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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    I know why the Naysayer sings

    One of the reasons I like internet sports message boards is that the social scientist in me views them as an interesting study on the psyche of the sports fan. The one aspect of fandom that has always eluded me is the motivation of the Naysayer.

    We all know who the Naysayers are. On any sports team fan site, there are those posters who profess to be diehard fans of the team, yet they almost never seem to have anything good to say, unless its the day after the team won a championship (some might even criticize then).

    I've always wondered why some fans take on this type of persona. The obvious answer seemed to be that these individuals really were not fans. But, as I've studied it further, I've concluded that, in most cases, they are.

    So what separates the Naysayer fan from the more positive, upbeat fans?

    Today, it came to me... almost as an epiphany. And now (to borrow a phrase from Maya Angelou), I know why the Naysayer sings.

    The difference is fear.

    Let's face it. As fans we all (to aburd extremes at times) put our hearts into the prospects of our favorite teams. When the team disappoints us, it hurts. Its hard to be a diehard. Ask any Cubs fan. In most cases, being a fan means setting yourself up for an inevitable fall, only to do it again the next year.

    Some fans fear this disappointment and hurt so much, that they have developed a defense mechanism. They have become Naysayers.

    Naysayers are like the kind of people who break up with a guy/girl first, so they won't be dumped. They predict doom and gloom, and express pessimism, to soften the blow of the seemingly inevitable heartache that comes from being a fan.

    As someone who's never taken this approach, I would submit that, in insulating themselves (somewhat) from the disappointment of failure, they've also created a barrier that makes it more difficult to enjoy the successes, particularly the small ones.

    I don't agree with this approach. But I now understand it.

    I know why the Naysayer sings.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -04-26-2005 at 03:48 PM.


  2. #2
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Re: I know why the Naysayer sings

    Very well stated, AV.

    Many naysayers claim they are 'realists.' But wouldn't realists point out the positives too?

    That's why I like the Clan. It's a mixture of positive thinkers, wait-and-see thinkers, objective thinkers and only a few 'naysayers.' I see it in my own home when I come to watch the games on Sundays.

    After viewing some other boards like the pitiful Post-Dispatch board, and boards of other teams like the Seahawks Fanhome board, it's hard to figure out why some people are there.

    They claim to be die-hards, but they sit in their easy chairs, fearing to cheer for the team because they don't want to be let down in the end.

  3. #3
    general counsel Guest

    Re: I know why the Naysayer sings

    There are two different kinds of people in the world. Those that strive to see the glass half empty and those that strive to see the glass half full. Some people really are fundementally unhappy in their lives (ie only happy when they are complaining) and that is a characteristic of Av's naysayer fan.

    Attitude regarding a team is merely a reflection of ones attitude towards life. Hard to believe that someone can be negative regarding their team and still be happy and upbeat on a day to day basis.

    If you never get out of bed in the morning, i promise you will never get hit by a car. On the other hand, you will miss an awful lot of what life has to offer.

    Criticizing others without a better solution is hardly a way to go through life.

    Ramming speed to all

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  4. #4
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    Re: I know why the Naysayer sings

    Naysayers are fun. They predict, and predict, and predict gloom....mostly wrong but when they are right it's.....


    SEE, I TOLD YOU SO

  5. #5
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: I know why the Naysayer sings

    TX, they are thus quite ... predictable! :tongue:

  6. #6
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    Re: I know why the Naysayer sings

    I think I may have to play Naysayer this year.... it would be darn fun and childlike and it would irritate Avenger. :redface:

    I am going to predict that the Rams lose every game, every single one of them. Martz will cry in frustration and beat the ground with his fists. Yea, that's the ticket.

    I can predict doom and gloom, and express pessimism. I can, I will, oh wait a second, that is not pessimistic...... doom and gloom will descend upon the Rams .... nothing can be done to stop the little red birdies, or the sea birds, or even the whiners (never mind the teams that are outside our lame division). Little birds will peck many holes in us. Old guys with shallow pans will throw water on us.

    It will be dreadful. I won't be able to watch the games.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  7. #7
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: I know why the Naysayer sings

    Sweet songs. LOL

  8. #8
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    Re: I know why the Naysayer sings

    A.V. Utterblitz please call a truce,we all love the Rams,we curse and scream at them when they lose games they shouldnt have,we threaten to disown them after a lose, scream at them all week because of it,but by next sunday we find ourselves screaming for them again.Do you know why? its because we bleed blue and gold:ramlogo: :ramlogo: :ramlogo:
    Last edited by psycho9985; -04-26-2005 at 10:38 PM.
    My heart beats crazy and my blood runs wild

  9. #9
    rampete is offline Registered User
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    Re: I know why the Naysayer sings

    nice essay av...very insightful and entertaining...

    but if you'd allow, i'd like to point out that the "difference" as you've stated, may not really be "fear" at all. in addition to your points about a naysayers propensity to be defensive as a compensatory fascade, it should be noted that a "homer" or a "pollyanna" may also be driven by the same sense of failure and hopelessness.

    several individuals and friends i've associated with in the past displayed this overtly optimistic and engaging fascade as a way to compensate for their consuming fear of falling into a depressive state or the self-realization of a failed relationship. they gather amongst others like themselves in search of the sense of fraternity and solidarity in midst of troubling times. for them hope is the only thing holding them up together as a human being...

    it's no wonder why many personal relationships between men and women end up in the gutter because we fail to identify nor express what our fears are effectively and honestly. instead, we spend most of our time trying to present a certain look or disposition to others, hoping they'll never get too close or intimate enough to see the truth...

    the difference may be the varying methods of compensating for this sense or fear of failure. the naysayers use defensive and doom's day approach to compensate for the fear of potential failure of their beloved team, whereas the homers use eternal optimism and denial in response to overwhelming sense of loss of hope and fear of isolation...

    perhaps that budda fella said it best when he alluded that we should aim to avoid being excessively exuberant in our joys, nor fall into total despair in times of sorrow...

  10. #10
    UtterBlitz's Avatar
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    Re: I know why the Naysayer sings

    Did I go to the wrong room? I think this is psyc 301. The advanced behavioral relationship analysis is quite interesting, I must say.

    Fear is very powerful. I find it is best to make friends with fear and learn to deal with it.


    “Faster, faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death...” – Hunter Thompson
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  11. #11
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: I know why the Naysayer sings

    Whoever said that football is a barbaric game for neanderthal fans is obviously mistaken...I mean you must have degrees in psychology and anthropology just to be a fan around these parts. :redface:
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  12. #12
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: I know why the Naysayer sings

    While your analysis of the "homer" may be dead on, the truth is message boards seem to be far more populated by Naysayers than homers.

    Often times, fans are accused of being homers merely for expressing optimism. But most of the optimistic fans will also criticize the team when warranted.

    That said, I suppose pure homerism is also a means of avoiding the reality of inevitable disappointment that comes with being a fan.

  13. #13
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    Re: I know why the Naysayer sings

    Been trying to figure out how to respond to this. I believe that AR was trying to be serious, and not trying to poke fun or be mean.

    I think it all comes down to there are different ways for a fan to look at a team. Some fans choose to only want to discuss the positive, as this makes them feel good. Some fans choose to look at potential, cheer when that potential is met or exceeded and complain when it is not. I am sure there are other ways that fans look at their team, but those are probably the most prevalent.

    But, the key word there is fan. Whether you love to love or love to hate, we are still all drawn together by this team. It's that passion that makes us say things, argue with each other, when realistically, we are on the same team...
    This space for rent...

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