Letter from the Editor – Putting sports in perspective

Hollywood, MD - October is a great time to be a sports fan. The choices seem limitless on a sports lovers’ plate. The yardwork and other menial household tasks can wait. There are youth games—such as soccer and football—to watch, baseball playoffs on TV and hope for winning seasons for one’s favorite pro ice hockey and basketball teams exists.

While the thrill of watching games and marveling at the drama sometimes is enough, no true sports fan is going to tell you that winning isn’t important. It’s OK to be happy when a team you have an interest in—as a parent of an athlete or a booster or season ticketholder—wins and appears in the hunt for a championship. It’s also understandable if you are unhappy when that same team loses and appears in freefall—as in, this just isn’t their year.

There are “bad” fans everywhere—on the sidelines of youth league games, in the stands at high school football games and in front of television screens in bars.
Two ugly incidents this week, however, ought to help us understand why sports must be put in perspective. One was a confrontation among football fans at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore in which a man sustained a critical head injury. Two other men are facing felony charges in connection with the incident while the injured man is struggling for his life. The other happened in Canada Tuesday night at the Orioles Blue Jays game when a fan threw a liquid container onto the field, just missing an outfielder whose attention was directed at a fly ball headed for his glove.

Yes, America does not have a monopoly on bad fans. In fact, stories about soccer fans who murder players who fail on the field are quite real and contemporary.

It’s OK to disagree with sports officials’ calls. And we can argue whether or not Buck Showalter should have summoned a certain pitcher, whether or not Kirk Cousins deserved a raise or which college team needs to fire their coach. We ought to keep in mind, however, that what we are discussing is part of the entertainment value of sports. If you can’t handle a little razzing from fellow fans, then perhaps you should take up stamp collecting or some other hobby. Your health and the safety of others is a much higher priority than any sport.

It’s also wise for grownups to understand that children are watching how we handle the significance of sports in our daily lives. There will always be a next year in sports. The faces and figures on the field will change but the spirit and striving for excellence will endure forever. The fans ought to be part of that.

I Hope your team brings you some joy this season!

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the management and staff of The BayNet.

Contact Marty Madden at

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