I was reading a blog earlier from a local personality who said he just doesn't "get it" when he sees grown men and women wearing replica jerseys of their favorite teams or players. Whether it be a football jersey, a hockey sweater, etc.
I've heard this before. Some people think it's silly to wear jerseys, and that's fine. But at the same time, I don't think it's wrong, either.
Someone walking around with a replica Steelers jersey on is no different than someone else wearing a t-shirt of their favorite band. If there is a difference, please, point it out to me.
There is also a sentiment by some people who assume that anyone who is a die hard sports fan is a drunken idiot who has nothing else to fill the void in his or her life and they throw all of their energy into supporting their favorite team.
It's no secret that there are people out there like that, but they are in the minority. Those people at games who get into fights with fans of other teams, they don't represent the majority of sports fans. Just like everything else in life, the idiots get all the attention. They don't represent most of us.
If someone is getting into fights at sporting events, chances are, they're probably showing the same behavior in other areas of life, when sports aren't even involved. Don't blame the sport just because some jackass decides to act up while attending a game. Blame the person.
I have plenty of friends who wear their Steelers jerseys proudly on game-day and they're not drunken idiots. They're just showing their love and support for their team. Do they get excited when the Steelers do something great or upset when they do the opposite? Of course, so do I. I jump up and down, I pound the floor, I even swear, but when the game is over, so is my goofy behavior. I see nothing wrong with that. Now, if I go and slap my girlfriend or break a window because the Steelers lose a game, then maybe I have a problem. But, chances are, it would be in my character to do that kind of stuff with or without the Steelers to cheer for. Don't blame the Steelers. Don't blame football. Don't blame the alcohol. Blame me.
If you can't figure out why people live and die for their teams, why they pull out their replica jerseys and wear them proudly, you're just not a fan, and no explanation will do.
If you do understand why people find great joy in their team winning or sorrow in them losing, then you are a fan and no explanation is necessary.
Being a die hard sports fan is totally unique to any other aspect of life. Where else can you invest so much emotion into something that you don't really have any physical involvement in? There is nothing.
You might get some of that from a tv show, band or movie. But if you go and see your favorite band in concert, there is a pretty good chance that you'll leave their fulfilled. Same thing when you turn on your favorite show. You know it's going to bring you joy.
However, the great thing about sitting down to watch a game is you have absolutely no idea how you'll be feeling in three hours.
I haven't broken out my replica Hines Ward jersey all season, but you better believe I'll be wearing it proudly when the Steelers take on the Ravens Sunday night.
I cheer for the Steelers because doing so gives me emotions that are totally unparalled to anything else I do in my life. And I don't think there is anything wrong with that. It's called being a sports fan. Like I said, if you're not a sports fan, you just wouldn't understand.