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Dealing with Negativity

In my time on the message boards, I have noticed a trend that is kind of amusing.

There are some “fans” that live to be negative. They can’t say anything good about the team no matter what happens.

These fans always start off by giving you their credentials.

“I’ve been a Redskins’ fan all my life”

“I’ve been a Redskins fan for over 60 years”

“I’ve been a Redskins fan for longer than most of you have been alive”

Etc.

Like somehow this is the trump card so that you cannot challenge their negativity.

Negative Poster – “Jason Campbell sucks”

Other Fans – “Wait a minute, how long have you been a Redskins fan?”

Negative Poster – “I’ve only been a fan for a few years now”

Other Fans – “Oh, well you can’t say anything negative about the team you haven’t been a fan long enough.”

2nd Negative Poster – “Jason Campbell sucks”

Other Fans – “Wait a minute; let’s see some ID, how long have you been a fan”

2nd Negative Poster – “I’ve been a fan for longer than most of you have been alive”

Other Fans – “Oh, well than please enlighten us. We are not worthy to challenge your insight. Teach us that me may come to hate our favorite team as you do.”

These fans never concede anything to the team that they swear they love…ever. Yet they wonder why people are always challenging them about their loyalty. Whenever someone does throw down the challenge about their loyalty they come up with some of the most amazing replies you’ve ever heard. Typically it starts with their credentials again.

“I’ve been a fan of the Redskins for longer than most of you have been alive.”

But when pressed they are likely to say any of the following depending upon the area in which they are being challenged:

-          “I’m a fan of the team, but not the Front Office.”

-          “I’m a fan of the players but not the coaches.”

-          “I’m a fan of the team, but not the players that are on it.”

-          “I root for the uniform, not the players, coaches or front office.”

The last of these is my favorite. I can just picture the radio play-by-play by Larry Michael:

“Okay, the Redskins equipment managers have finished lining up the players’ pads on the field and we are ready to see Suisham’s uniform kick this ball off… Any second now… Well it looks like the Redskins’ uniforms are having a bit of trouble here and the ref has come over to warn Suisham’s pads that if they don’t kick the ball off, the team will forfeit.”

The truly unfortunate thing about the Consistently Negative Poster (or CNP) is that they never temper anything they say. It’s all negative all the time. No matter what happens. Here are a few examples.

-          Antwaan Randle-el makes the catch and gets the first down.

“Why didn’t Jason throw it deep, oh I remember, because he sucks”

-          Suisham’s kick is up, and it’s good!

“Not gonna win the game with field goals.”

-          And Clinton Portis is in for the touchdown.

“Still need more than 10 points if you’re gonna win a game in the NFL”

-          And the Redskins win with the score 24-6

“Yeah, but that was only because the other team sucks worse than we do.”

-          And the Redskins are World Champions and winners of Super Bowl XLIV!

“Took ‘em long enough, guess it’ll be another 20 years before we win another one.”

As you can see, nothing the Redskins could do would be enough for the CNP.  Yet the CNP is a “fan;” never forget that because if you challenge them they will give you their credentials again.

The CNP can be very frustrating for all other types of fans, especially if you don’t recognize what you are up against. The CNP likes to attack anything positive. The CNP sees all other fans as either “Homers” or “Apologists.” If you continue to challenge them after they have given you their credentials, they will typically call you one of these simply because you refuse to see the team from their “glass isn’t half-full; it’s broken and the water is all over the table and floor” perspective.

Now you might be thinking “Bob, just because a fan says something negative, doesn’t make them a CNP, right?” and you would be absolutely correct. It is perfectly natural to express frustration with your team when they don’t play well. So if you see someone posting something negative about the team, you shouldn’t necessarily assume that they are a CNP.

The best way to spot a CNP is to watch their behavior. If the team has won, yet they are still focused on what went wrong during the game; that might be a clue that you are dealing with a CNP. Sometimes the best way to spot a CNP is when they are not there at all. For example, if the team goes on a four game winning streak you may notice their absence.

While most of us were brought up under the guideline of “If you can’t say something nice; don’t say anything at all.” The CNP’s mindset is the exact opposite.

So now you might be saying “Bob, I’ve recognized a CNP, what should I do?”

Simple; ignore them.

The CNP craves the attention he or she gets by their negative posts. They will defy all logic, just so they can continue to be negative. They will refute your stats with name-calling and hyperbole. Consider arguing with a CNP to be the same as mud-wrestling with a pig. You both get dirty, but the pig enjoys it.

It’ll be difficult at first. Your knee-jerk reaction may be to defend your team, but you’ve got to fight it. Save it for someone who has the guts to admit they are a Dallas fan. It does get easier. After a while your mind will automatically filter out the CNP’s.

Save your stats and arguments for someone that might actually listen to reason. Remember, the CNP will try to attack anything positive, but if you ignore their contributions to your thread, you’ll find that eventually they’ll move on to find someone else that will argue with them.

Once you’ve developed that filter, you will find that your time on the message boards to be a lot more rewarding, even if the team does suck.

I’m Bob 0119, and I’ve been a fan for over 25 years!

Go ‘Skins!

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One Response to “Dealing with Negativity”

  1. “I root for the uniform, not the players, coaches or front office.”

    The last of these is my favorite. I can just picture the radio play-by-play by Larry Michael:

    “Okay, the Redskins equipment managers have finished lining up the players’ pads on the field and we are ready to see Suisham’s uniform kick this ball off… Any second now… Well it looks like the Redskins’ uniforms are having a bit of trouble here and the ref has come over to warn Suisham’s pads that if they don’t kick the ball off, the team will forfeit.”

    Holy helicopter Bob man has struck a nerve.

    I am not a CNP, but I do dwell on the negative too much.

    Change my title to CNF. Consistently negative fan.

    Turning over a new leaf however, because being contradictory and generally a sourpuss isn’t helping the team play better.

    The only thing that you are accomplishing is making yourself feel worse.

    A loss stings on its own. No need to compound it with haterade.

    Keep it up Bob 0119.

    Rams coming to FEDEX for a battle of the could be’s versus the can’t be’s.

    Let’s hope the Skins’ deliver a “W” for the home crowd.

    Hail lady of victory, pray for us.”


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