Thursday, September 18, 2008

What makes a good fan?

Well if you're reading this site, then you probably read most of the sites that we link to on the side of our blog. Since the Buffalo game, we have seen a wide variety of topics covered. We still have the standard people complaining about parking, script, on campus stadium, and other stuff. We also saw some discussion about game planning and changes that have to be made. Now I'm all for discussing things like that because when you're constantly evaluating yourself and trying to find ways to get better, you are more likely to succeed. While the coaches do read many of the Pitt sites, don't expect them to use some of the ideas they read about. I do believe that when the fans continually question, it encourages the staff to grow and change for the better.

On that note, this staff does not seem willing or able to change when required. Before this post turns into another bashing of the staff, I want to address a major theme I have seen popping up across almost all Pitt sites.

As a Pitt fan, I want Pitt to do whatever it takes to win. If Pitt wins, then I am happy. As part of my personality, I always like to assess the "what ifs". As part of the "what ifs" I am convinced that if we lose our next 2 games, coach Wannstedt would step down either immediately or at the end of the season. There are Pitt fans who are hoping that we do lose so that a change happens. I don't particularly agree with this, but I can see the point. I do believe some changes are in order, but I would never want Pitt to lose to an awful team like Syracuse. I also don't consider those who are somewhat hoping that we lose the next two games as bad fans. I see them as people who want a change because they are tired of seeing the same results. I also believe that deep down, these people ultimately want Pitt to win and if we did so they would be happy. Just because they see a benefit in losing, does not make me consider them bad fans, I see them more as fans who desire change.

On the opposite end of the spectrum we have those that will defend the program no matter what. Having a group like this is essential for a program. These are the people that will continue to buy tickets, spread awareness, and donate money no matter how we perform. These are also, not bad fans. The key with this group is making sure they don't out number the reasonable fans who can justify their opinions.

Here is what makes a bad fan in my opinion. It is the fan who will buy season tickets but not care. The fan who will purchase the cheapest season ticket, show up to all of the games but have no opinion one way or another on the team. I believe a fair comparison would be a standard pirate fan who goes to a game on a Saturday night not because of the team, but rather just as something to do. This type of fan neither drives support towards the team or calls for a change to be made when necessary. A large group of these fans simply make the team stagnant.

My point is this, we will never agree on what is the best course of action for Pitt. The important thing is that we still care enough to debate about what needs to be done for the team to be the best it can be. So before I (and hopefully all of you) begin to throw any Pitt fan under the bus, just stop and take a moment to try and see why a person believes in their opinion. As long as it is to support the immediate and long term success for our Panthers, then I have no problem in accepting it. I just might not agree with it.


Michael said...

a good fan is someone who has a personal stake in the game no matter what happens.

dugdogmaster said...

Excellent post