Fans should save boos for the right moment

By By Marco Villano

By Marco Villano

A couple of years ago, Stuart Scott of ESPN made a New Year’s resolution for sports fans worldwide8212;a resolution to stop booing opposing teams at sporting events. When I heard that statement, it changed my whole perspective on being a spectator of teams I faithfully follow. Instead of looking for a chance to get out of my seat and yell obscenities, I can sit back and enjoy.

Now that I am a sports writer, I can’t cheer or heckle, but as a sport’s fan, Scott’s revelation is the best thing that’s happened to me. Since I started covering the Runnin’ Utes basketball team, I have noticed fans booing teams that have never made an appearance in the Huntsman Center.

What is the point of this? How could a Ute fan justify booing an 18-to-22 year old college athlete who busts his-or-her ass to play a game they love? These are rhetorical questions and need no specific answer, but this mindless act needs to be brought up.

Sitting in the press box during the introductions at the LSU game Jan. 6, I looked around at the MUSS, albeit small, and the rest of the crowd to see their reactions to the Tigers. It was embarrassing as a student at the U to see fans booing a notable, SEC team that is doing our team a favor by traveling all the way to Utah and giving them some national attention.

The booing, heckling, jawing and whatever undertone you can think of, need to stop.

Give these guys some credit for being exceptional athletes who are either trying to get to the next level or just getting an education. It’s rare to see any circumstance in which a college team deserves to get booed at, the exception being BYU8212;rivals aren’t withstanding.

In the pros, it’s more prevalent than anything.

The only example that I have is when the Jazz hosts a team with a star player like Kobe Bryant or LeBron James. It’s as if Jazz fans are just letting out premature aggression toward these guys, knowing they are going to drop 30, 40 or 50 on them. If anything, they should be celebrating the fact that they get the chance to watch future Hall of Famers in their prime.

What do fans get out of booing opposing teams? It can’t be an intimidation thing because surely they are used to it by the time they reach college. Maybe they are letting out some aggression from a bad day. My theory behind this madness is this trait has been instilled in fans at a young age by their parents, just as most traits are.

There is a time during games in which booing is acceptable. Say a ref makes a bad call8212;light him up, or an opposing player makes a dirty play, i.e., whenever Dennis Rodman went up against Karl Malone. Save the boos for when they seem right, it makes them more valuable and meaningful.

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