sports, fans, crazy

How Much Influence Should Fans Have?

December 03, 2019 - 5:08 pm

Fan. Short for fanatic.


There's a reason fans don't get to make big program or franchise-altering decisions. Fans are fickle. Fans are emotional. Level headed professionals make decicisions (James Dolan and Jerry Jones aside) based on real information they receive from their coaches, players, and training staffs. Fans base their whims on retweets from a guy named Ralph in an alley. But how much influence do fans really have, and how much influence *should* they have?

Many fans feel entitled to influence. Ask an upset fan and they'll say "we buy tickets", "we buy merchandise", "I make donations" as if their $50 single game ticket or $500 one time gift somehow makes them a shareholder in million and billion dollar franchses. To my knowledge only Green Bay Packers fans are actually share holders in their organization. Those fans have actual power. The rest of us have none....but we do have the inertia of public pressure and that is a powerful force.

Here are some examples.

Dak Prescott: the 32-16 career regular-season record Cowboys quarter back's salary was a major news story in the 2019 off season. Zeke got paid and many many fans turned their minds to their QB's pockets. It was talked about for weeks on sports media outlets and fans continue to put pressure on Dallas owner Jerry Jones to pony up for number 4. Will it work? Dak will make good money but Jerry Jones is a megalomaniac, so public pressure won't sway him.

Colin Kaepernick: the ex-49ers quarter back has great hair, but that's not what made him famous. Kaep's stance on police brutality and unfair mistreatment of African Americans has kept him out of the NFL for 3 seasons, has triggered lawsuits and settlements and accusations of collusion. Social politics aside, Kaep has under-used his infamy as a platform for social change but that doesn't mean millions of fans haven't used social media platforms like Twitter to voice their displeasure with NFL owners over their alleged black-balling of CK. Kaep tried to take full advantage of that public interia after his November private workout debacle. He moved the work out last minute, filmed it with his crew so it could be plastered on social media, and in his post-workout comments Kaep antagonized the owners by telling them to stop runnign and indirectly incited fans to do the same. So far it seems to have backfired. Apparently no amount of public pressure can force billionaire NFL owners to sign a player they don't want.

Belk Bowl: admittedly this one is personal and hilarious. The Sunbelt conference has iron clad bowl tie ins, but there's a ridiculous social media push by so so so many App State fans who, despite those contracts, believe the 11-1 AP #20 Mountaineers deserve to be placed in Charlotte's Belk Bowl. Contracts be damned, they won't stop pushing for it and bugging the crap out of App State's Winston-Salem Journal beat writer Ethan Joyce. Ethan has had to reply to dozens and dozens of fans and even wrote an article in his paper about the subject and how it can't happen. There's even a massive subreddit about it. It's gotten so big that whoever runs the official Belk Bowl twitter has gotten in on it and tweeted Ethan "Good Morning Ethan" and replied to fan admitting that they could be trolling or tipping their cap to a possible coup-de-tat...or both.

2 out of 3 times it didn't work and likely won't work in the case of the Belk Bowl either.

In summation, fans have no power. And that's ok.

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