I swear, the fans of the team might have the most whacked priorities of any NFL fanbase. We've been so jaded over the constant years of mediocrity and losing that we're sarcastic, bitter, and hopeless. We're part of a franchise that's so down upon itself that some have reached a point where they feel the need to berate other fans who actually ignore the bad parts and still wish for success and hold a little hope that it can be achieved, all while keeping the label of "fan of the team" themselves.
We're not that bad off. Yes, we look terrible, yes we have looked terrible, this offseason was not stellar by any means (and calling it solid or anything remotely above "par for the course" feels like a stretch). But we're not the only hopeless franchise. We're bad off right now. Guess what, so are the Panthers. Guess what, so are the Vikings. Guess what, so are the Bills. Guess what, so are the Titans. Guess what, so are the Seahawks. Guess what, so are the Dolphins. We. Are. Not. The. Only. Bad. Franchise.
The difference is, their fans still have hope. Their offseason may have sucked. The Vikes traded for McNabb and lost all their primary receiving targets outside of Harvin and Shiancoe, the Dolphins had a clusterfuck of an offseason (may have been worse than ours), don't even start me on the Seahawks, and the Panthers just went 2-14 and had to draft a franchise guy at the start of the year while vastly overpaying for players that they shouldn't have had to pay that much for. Their. Fans. Still. Have. Hope. That. This. Year. Might. Be. Good.
Not us though. Many are calling the season a wash. Some are even reveling in that prediction and are giddy to laugh at us when we're all dejected at the lost season by December. And that bothers me. Not because we have a reason to be hopeful (we don't, that's why sports is usually filled with senseless hope and deranged fans), but because those people, the people who would revel in their team's failure just for the knowledge that they were, in fact, right, are calling themselves fans.
Newsflash: They aren't.
No one who purposefully wishes for the team to fail, especially for the sake of being right, should not be considered a fan. Fans may be logical. They may see the writing on the wall and feel like the team is going to do bad. But that should not ever stop them. Regardless of how hopeless the team looks, how badly things look like they'll go, your obligation as a fan is to root for your team's success. To hope for their success and greet them with cheers when they succeed. To loyally follow the franchise through the thickest and the thinnest. This is not a friendship. When you are a fan, you are married to the team.
Act like it. If you can't do that, get out.