After spending five football seasons in the heart of SEC country, I have a few suggestions for my brethren. I think they will give you a great deal of peace — and I guarantee they will give your brethren a great deal of peace. And let me beat you to the punch by saying I have been accused of being “as bad as anyone,” so these points are as much for me as for you.
To sum up, it’s Luke 6:31 — “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” Since the Lord was not much into football, let me put it in more practical terms.
If you don’t like people giving you a hard time when your team loses, don’t do it to them.
If you don’t like people making excuses when their team loses, don’t make excuses when your team loses.
If you don’t like others making wild generalizations about your team or your fellow fans, don’t make wild generalizations about them.
If you don’t like opposing fans being loud and obnoxious, don’t be loud and obnoxious.
If you don’t like opposing fans making excuses for their players’ and coaches’ bad behavior, don’t make excuses for the bad behavior on your side.
If you don’t want opposing fans to judge you by your worst behavior, don’t judge them by theirs.
If you don’t want the other fans to chuckle when their team gets away with something and scream when borderline calls go against them, don’t do it yourself.
If you don’t want a hundred of your friends posting partisan rhetoric on your social media, don’t post your own rhetoric on the walls of a hundred of your friends.
If you don’t like others rejoicing in your misfortune, don’t rejoice in theirs.
Try it this weekend. If you like it, tell a friend. Who knows? We might start giving people the impression that our relationships with our brethren are more important than our relationships with complete strangers in shoulder pads.