Saturday 24 April 2010

The Fickle Nature of Tiger-Cat Fans

It has been a long time since I posted anything, and I apologize for those who have been looking for content and have found nothing. The CFL has slow periods every now and then, and it seems as if we are in the midst of one. The draft is almost here, training camp is just around the corner, and before we realize it, the season will be in full swing. With that, I now bring you my first piece of writing in a week. I'll try my best not to have such a long dry spell in the future, but if there's no news, there's no news.

So to pass the time I have been spending more and more time on the Ti-Cat and CFL forums talking about various topics, none of which I thought required a post by yours truly. People talking about the new stadium, our burgeoning rivalry with the Blue Bombers, and just general chatter about the goings-on in the Canadian Football League have been topics that have tended to dominate the forum as of late.

One topic, however, sparked a bit of anger in me (and actually got me reprimanded by Ti-Cat owner Bob Young), and that topic was Quinton Porter.

I'm not going to spend an entire post discussing Quinton Porter, but the debate that raged on the Tiger-Cat forum got me thinking about the nature of Tiger-Cat fans. This one poster is steadfast in their belief that Porter is, has been and always will be a terrible Quarterback. That Porter will never develop and that the Cats would be better off in trading him for a bag of balls or cutting him outright. I'd even hazard to say that this poster would be fine with the Cats just receiving the bag and making the Cats supply their own balls. I spent the better part of my week trying to show this poster the error of their ways. I wasn't trying to change their opinion, just show them that their opinion wasn't fact and that they could be wrong. After trading insults back and forth (which resulted in the aforementioned reprimand) I decided I had had enough and stopped participating in the discussion.

I understand and accept that most, if not all, sports fans are fickle to a certain degree. Tiger-Cat fans are no different. After years of... what's worse than mediocrity? Anyway, Ti-Cat fans are understandably frustrated after dealing with losing season after losing season. It seems that that frustration has turned Hamilton fans into the Canadian equivalent of Philadelphia fans. Harsh? Perhaps, but here me out.

I have noticed that Ti-Cat fans have been very quick to anoint a player, usually a Quarterback, as the next saviour (see Printers, Casey; Maas, Jason), and when that player doesn't immediately become the second coming of Danny McManus the fans turn on him almost as quickly as they crowned him. Of course I'm talking about early Danny McManus, not the guy that was mercilessly booed out of Ivor Wynne Stadium during the latter years of his tenure in Steeltown because, clearly, that guy sucked. (Please note my sarcasm.)

This is the type of attitude that I am talking about. It seems as if a guy can go from hero to goat faster in Hamilton than in any other city. It's this fickleness that makes us all look bad as fans. It seems as if the Ti-Cat faithful lack a little thing called patience. It may be hard to practice patience when the team is mired in a slump so bad it requires serious, long-term psychotherapy, but we should at least be able to allow for longer than a season.

This is why the topic of Porter's skills (or lack thereof, according to one Ti-Cat forum poster) sets off the response in me that it does. Do I know for sure that Quinton Porter will become the next great Tiger-Cat Quarterback? No! Does anyone know that? No! But does anyone know that Porter is destined to join the many other forgotten players who journeyed north of the 49th parallel? No!

And that's the point I'm trying to make. We, as fans, need to be vocal and opinionated, but we also need to be rational. We can all be a bit quick to judge, but it is the irrational few who have turned it into an art form, and they are also the ones that make us more moderate fans look like lunatics as well. Throwing the baby out with the bath water is what got us stuck in this cycle of atrociousness, which finally looks to be ending. We need to give players time to acclimate themselves and see what they can do. A little patience goes a long way. A wise man once said, "Patience is a virtue." It seems as if it is a virtue that some Tiger-Cat fans do not possess.

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