Rivalries: What goes too far?

I was reading on another blog early in the week (I think it was TurfStreetTimes) and read some of the anti-49er comments, which included some anti-49er fan comments. Normally I brush it off, but for some reason I got really upset. I knew I shouldn't; I've heard worse before, and we all know that 49er fans aren't innocent as far as anti-Ram comments (and my poor wife has to put up with my comments, so I know I'm not innocent). We are RIVALS for crying out loud.

Even though I chalked it up to my over-emotionalism, it got me to thinking. When do rivalries go too far? There were some easy things I came up with.

  • Threatening actual physical violence, or committing said violence. - Do I really need to explain further?
  • Actively cheering an injury, or rooting for someone to get hurt. - I expect some disagreement on this one, but tough. I remember back in the nineties when Michael Irvin got hurt playing in Philly. Don't get me wrong; I hate the Cowboys with a passion. I'd almost let a polar bear eat me rather than root for the Cowboys to win a game. I really, really disliked Irvin. However, it sickened me when I saw some Philly fans CHEERING his injury (if memory serves, it was either a head or neck injury). In my book, that was just plain evil.
  • Racial / Sexual / Bigoted slurs. - Pretty self-explanatory, but let me make one example. Calling a fanbase and/or a team with a homosexual slur implies that homosexuals are a lower-class citizen. I don't give a flying flip what your beliefs are on the subject, but there is no excuse for trying to degrade anyone like that. Agree or disagree with them all you want, but when you start degrading people like that you just need to leave forever.

I have a few additional rules of my own. I don't bring up politics or religion. The NFL is something that allows Democrats and Republicans, Mormons and Atheists, and other groups that normally disagree together. We can argue that other stuff in other places.
I try not to insult fans, though I suspend this rule for trolls. If a Seahawk fan comes to Niner Nation to discuss football, even though he thinks Wilson is 100x better than Kaepernick I'm not going to call him a doodoo-head or anything. We can be rivals without having to result to personal insults.
I don't make players names into derogatory terms. (Teams are fair game.) I refuse to call Tony Romo "Homo" and don't think highly of those that do. I'm tired of reading "Krapernick" et al. However, that rule only applies to their name directly. I think Tony "choke" Romo is just fine. :-)
I also don't cuss. Two reasons: one is a personal faith-based decision. Two, I feel that those who have to resort to cussing don't have the proper communication skills to say things properly.
Now, I think all of you should follow all of these rules all of the time, because I follow them perfectly and I think you're all schmucks if you don't follow them!

Monkey's note: At this point we grabbed the author and proceeded to beat him over the head with his "JaWalrus" comments and told him to keep his sanctimonious holier-than-thou attitude to himself. After Snowflake cuffed him a few times, he agreed to tone it down.

There is so much anger and venom in most other blogs (political, religious, Facebook, etc.) that we don't need to bring venom into our sports blogs. We can trash-talk without having to go disrespectful. We can say the 49ers are going to put the Rams in their place this year without having to say "F the Rams!". We can say the Seahawks should be renamed the SeAdderal Seahawks w/o having to say they are all pill-popping baboons buffoons. Monkey note: another cuff on the head for ak4niner.

We can hate our rivals and still respect them.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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