you being there.
Jim: I've got more than a few reasons, ol' buddy. And it starts with the fans. I love the team, but I can't stand the fans. They've become rude and obnoxious. If the referee makes a correct call against our team, they boo and hiss. But if they see a ref overlook a call on the other team, they go ballistic! They think the rules don't apply to them. They are a bunch of hypocrites. Not only are they hypocrites, the last time I went to a game, they weren't exactly nice to me. Instead of saying, "Excuse me." when they walked past me, they simply trampled over my stuff. A man told me to quit cheering when he was talking on his cell phone. Excuse me! We're at a football game for heaven's sake! Put down your dadgum cell phone and support your team!
Tom: Slow down there a minute, Jim. People are people, you know?
Jim: Don't give me that, Tom. People should know better. They should have better manners than that. They are representing the school when they do that. I don't want to be associated with a bunch of uncouth, rude, and obnoxious hypocrites. Neither do I want to be associated with any sort of fair-weather fans. This bunch now a days--they have no loyalty or commitment. Why, at one game I attended, more than half the fans got up and left when we were behind by three touchdowns. What happened to sticking with your team win or lose? And if the weather is too hot or too cold? Gimme a break. Only the parents come to see their kids, but don't inconvenience anyone with the weather, by God. They'd rather sit at home instead of toughing things out.
Tom: I know, Jim. I know. Not everyone is that committed, but you aren't there for the fans. You are there to support the team. The team is most important. You can't just support them from home.
Jim: Support. Yeah, that's another thing. I'm tired of getting nickled and dimed every time I go to the game. I spend money on tickets. I spend money on concessions. Then they are always trying to get me to buy other stuff and paraphernalia--t shirts, jackets, stadium seats, coolers, koozies, you name it, they got it for sale. Money, money, money. All they want is my money. You say support, but all I've started seeing is dollar signs. It ain't right.
Tom: It's not like you can't afford it.
Jim: That's beside the point. I'm tired of them trying to get it out of me. And it isn't just the football. The band wants money. The PTO wants money. The booster club wants money. Hell, they even let student groups in to do fundraisers. The proverb is that a fool and his money are soon parted, but I won't be played for a fool. I can use that money to support other causes.
Tom: But all that money does good. It helps teach these kids character and responsibility and dedication to a cause greater than themselves.
Jim: Irrelevant. What do I get out of it? Not a darn thing. Last year, the band started playing that new hip hop garbage that you hear on the radio. No more good music. Can't stand that stuff. They changed the words to the alma matter, and that ticked me off.
Tom: They just made the language more inclusive for all students.
Jim: They gave in to that political correctness B.S. That's all they did. There was nothing wrong with things. People understood what those words meant. They were just getting rid of tradition. Throw out all the old stuff for this new fangaled garbage. I won't stand for it anymore.
Tom: But the coach is trying to uphold many of the traditions of the program.
Jim: I liked the old coach better.
Tom: Yes, the old coach was good, but it was time for him to move on. He did a great job, but this coach is taking the team to a new level.
Jim: By doing what? He doesn't even teach the basic fundamentals anymore. He's bringing in all that fancy garbage and stuff. He isn't strict and demand discipline. You can tell it in how the kids play. He needs to be tougher and lay down the law. We don't need any wusses up there.
Tom: Why can't you give him a chance and see what happens?
Jim: There's a right way of doing things and a wrong way of doing things. He's wrong, and that's that.
Tom: But this is your team. You really need to come and support your team. How can you support your team by simply sitting at home?
Jim: Well, I can still show my support. I can go hunting and fishing and think about my team. I can read about them in the paper and what they did. I can watch other teams on t.v. and learn more about how the game is played and think about my own team. It's not hard to support them that way.
Tom: That makes no sense, none at all.
None at all.
12 Reasons Why a Pastor Quit Attending Sports Events
1. The coach never came to visit me.
2. Every time I went, they asked me for money.
3. The people sitting in my row didn’t seem very friendly.
4. The seats were very hard.
5. The referees made a decision I didn’t agree with.
6. I was sitting with hypocrites—they only came to see what others were wearing!
7. Some games went into overtime and I was late getting home.
8. The band played some songs I had never heard before.
9. The games are scheduled on my only day to sleep in and run errands.
10. My parents took me to too many games when I was growing up.
11. Since I read a book on sports, I feel that I know more than the coaches, anyway.
12. I don’t want to take my children because I want them to choose for themselves what sport they like best.