Last night I was reading a review, by a guy named Fred Schwarz, of the book Loyalty: The Vexing Virtue, authored by Eric Felton. This jumped out at me:
Perhaps the most familiar example of the joyous side of loyalty is seen among sports fans. Felten mentions sports only once, briefly, and wrinkles his nose at the mean-spiritedness of fans who seek to humiliate their opponents. Here he misses the key point: Sports loyalty is not about winning; it’s about losing (and after several decades of sitting in the Baker Field stands rooting for Columbia, your reviewer can speak with authority on this subject). You earn a share in the team’s victories by remaining steadfast through its defeats; diehards hate nothing worse than a fair-weather fan. And since in almost every case, there will be more losing than winning (only one tam can win the championship), being a sports fan is the purest (i.e., the least rational or calculated) form of loyalty there is. That may be why it is sometimes the strongest, and often the longest-lasting, loyalty in one’s life.
Other than the first and last sentences, I think this opinion is wrong on many levels, at least with regard to college sports. (the guy went to Columbia, for cryin’ out loud…) What do you think?