My retreat from sports has been well documented.  I didn’t watch nearly as much football last year as in previous years, and I am sure I will watch even less this year.  That’s not a value judgment.  This is the value judgment coming up.  Brace yourselves.

I grew up with Longhorn fans who loved to berate Aggie fans.  Then I went to school with Aggie fans who loved to berate Longhorn fans.  Things didn’t exactly get more civil when I moved deep inside SEC territory.  I certainly have participated in my share of obnoxious behavior.  Mea culpa.  But I am finding, with a bit of distance, that most fans have certain things in common.  They hate fans of other schools.  They acknowledge “a few bad eggs” among their own but utterly reject the notion that their side really is “just as bad.”  And they think their own activity to be “in good fun.”

I find this rhetoric pointless, circular, and provocative — even obnoxious in its own right.  So do you, I’ll wager — when the other side is the one using it.

Watch whatever game you want, root for whichever side you want.  But let me make a suggestion.  Quit talking trash about other fans.  Just quit.  Start putting your Sunday values to work on Saturday. 

Before you hook ‘em and gig ‘em, read Galatians 5:13-14 — “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  If you see a loophole for school affiliation in there, you are reading from the wrong version.  Read Matthew 5:44, Matthew 7:12, 1 Peter 2:23, Ephesians 5:4, and Romans 14:19 while you are at it,  Then go be the fan Jesus would be proud of.

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