Congratulations, Mets fans. Your team is going to the World Series, and I think that’s great. Your boys will play either the Blue Jays, who carry the hopes of a huge nation on their back (they’re Canada’s sole MLB franchise) or the Royals, who last won the Series 30 years ago. No matter whom the Mets play, it will be a great series. Great story lines, great athletes, great food in any host city. Bring it on.
See? That’s how to be a gracious fan of a winning team. At no point did I raise my index finger, grimace into a camera and scream, “Yeah, baby! In your face, losers! The Cubs suck!” No cars were tipped over. Not one thing was set on fire.
Nothing brands you a jackass faster than being THAT guy, the obnoxious sports fan who doesn’t know how to celebrate a victory. When your team has the good fortune to win the big game—or series or championship—your guiding principle should be this: be a gentleman. Be happy, be joyous, but don’t be a shit head. Need some specifics? Here are a few ways to make sure you celebrate like a champion today.
Remember what you’re celebrating. You’re happy because your team won, not because somebody else lost. Keep that in mind when you’re celebrating, and make sure your actions reflect that fact. None of this “In your face!” stuff. In order for you to be a winner, someone else must, by definition, be a loser. And losing sucks. You don’t have to remind anyone of that fact.
Act like you play the game. Even if you didn’t, take a cue from the guys on the field, court or ice. After the series he’s had, Daniel Murphy has all the right in the world to tip over a car and set it on fire. But he didn’t. Neither should you. Shake hands and hug your bros. Scream a little at each other. Champagne baths? Sure. But leave the losers to their misery and don’t rub it in. Need more reinforcement? Watch hockey teams after a playoff series. They’ve beaten the shit out of each other for at least four games, questioned each other’s parentage, courage and skill, and still they line up to shake hands. I mean really shake hands, not a slap as they skate by. If the players can be this gracious, certainly their fans can, too.
Act as if this has happened to you before. And I offer this advice as a fan of the Boston Red Sox. When the Sox finally won the World Series in 2004, it was the first time in my life that my favorite sports franchise had won a championship. And rather than jumping around like a moron—or tipping over cars in Kenmore Square—I took it all in and thought about my father, who was born, lived and died without ever having the privilege of seeing such a thing. Then I woke up my first-born and put him in front of the TV so he could always say he saw the Sox win.
A little perspective, please. It’s a football game, not the Battle of Leningrad. Yes, your team now has the coveted Big Brown Jug as well as bragging rights for the next year, and yes, you can rib your friends who went to State for having such a sorry team. But when you stop to think about all the other stuff happening in the world that deserves your passion and attention, it may put the 60 minutes of football in the appropriate perspective.