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I know why the Naysayer sings

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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_old; -04-26-2005, 12:48 PM.

  • #2
    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
      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

      general counsel


      • #4
        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
          Re: I know why the Naysayer sings

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


          • #6
            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.


            • #7
              Re: I know why the Naysayer sings

              Sweet songs. LOL


              • #8
                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, 07:38 PM.


                • #9
                  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
                    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


                    • #11
                      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:
                      The more things change, the more they stay the same.


                      • #12
                        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
                          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...


                          Related Topics


                          • AvengerRam_old
                            I wonder... is there an Anti-Bandwagon?
                            by AvengerRam_old
                            It comes as no surprise that a team having success will draw its share of "Bandwagon" fans, who can be defined as fans who jump on board during a successful run but disappear when things get tough.

                            As an aside, I don't have a major problem with bandwagon fans, provided that they are at least honest about it. For example, I'll readily admit that, as a graduate of the University of Miami's Law School (as opposed to undergraduate college), I am somewhat of a bandwagon fan of he Hurricanes. I tend to get interested in them when they do well, but I don't spend much time worrying about the team when they are having a down year.

                            I wonder, though... have the Rams developed an Anti-Bandwagon? What I mean by that is, do you think there are fans who are more active and vocal when the team is down (voicing their complaints, critiques and frustrations) who would, paradoxically, become LESS active if the Rams started winning?

                            If you do think that this phenomenon exists, what do you see as the motivation of the Anti-Bandwagon fans? Is it merely the Cub-Fan-esque notion of supporting the "loveable losers," or is it something else?

                            -01-06-2010, 11:26 AM
                          • AvengerRam_old
                            The Rams are evolving. The Fan Base should too!
                            by AvengerRam_old
                            Yesterday, we learned that James Laurinaitis has a chest injury. At this point, it appears that the injury is relatively minor. However, regardless of how this plays out, I was somewhat taken aback by the knee-jerk response of several Rams fans.

                            Within moments of the injury report, many fans (here and on other sites), went immediately into “Chicken Little” mode – exclaiming that the sky was falling and postulating that the Rams’ interest in Ben Leber must be viewed as proof that JL’s injury is more significant than the reports indicate.

                            I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this reaction. Years of futility and frustration has clearly impacted the fan base. Indeed, it has gotten to the point at which the term SOSAR (“Same Old Sorry A__ Rams”) is no longer a mere insult uttered by the fans of rivals, but rather is a term commonly utilized by Rams fans themselves.

                            My question is… shouldn’t we be moving on from that mindset?

                            While nobody knows exactly what the future holds, even the most pessimistic fan should feel compelled to acknowledge the positive indicators. The Rams have a new QB who was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. They have drafted solid players, if not emerging stars, at key spots such as OT, TE, DE, MLB and CB. They have a new owner with DEEEEEEP pockets. They have a coaching staff/Front Office that seems to be truly hitting its stride. They have upgraded their roster with key free agent acquisitions. And… on the field… they went from one win in 2009 to seven in 2010.

                            Simply put, these are not Skip Rosenbloom’s Mother’s St. Louis Rams. This is a new team that has a lot of promise.

                            As fans, we should not wear blinders or… worse yet… “rose-colored glasses.” It is entirely legitimate to be concerned about the tough upcoming schedule, the inevitable loss of players to injury, and the remaining holes in the roster.

                            But shouldn’t that be tempered by a bit of faith? A bit of optimism? A bit of hope?

                            I know what some of you will say: “there goes Av again… telling fans how they should think.” Well, to those who would respond in such a manner, let me be frank.

                            The Rams do NOT have the most loyal fan base in all of sports. I wish they did, but they don’t. I’d like to see the fan base strive to climb that list, and I think now is the perfect time to start.
                            -08-10-2011, 03:09 PM
                          • supachump
                            100% Support from this FAN
                            by supachump
                            I debated with myself if I should post this. Surely some of the so called "fans" that have given up on the Rams will have some sort of witty reply. However, I've felt an overwhelming urge to post something.

                            The Rams are in a sorry state right now. The front office is making bad decisions, the coach doesn't seem up to the job, our defense is unable to hold it together for an entire game, and our front line isn't protecting the Q-Back making him nervous and unable to find a rhythm.

