Extreme School Spirit

I live in a place where a heated rivalry between two major universities exists. My husband and I happened to have graduated from the school that most other members of our families consider the enemy. This doesn’t bother us, and while we’ve taken some good natured teasing over the years when “our” football team has done poorly, we’ve given just as much back when “their” school has a less than stellar year.

Actually, we hardly even care, but it’s something fun to talk about with relatives that actually have an interest in sports. Neither of us have watched a football or basketball game for at least a decade, but we hear the scores and sort of pay attention to how “our” team and “their” team is faring.

I guess I didn’t realize how loyal some fans really are. While I was with some youth from my church, touring a local spot with plenty of Christmas lights and decorations, a man walked by in the opposite direction.

He looked at me–stared at me–with intense hate in his eyes, actually even grimaced and balled up his fists. I couldn’t understand what I had done to elicit such a strong reaction from a stranger. Even the teenage girl who was walking around with me noticed his behavior and commented.

Then, I noticed his ball cap. It had the “other” team’s logo emblazoned on it. I had forgotten for a moment that I was wearing a winter hat with “my” school’s logo on it. I hadn’t purposefully made the choice. It was just the first hat I grabbed that I knew would keep my ears toasty warm.

He was about as crazy as this guy...

He was about as crazy as this guy…

Judging by his reaction, this stranger probably wanted to tear the hat off my head, throw it on the ground and stomp it to a million pieces. And was having a hard time keeping himself from doing so.

Dude, it’s just a hat. I can’t help it if “my” team is winning more games than “your” team this year. And if you’re that upset over someone stranger’s headwear, you obviously had missed the meaning of the decorations and holiday reminders around you.

So, Mr. Scrooge Fan, settle down, take a deep breath and know that I still have enough holiday cheer in my heart to give you a pass and wish your team success in their bowl game. After all, it is Christmas.

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4 thoughts on “Extreme School Spirit

  1. this reminds me of a story (which I hope to not butcher in recounting) where Steven Covey was on the subway. There was a man sitting with him in the same subway car and the man was sitting passively by as his children ran amok all over the subway car. It was enough of an annoyance that Covey finally relented and spoke up to the man about the horrific behavior of his children. The man looked up as though he had not even realized there was a problem and sadly replied that they were headed home from the hospital where their mother, his wife had just passed away and that they just did not know how to deal with it.

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