It seems a lot of people out there want to be the one to define what it means to be a "true" fan. They'll tell you how many teams you're allowed to support, how many games you have to attend, and what you have to wear when you go.
With all these conflicting sets of rules, it's possible to forget the golden rule. But being a good sports fan should never get in the way of being a good person.
You all know who I'm talking about: the "true" fan who thinks his ticket gives him the right to swear at players, referees...never mind the eight-year-old two rows ahead of him.
Don't forget the "true" fan who disowns a good friend, just because she forgot not to schedule her wedding on a game day.
There's the "true" fan who's otherwise a nice old lady, She sends nasty, derogatory e-mails to the newspaper which dares to print the facts about her favorite coach. (You know, Mom always told me never to be afraid of the facts. After all, Love isn't actually blind. Love sees the flaws and is willing to overlook them.)
Some so-called "true" fans will even shoot out the windows of cars that carry the bumper sticker of their rival.
It's amazing and sad what behavior some people will justify in the name of their love of sports. Being a fan doesn't mean you have to be less of a human being. And that's the truth.
A final and unrelated note: Does anyone buy the theory that the MLB players' union won't allow blood tests because of privacy issues?!? Baseball players are poked and prodded by trainers and conditioning coaches. They can't be traded until a GM is certain he has every detail on an athlete's most recent groin injury. They are sometimes contractually obligated to keep to a certain diet. Do these players have any privacy left to protect?