Twitterbugs should be silenced 0
Winnipeg Blue Bombers VP and GM of football operations Joe Mack speaks to press at Canad Inns Stadium on Sept. 6
I, like most Manitobans, have taken to slinking around with my head down low. I have been studiously avoiding my friends and colleagues from Saskatchewan in case they bring “it” up. I don’t want to acknowledge “the big disgrace” that happened on Labour Day. My Bomber jersey is hanging in the very back of my closet and my mouth has been firmly sealed when it comes to game day banter. And while the jersey will come out again for the Banjo Bowl on Sunday, I am not stomping around loud and proud and confident in my team. Apparently, that makes me a bad fan. Me, a fan who has supported the team for years – even going so far as to wear my Bomber jersey to Taylor Field (now Mosaic Stadium) on non-Labour Day games when I lived in Regina, making me the lone Bomber fan for miles.
According to some social media junkie Bombers players, Winnipeg fans should shut their mouths or else expect the players to come to our day jobs and heckle us while we work. Umm … there are so many things wrong with that thought process that I don’t think I’ll even begin to dissect it. But as you all know, keeping my mouth shut is not my strong suit.
Of course, some fans go overboard – they always do. But fans go overboard in their support of this team, too, buying licence plates, jerseys, cowbells, season tickets to a stadium that isn’t even built yet, to name a few. Overboard fans are part of the whole football experience, I’m afraid. But when the Blue Bomber fan experience has been criticized throughout the media of late (just try to take a bottle of water into the game – you’d think you were smuggling in unstable explosive devices), the team has been caught in some half-truths about the timetable of the new stadium, and the performance on the field is really, really bad, the players should put up or shut up, not attack the fans.
I am disappointed in my team – not for the loss on Labour Day (even though that was abysmal), but because it has been several seasons of disappointment. Being so hopeful and then so let down is, quite frankly, exhausting. Despite this, I am not a fan that has been posting on Twitter or starting Facebook pages with the purpose of trying to get individuals sacked. I am a fan who loves the team – the history and tradition of it, the jolt of excitement when the boys in blue and gold rush onto the field – and I have done nothing but support them, but I’ve had enough of being attacked by players through social media. And yes, I feel attacked. Don’t tell me how to be a fan. Don’t tell me what you’re going to do unless you’re going to prove it to me on the field. In short, keep your mouth shut, be a professional and get the job done.
Obviously, the players are upset, but they should realize the fans are upset, too. It was embarrassing being a Bombers fan last Sunday. It wasn’t a loss against the best team in the league. It wasn’t a close game where they tried their best. The Bombers just didn’t show up. They didn’t want it. And as a fan, that stings! So, Bombers Twitterbugs, stop aiming your vitriol at your fans and put it where it belongs – on the field against Saskatchewan on Sunday.
Tara Seel is a contributing columnist to The Daily Graphic.