Loyalty in Sports: Fans and Coaches

There have been occasions recently where I have seen discussions of loyalty as it pertains to sports, especially in the case of coaches and fans. Here are my thoughts on both.

Coaches – when the college football coaching carousel started turning again this year, several sports people went on twitter and other media to decry the lack of loyalty. How dare these coaches leave their school for a new job! Where’s the loyalty? My question is this: are sports coaches the only people not allowed to look for better jobs? Or do they think everyone should stay in the same job their entire lives? Would Dick Vitale be offended to know that I have interviewed multiple times for new jobs and have another interview this week? Or is it OK because I’m not a coach? The only
time I’m offended by a coach taking a new job is when he is leaving a school he screwed by cheating and he’s leaving to avoid the penalties for his infractions. Otherwise, a coach has every right to listen when being offered a job that might move him forward in his profession.

Fans: I will preface this by saying I am a very loyal fan. I was a fan of the Braves in the 80s when they were the worst team in baseball. I was at every UK basketball game during the probation years. I watch every UK football game that I can and stick with Ravens through all of the ups and downs. This doesn’t mean I have to support every team decision and that I can’t complain about performance. Being a fan does not mean you have to enjoy an inferior product. If I’m a fan of a restaurant and they suddenly start serving dog food, I’m not to just eat it without complaint. Why should I settle for “dog food” on the field? As a season ticket owner, I’m not going to give up my seats because the team is subpar this year, but if I was considering a single game purchase I might opt for not spending the money to watch this team live if i can watch for free on TV. Loyalty does not require blind allegiance. You can be loyal, yet dissatisfied.

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