Amy Donaldson: We need to look in the mirror on fan behavior

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  • Susie_Hodson Kansas City, MO
    Oct. 20, 2012 8:08 p.m.

    I can't thank you enough for this article. I am a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs and you were emailed by a a friend of mine in support of your article as I posted it in our group that opposes fan violence. She wrote you after I posted your article in our group and I would like to thank you for helping us out. Yes, my beloved Chiefs are at a horrific 1-5; yet I will support I have for most of my life. Yet, with our record being such that it is, the sniping going on between Chiefs fans is appalling.

    Thank you again and any support you can give us would be more than helpful.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 2:40 p.m.

    In my 25 plus years of officiating youth sports I can attest to two main problems and their sources of unsportsmanlike behavior

    1- Some Coaches - they loose control and try to blame the loss on everyone else, including officating. They do not teach sportsmanship on the fiels

    2 - Some Parents - This is by far the biggest reason for unsportsmanship. They live through their kids and lose control of their emotions. They yell and scream all type of unprintable comments at officials, Players, other team's coaches and players. They believe that winning is the "ONLY THING" that counts in life.

    I used the term "Some" because it is unfair to those coaches and parents that do try to teach and model good sportsmanship.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Oct. 15, 2012 1:04 p.m.


    Then explain to me how I've had beer poured on me at two different RES games vs. BYU. I'm sure no one comes in with any alcohol.

    Again, your denial of any wrong-doing based on your sole observation is appalling. I seriously doubt you actually sat 4 rows behind Hall's family. If you did, how did you know recognize them? Did they identify themselves? Did you ever take your eyes off of them the whole game? How were you able to hear all the conversation from 4 rows back?

    Most people would have a real hard time keeping minute track of events during a spirited football game from even 2 rows behind. But this is off-topic. Your denial is what facilitates the behavior talked about in this article.

  • 00dave Provo, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 1:00 p.m.

    Very appropriate article this time of year. I film a few youth football games each fall and I think I'm going to leave the camera on a little between plays and catch the ridiculous things that fans yell at refs and sometimes at coaches and players. My favorite are the screams about a call on the other side of the field. "Come on, he caught that in bounds!"

    Sadly, there are a few coaches out there that should NOT ever be coaching these kids. Especially, when this may be the youth's first experience with a particular sport. Hopefully, those coaches can either be weeded out or they are able to learn that they look like an idiot yelling uncontrollably at someone else. Fortunately, those seem to be the exception and most youth coaches do a great job at helping the player have a positive experience.

    Unfortunately, there are still many fans, coaches and players that suffer from some sort of "hatred" towards the opposition (or maybe life in general) and may never figure out how to keep a lid on it. Maybe that's their only outlet in life to release some pent up anger.

  • Me, Myself and I The Promised Land, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 12:52 p.m.

    First off I agree there is a problem with sportsmanship in our society. Secondly it's not more social media's fault than the regular news media. People love to report whats bad or wrong because of the "oh no they didn't,...really" type responses they invoke. Most of Ms. Donaldson's stories are upbeat and positive, thank you for attempting to keep them that way. I do have a problem though with her claims of being unbiased. Although she may try to keep her stories that way, no one is truly unbiased. This article is a perfect example, placing most the blame for the epidemic of poor sportsmanship on parents, coaches and social media while not recognizing or pointing out t.v., radio and news papers have just as much to do with this problem. I think of myself as a reasonably good sport but we all have our moments of weakness. Recognizing those moments and striving not to repeat them the best we can will eventually bring us back to civility and good sportsmanship in athletics. Own what you do and don't pass the buck openly admit it and do better next time.

  • pleasethinkalittle Springville, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 11:35 a.m.

    Thank you above commentators for proving her right. :) What you say is so true. My husband and I both coach and play multiple sports. If we want our children to grow up with respect and civility, we as adults need to be the example for them. It is a sad thing when kids see their parents out of control at a community rec game. And it is sad to take a look in the mirror and see that sometimes, we are the problem. Nice commentary, I enjoyed it.

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 11:33 a.m.

    get real, the u sells no beer, but much of the crowd hauls it in.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Oct. 15, 2012 11:22 a.m.


    I was sitting four rows behind his family and nothing happened...that's how I know he lied.

    And you do know that beer isn't sold at Rice-Eccles Stadium, right?

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Oct. 15, 2012 10:52 a.m.


    How do you know Max lied? Lack of a photo?? Are photo's the only way to prove threatening phone calls or beer being poured on fans? I'm saying BYU fans are not perfect, but you're saying Ute fans ARE??

    It's one thing to try to excuse behavior. It's quite another to deny it every happens. You and I both know there is some stuff going on at Utah-BYU games and it's not all from the BYU side....

    I know plenty of classy Ute fans. Your behavior, sadly, is illustrative of this article.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Oct. 15, 2012 10:40 a.m.


    I'm afraid you've got the facts mixed up. Ute fans still heap vitriol on Max Hall not because he called us classless, but because he lied about what happened to his family during the game. He slandered an entire group of people over an incident that never actually happened. As the author pointed out, everybody has a camera now days, but yet there's not a single photo of the alleged incident with Max Hall's parents. Keep in mind Max Hall also accused Arizona St. fans of doing the same thing, and once again there is not a single photo.

    On the other hand, there are photos of a BYU fan assaulting Kyle Whittingham's wife. So yes, you can be sure BYU fans will make "regrettable mistakes."

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Oct. 15, 2012 10:32 a.m.

    Reminds me of all the Ute fans who still heap vitriol on Max Hall for being outraged about the way his family was treated. People forget the reason why he felt as he did, only that he was angry at all Ute fans (not knowing which ones were responsible, only that the culture had gotten out of hand). I'm sure BYU fans also will make regrettable mistakes. We can't expect athletes and their families to take endless abuse.

  • teleste Austin, TX
    Oct. 14, 2012 10:26 p.m.

    "We've been teaching our children for decades that if you pay money to sit in the stands, then you're entitled to pretty much say or do what you want."

    That is correct. As long as you are within the confines of the law you can say or do what you want. It's called being a fan and it is protected by the First Amendment.

    Want more civility? Go to High Tea and eat cucumber sandwiches.

    BTW -- The fans are frequently correct about "idiot coaches". In the case of KC, had the Chiefs pulled Cassell he would still be healthy and the team might have won the game.