                            A lot is wrong. But what is right is that the Rams are my team, and for a lot of you on this board, your team as well. Fans have the right to complain and want something better, but a fan should also stick with them and look at the positives no matter how few there seem to be at this particular moment. Contrary to a lot of you, based on the posts I've been reading, I could reluctantly accept another terrible season and another after that and another after that. No, I don't like the abuse and I do want something more, but I stick by my team no matter the outcome.

                            I don't expect everyone to feel the same way and I know that everyone reacts differently. But what I see, as bad as things seem, is a slight improvement from week 1 to week 2. This is what keeps me going. And I do think the team looked slightly better this week. Even if they play even worse next week, I'll still be here and still be a fan, because there is always hope. And when a team is down, this is what makes a fan. And the true test of a fan at that.

                            People with different opinions are welcome on this board is far as I'm concerned. That is what sparks good debate and what could help me something that I wouldn't see otherwise. But when someone becomes so negative that the only thing that comes out of their mouth (fingers?) is down right hatred and they are only sticking around here to spread that hatred. And by their own admission, are no longer a fan and unwilling to follow the team. Well, that's your decision and I support it, but why do you stick around here and continue posting such garbage? Do you feel a need to try and convince more people to join your Anti-Rams social club?

                            I applaud the fans that are sticking behind their team in these bad times. I even applaud the unhappy ones that are overwhelmed with anger, but still hold out a glimmer of hope and remain a fan.

                            Even more so, to the Rams themselves (not that they are listening), but I support you 100%, even in this bad time. You are my team and I stand behind you, just as I would a member of my family. Good times and bad.
                            -09-15-2008, 08:58 AM
                          • AvengerRam_old
                            Every now and again, I have to make a post like this one...
                            by AvengerRam_old
                            Some people really hate posts of this type, but I think its necessary.

                            You see, there is a certain type of "fan." The type that is more interested in "being right" than they are in seeing the team succeed.

                            If you hang around here, or any message board, you'll observe this type of "fan." They're the ones who never seem to be happy or optimistic. They criticize every move. They express low expectations at all times. They chide anyone who dares to express hope.

                            If called out individually, these "fans" will do one of two things (or both). They will (1) claim to be the true "realists," and/or (2) whine that they are being censored.

                            Its not censorship. Its merely the reaction that you should expect to receive when you are a total bore. That's what "fans" like this are: bores.

                            In my book, the only reason to even bother spending time being a fan is to extend hope that this year will be "the year." That's what made 1999 so special to me. I had spent over 20 years believing each season that this was "the year." Sure, there were times that, deep down, I knew I was kidding myself. But then, one year, it all paid off.

                            As fans, we don't draft or sign the players, devise the gameplans, call the plays, or battle it out on the field. All we can do is try, in our own little way, to be part of that "12th man" that, hopefully, inspires the team to play just that much harder. That's all we can do.

                            How you do that when you never see anything but doom and gloom is beyond me. If I ever feel that way, I'll find a new hobby.

                            So, have at it with the "are you talking about me" and "how dare you interfere with my Free Speech" responses.

                            I've said my peace.
                            -03-06-2009, 07:57 PM
                          • bruce4life
                            We all care about this ballclub that is why...
                            by bruce4life
                            It is duly noted we are all die-hard fans of this ballclub , win, lose, draw... We wouldn't be on this website posting daily if we all weren't diehards of this ballclub. Some of us on this take a Rams loss and point out every negative play and the sky is falling. Others will come out of a loss with a positive spin and hope for the best of our Rams.

                            At the end of the day we are all Rams fans and care ( maybe some of us care a little too much about are Rammies) about this ballclub. If one person makes a negative comment and others will get mad at that comment they shouldn't. WE ARE ALL ON THIS SITE BECAUSE WE WANT TO TALK ABOUT RAMS FOOTBALL; REGARDLESS OF A WIN, LOSS, OR TIE....

                            That is my two sense on the last few weeks visiting clanram and see the split of negative posters and positive posters...
                            -10-18-2011, 04:12 PM