Every-Thing Sports

Jermaine Every: When it comes to fans, it's easy to spot the realists and dreamers

Fans come in all types. Elsa/Getty Images

This time of year brings out the best and worst of sports fandom. Football season is upon us for the NFL and NCAA. The MLB non-waiver trade deadline has passed as the waiver wire trade deadline looms. NBA teams have executed their offseason plans and are looking forward to the upcoming season. The rollercoaster of emotions can be trying. Some fan bases are so Jekyll and Hyde this time of year, it can be a full time job to keep up with them.

What I’ve noticed most, is the variance of opinions within fan bases. They range from the Realists: the ones who seem to know exactly what their team is capable of and leans towards logic, to the Dreamers: the fans who think no matter what, their team can win it all, despite whatever odds they face. The vast majority fall somewhere in between: optimistic about their team’s chances, yet guarded as to what could actually happen. I tend to reside in the gray area.

The Realists are the fans that most other fans tend to dislike. They do their research or homework on things. These are the fans that are well-versed in the goings-on and minutia of what their team is doing. They speak in absolutes and facts. When asking a Realist what their team will do in the upcoming season, they’ll most likely respond with a well-thought out answer based on previous seasons as well as the team’s offseason improvements. These fans are ones that don’t give a damn what other fans think because they feel in their heart of hearts they’re telling the truth. They are the fans who will wear the gear, buy tickets, tailgate, but leave feeling OK because they know the potential outcome.

The Dreamers are the section of fans that other team’s fans tend to dislike because of their obnoxious optimism. They’re the sect of fans that perpetually believe their team is going to win it all. This type of fan is blinded by team colored glasses and can’t fathom anything other than tremendous success. A conversation with one of them typically will end in frustration because they aren’t capable of logical thought. Craig Shelton coined the phrase “suckas for love” when referencing this particular division of Texans/Rockets fans. They are blindly devoted to any direction their team takes and will fight you if you try to convince them otherwise. Dreamers don’t give a damn what other fans think because their minds can’t be changed. Think Thelma and Louise when they jumped the cliff.

The gray area of fandom falls somewhere in between these two opposite ends of the spectrum. They will believe in their team, but have a conservative approach. They will be supportive, but cautious of overdoing it. They’ll also ride the fence when asked to make a prediction. Not to say that they’ll follow the crowd, but they tend to fall right down the middle. If a Realist says their NFL team will go 8-8, the Dreamers will say 14-2; this set of fans will say 10-6 or 11-5.

It doesn’t take much to spot any of these fans. The worst of the worst are the NFL fans I’ve heard over the past week that think their team is a Super Bowl contender after one freaking preseason game! Or the ones who think random NBA veterans, obscure free agent acquisitions, and a rookie drafted in the second round will lead their team to the playoff success over the Warriors. Yes, I’m looking at you overly-optimistic Rockets fans. Wherever you fall on the fan spectrum this time of year, please remember to keep it respectful. Don’t let your opinions cloud your judgment and lead to you looking foolish.

 

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Houston drops first of three

Mariners heat up late to take series opener over Astros

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

With the playoffs just a little over a week away, the Astros started their last week of regular-season games in Seattle against the Mariners. A couple of wins against them would secure Houston's spot as the AL West's second playoff participant, with Oakland all but having locked up the first spot sitting six games in front of Houston with seven left to play. Here is a quick rundown of the opener from T-Mobile Park:

Final Score: Mariners 6, Astros 1.

Record: 27-27, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Marco Gonzalez (7-2, 3.06 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (3-3, 4.24 ERA).

Bitter end to an impressive start for McCullers Jr.

Both starting pitchers would take a scoreless deep late into Monday night's game. While the Astros were trying to figure out Marco Gonzalez, Lance McCullers Jr. was repeating the success of his last start, a seven-inning two-hit start against the Rangers.

McCullers Jr. allowed a two-out walk in the bottom of the first inning, then proceeded to retire the next fourteen batters before a one-out double in the bottom of the sixth gave the Mariners their first hit of the night. He would go on to finish the sixth before things unraveled in the seventh.

A leadoff walk would result in a run after an error by Jose Altuve left runners on first and second, setting up an RBI-double to give the Mariners the first run of the night and a 1-0 lead. McCullers Jr. looked like he was going to cap off his night by stranding the runners on second and third after back-to-back strikeouts, but before he could get the last out of the inning allowed a three-run home run to blow the game open at 4-0. His final line: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 HR, 102 P.

Mariners take the opener

Despite getting several hits against him along the way, Houston could not get anything substantial going against Gonzalez, who would shutout the Astros over eight innings of work. After Enoli Paredes finished the seventh, Brandon Bielak would take over out of Houston's bullpen for the bottom of the eighth.

He struggled mightily, loading the bases with no outs, including a hit batter before allowing a two-RBI single to extend Seattle's lead to 6-0. The Astros would get on the board in the top of the ninth, getting a two-out double by Carlos Correa, who would score on an RBI-single by Josh Reddick. That would be too little, too late as the 6-1 score would go final as the Mariners took the opener, keeping the Astros' magic number at two.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will be another 8:10 PM Central start on Tuesday. On the mound will be Framber Valdez (4-3, 3.82 ERA) for the Astros and Ljay Newsome (0-1, 6.35 ERA) for the Mariners.

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