Civilized fan of sports, or rabid sports fan?

Sports fan: Was outside the arena in Vancouver, turning over cars, breaking windows and making a fool out of a city that is one of the best in the Pacific northwest, and the host of the last Olympiad.

Fan of sports: Realizes that it has taken a lot of hard work and dedication for these athletes to attain what they have.

Sport fan: "LeBron James is a bum! He can't play in the big game. How is he even in the NBA!"

Fan of sports: Respects an athlete's privacy.

Sports fan: "Mr. Jeter, can I have your autograph."

"Sure, sir. Just let me finish using the toilet first."

Fan of sports: Encourages their children to do their best in whatever sport they choose to play and support the team in any way that they can.

Sports fan: Pushes little Bobby toward basketball because that is the sport he enjoyed growing up and believes that, so what if Bobby can't dribble or shoot, he should be a starter or the coach does not know the game.

Fan of sports: May disagree with a call or a move by a head coach or manager, but realizes it is just a game.

Sports fan: Writes an anonymous opinion section stating that the referee that was responsible for the 30-point blowout or the coach that won't start Bobby should be fired and shamed for eternity.

I could go on, but I think that paints the picture. Now I am not saying that I sometimes do not have flashbacks (Terry Collins as Mets manager?). It is a long road to detox from being a sports fan to a fan of sports.

But I'm getting there.

Keith Lobdell is the editor of the Valley News. He can be reached at keith@denpubs.com

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