The "Catch-22" of Being a Blogger


From time to time, we like to deviate from being informative and serious, and we like to crack jokes.  If you are a new reader, be warned.  If you're a regular reader, you're already aware of that.  Maybe painfully.

However, there are some folks (or other bloggers) that may happen upon this site and not take a joke for what it is.  They may read what we have to say and try to make more out of it than there really is.  That's even more true when they're actually attempting to make something out of nothing.

Some of you who read the national blog, Dr. Saturday, may have seen Doug Gillet take a pot shot at our fellow blogger, BracketCat, this morning.  In his attempt to profile the disillusionment of fans, he took a simple joke by Bracket, plugged in some emotional comments during a frustrating game, and he used it to feed into his ultimate hypothesis that fans set unrealistic expectations.

Holy shit, Doug.  You just rocked my world.

See? Set reasonable goals and you'll be fine.

Was that from Lao Tzu?  Confucius?  Did Jesus Christ come to you in a dream and say, "Doug, go forth into the blogosphere and tell fans that they're setting unrealistic expectations"?

During the summer, after going to the Kaw Valley Catbackers barbecue, I wrote my own personal manifesto about my feelings on being a blogger.  In it, I said that I enjoy being able to be objective on one hand, and a fan on the other.  I like the freedom that this medium provides.  One day, I can write a humorous post poking fun at coaches, rival schools, and KU football players, and the next day, I can try to have a serious discussion about what it will take for KSU to have a chance in an upcoming game.  I don't have to be serious or funny all of the time.  I can be both.

If you go to most blogs on SB Nation, you'll notice that they have some sort of live thread where site members congregate to ride the beautiful and tragic roller coaster that is being a fan.  And, yes, sometimes we, the bloggers, take part in that exercise of bipolar psychosis.  If the expectation is to be completely rational, what fun is that?  I may as well change the channel and comment on what my wife is watching on "HGTV"...

BracketCat: ZOMG!!!  I can't believe we missed that short field goal!!!!!?!!!!

Panjandrum: Whoa, whoa...slow down there.  You shouldn't be mad.  You knew the kicker didn't have much experience going into the season, so this shouldn't surprise you.

BracketCat: You're right, PJ.  I'm no longer upset about the kicker missing that easy field goal.  After calm, rational analysis, in real-time, I've been able to settle down and enjoy the game for what it is; a way for us to get together and act like a bunch of people walking around a quilting museum.

Panjandrum: That's great; I'm glad we've got our emotions in check.  Hey, have you read the new Nicholas Sparks novel?  He just hits the mark every single time.

So, my counter-hypothesis to Doug's piece is that we're all supposed to watch games like emotionless robots so we don't let our emotions get all out of whack.  We should never poke fun at our rivals, conference mates, or any other school because, hell, your team may lose one day.

Really?  Boy, that's insightful.  Never crack a joke because, someday, you may have something embarrassing happen to you.  Man, I can't believe he's giving this shit away for free.

Growing up, I surrounded myself with a circle of friends that made me laugh hysterically because, well, laughing is my favorite thing in the whole world.  And, truthfully, our humor wasn't always kind-hearted, especially towards one another.  We'd call each other every name in the book because, in a way, it was an initiation into our group.  If you wanted to hang out with us, you'd need to be able to be take a few jokes.  I kid you not, we gave one guy an option between two nicknames, and he picked "Little Bitch" because he thought it was less embarrassing than the other option.  It's who we were.  Each of us had a thick skin, and our mean-spirited humor wasn't really mean.  It was just a form of male camaraderie.

In a way, being a fan in a conference is the same way.  We all talk smack on each other, and we give each other crap all of the time.  However, during bowl season or the NCAA tournament, more often than not, we root for our conference rivals because we're all one big dysfunctional family.  Sure, there may be one or two teams we don't root for one reason or another, but for the most part, we root each other.  I'll root for CU to beat someone, and I genuinely felt for their fans last Friday because we've been there.  Hell, we ARE there right now.

It's unfortunate that a simple joke, which wasn't really all that bad, singled out BracketCat on a national website to support a hypothesis that fans are irrational.  Especially when the point of the piece itself, ironically, is pointless.

The word, fan, is short for fanatic, and the definition of that word means:

-noun: a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal, as in religion or politics.

So, really, what Doug is trying to say is that we shouldn't be fans at all.  We shouldn't be overzealous because that would be...hell, I don't know what he's trying to say that would be.  All I can get out of it is that we shouldn't have fun, crack jokes, or poke fun at other teams.  It's like telling someone to go to McDonald's and buy a salad.  And I don't want to be a salad eating automaton.

Or, maybe the point is that as a fan of a downtrodden team, I should never crack jokes about other teams.  Doug, I've been a Royals fan for the past twenty-eight years.  If that's the case, I'd have been humorless since the Reagan administration.  My football team, outside of a very nice stretch in the past twenty years, hasn't had anything to brag about.  I can't bottle this shit in that long, man.

I read Bracket's post, and I laughed.  Not just because it was funny, but because, yes, misery loves company.  More than that, it's a game, and it's supposed to be fun.  Talking shit, cracking jokes, and constantly calling for the backup quarterback (or kicker) is the right of every fan.  You go up to your buddy, tell him his team sucks, watch said team thump your team, and you hand over twenty bucks you lost on a completely stupid and pointless wager made with no basis in reality.  It's what being a fan is all about, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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