Yesterday I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to do something I have wanted to do for years. I got to see my favorite football team, The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, play against the Washington Redskins at Fed Ex Field in Landover, Maryland.
I have probably been to 20 Bucs games but this was the first time I got to see an away game. I’ve lived in the Washington D.C. Metro area for almost four years and this is the very first time since I have lived here that Tampa Bay played the Redskins up here. I wore my Buccaneers jersey and everything.
I was slightly concerned that I would get some razzing wearing the enemy uniform but none of the Redskins fans said anything to me.
I was happy. It was a beautiful day. For a while the Bucs were even winning. This was when it started.
The Redskins fans started booing their own team.
The first time I thought. Aw, that is sad and I felt bad for the guy who dropped the pass. Then they booed their quarterback, Jason Campbell. He had just thrown an incomplete pass.
Then I started feeling sick.
This was their team. I watched my team (who are now 0-4 by the way) blow a perfectly good lead. The Bucs stunk up the field but I was there cheering them on every single play. I was amid 50,000 Washington fans applauding the enemy and they were booing their own team in their own stadium.
I’m not saying that the ‘skins were playing well. I am not saying I agree with the play calling. I am not saying that the fans shouldn’t have been disappointed with the level of performance they were seeing.
What I am saying is that booing your own team is mean. It is bad manners.
I know that this isn’t going to win me any friends at the bus stop, but I was appalled. I knew it happened at the last Washington home game, but I wasn’t there for that. I didn’t hear how loud it it was. I didn’t hear how mad they sounded. The crowd sounded bitter.
As upset as I was by the event, some people here in DC see it as a positive thing.
Say for example, you are a Caps fan:
It’s a storied franchise, filled with championships and great names and history that bleeds into just about everyone around here – until now. People are pissed, and for good reason, with anger the likes of which I’ve never seen in my 27 years as a Washingtonian.
They’re annoyed and confused and frustrated. But most of all they’re searching for something, anything, that can give them some enjoyment as the Skins stumble to disappointing losses and equally disappointing wins.
Enter the Caps, the team filled with young superstars and contagious personalities. Enter the team led by the underdog coach, with the Russian phenom who could just as easily be that kid on your block who used to fry ants with a magnifying glass as he could be the Next One. Enter the group of guys who are so quotable they make Clinton Portis look like Sidney Crosby. Enter the team that has more potential than all the teams in DC combined, and that has more fun than all the teams in DC combined.
Okay, I see her point. I also happen to love the Capitals. Maybe she is right. I know for a fact that the fans around here are pissed off. I’m afraid to listen to talk radio on Mondays. I am still just amazed by a fan base that would would pay $80 for a ticket and then boo.
Maybe that is the problem. Maybe these people expect to see a little more effort on the field for their money. Maybe they are just bitter about losing to the Lions.
Or possibly they need to learn some manners.
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Originally written for and posted on BlogHer.com. Cross posted with minor changes.
[photo: Paul Sancya | AP ]