(By Brandon Hansen/Managing Editor of the Chewelah Independent)
Sunday, I slapped on my Tennessee Titans jersey, featuring the name and number of Marcus Marriota and headed to Flamin’ Joes, a Raiders bar in Spokane, to watch the Titans take on the Raiders.
One would consider this perhaps a dangerous environment considering the two opposite viewpoints.
But nope, the food was good and the drink specials were great. There was a group of Raider fans at the bar but they never felt the urge to say something derogatory or shame me for rooting the other team.
And that was, refreshing.
Usually for me, I like to keep my NFL game-watching low key as Seahawks fans can get a little on the crazy side, but even this weekend Packer fans were sitting in the same Raiders bar with Seahawks fan.
In our group of friends we even had a San Francisco 49ers fan, trying to convince himself they were going to beat the Carolina Panthers (LOL), sit alongside our friend in a Russell Wilson jersey who quickly began avoiding any lines.
For a few hours I enjoyed myself, gave a few high fives to people I didn’t know and met some new friends. It’s nice to know that sports still has that ability to unite people even through the recent fad of everybody hating everybody because of politics.
But as I woke up on Monday, the headlines began churning once again and the things that were supposed to outrage me, the memes people posted on Facebook were still untrue and I still remembered this is 2017 and people can argue over something like a hurricane, statues and the latest Wonder Woman movie.
While watching football on Sunday, I had a conversation with somebody across the table and we were talking about Cam Newton and why people don’t like him. We came to the general conclusion there’s no real reason to hate the guy and that can be said for most professional athletes. It takes a lot for a sports fan to actually hate an athlete they never met, an athlete that will never directly impact their life and somebody that just plays a game.
You have to be really drawing from the hatred well to actually despise someone in the sports arena, because at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter.
Generally you can have a spirited rivalry with a team, or put on the act that you really hate a guy. It’s all in good fun and at the end of the day, the more sane of us realize that it’s just a game.
Now if the same could be said for the news these days that would be splendid. Not because somehow politics and government don’t matter in real life. If the Patriots lose next week, it affects no one in reality. If Congress makes a passing of a law, it certainly does affect somebody. But we have to stop hating.
However, hatred has been brewing and even though we’ve never met a said politician, we now hate them and – gasp – people that have voted for them.
If politics were a sporting event, the players wouldn’t even agree on the rules. One side is playing Rugby, the other is dabbling in Cricket.
Politics has now spilled over that if you’re in the middle you’re still a libtard or a conservative racist with no in between. Depends on who you talk to.
The word hate is being used more and more in politics. Discussion about policy and what laws/acts need to be used are taken out of context. People are constantly being put into boxes, labels and groups so you can “hate” them.
There are a great deal of things that politicians and government can accomplish but one thing they really shouldn’t be using is the word hate.
The rhetoric continues to get stronger and the tactics get more underhanded. It’s like if all of a sudden the Seahawks began using hand grenades.
(Although looking at the O-line, this might not be a bad idea)
If people could keep their heads on straight and realize government is policy talk, and emotions have to be strangled out of things for it to be effective, then maybe we could go back to a time where I didn’t have to wonder if posting a photo of a pizza box on Facebook in the middle of the road would elicit a conversation about Trump.
If Packer and Seahawks fans can sit at the same table, then why can’t Americans? You don’t have to agree on policy, but there are many alternatives to hating each other. You might even get something done.
Keep an eye out for those trying to trigger you with outrage, anger, feelings, emotions and sensationalism. They’re knowingly feeding into the problem.
We’ve got to get back to a time where we could at the very least watch the same game, agree on the rules and root for the country.
Because right now our current political situation is making football fans complaining about passing interference seem sane.