Delving Inside the Minds of Irrational Fans (aka "IFs")

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Delving Inside the Minds of Irrational Fans (aka
(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Before I joined Bleacher Report about two months ago, my discussions about sports were pretty tame.

My friends and I pretty much take the same approach when it comes to sports. While we are fervent in our defense of our favorite teams and players (my friend Kyle and I have had some epic Montana vs. Marino debates), we also are able to discuss our favorite teams logically and rationally.

But in my time on this site, I have encountered a different kind of fanthe kind of fan who doesn't respond to reason or logic.

These people are the irrational fans.

For the sake of this article, we'll call them "IFs" (as in, "If JaMarcus Russell throws for 4,000 yards, the Raiders will go to the Super Bowl!")

These IFs are not restricted by geography, team alliances, or leagues. They run the gamut.

Here is a sampling of some of the most ludicrous beliefs from the IFs I've encountered:

IFs from Oakland: The last six years have simply been a "rebuilding process" for the Raiders, and 80-year-old Al Davis is still sharp as a tack.

IFs from Minnesota: Brett Favre will be the second coming of Jesus Christ and will lead the Vikings to that elusive Super Bowl ring.

IFs from Los Angeles: Ron Artest is not crazy, Manny Ramirez made an honest mistake, and the NFL will come back one day. Also, Michael Jackson never molested any little boys.

IFs from San Francisco: Barry Bonds' accomplishments are 100 percent legit.

IFs from Orlando: Vince Carter is not over the hill and will lead the Magic to an NBA Championship.

IFs from Gainesville: Tim Tebow will be the next coming of Steve Young, despite the fact that the University of Florida has never produced a quality NFL quarterback.

The thing that frustrates me about the IFs is that you can present hundreds of well-thought-out arguments that seemingly refute any nonsensical point they make, and they still keep coming with witty responses like: "You're an idiot!"; "How would you know? You're not even a fan of the team"; and (my personal favorite) "Do you wear that suit so you can spew (garbage) at people every day?"

It's like talking to a brick wall, only that wall talks back and is far more annoying.

I guess that's the beauty about sports, though. Fans can be optimists, pessimists, or something in between.

I'm beginning to wonder if these IFs have the right idea, though.

How much better would my life be if I convinced myself that the 49ers were going to win the Super Bowl? Or that my Padres will make the playoffs despite the fact that Jake Peavy will probably miss the rest of the season?

Sure, I'd be in for a rude awakening at the end of the year when my teams fell woefully short of my expectations.

But I'd still have the ultimate trump card in my back pocket, the credo of all IFs everywhere.

"Wait 'til next year."

I guess ignorance really is bliss. If only I could stop using my brain.

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