By Tony Massarotti

By Tony Massarotti

OK, call me a cynic. But I’ve come to the conclusion that fans are ruining sports.

Let’s start with the NFL Draft, which will begin Thursday night in Philadelphia, the sports world’s equivalent of a trailer park. In Philly, people boo Santa Claus, cheer injuries, throw batteries at the opposition. Tomorrow night, some repressed, overweight Eagles fans wearing a Nnamdi Asomugha jersey will boo Philadelphia’s first pick — no matter who it is — purely because he was put on this earth to do so.

Will he be right? Possibly … maybe … who knows? But that’s hardly the point. The point is that any man roughly 26 or older, who wears the jersey of his favorite player, needs to move out of his mother’s basement and take down the Fatheads, lest he become the next 40-year-old virgin. A colleague of mine suggested that every man should stop wearing the jerseys of players as soon as he’s older than the players on the field, which, to me, puts the number at about 26. And then there’s the 400-pound meathead who decides that he wants to be Danny Woodhead, which is like trying to squeeze a watermelon into a sock.

Try to picture your father, come Sunday, sitting on the sofa wearing an Ezekiel Elliott jersey. It just ain’t right. And Philly, of course, seems like the kind of place teeming with those sorts, which makes it the perfect place for the draft.

Seriously. Take a good look at some of these yahoos come Thursday night and, for that matter, the rest of the weekend. Anyone who builds his life around his team’s acquisition of the left guard from Middle Tennessee should do some serious soul-searching, because, well, it suggests he doesn’t have enough to do.

I mean dude, c’mon. I like the draft, too. But something about the fans who attend it screams no-life degenerate. Of course, in Philly, that’s probably redundant.

But I digress.

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News item: on Tuesday of this week, the USGA and R&A both announced a rule change that eliminates penalties for players committing rules violations that could not be seen with the naked eye.” Simply put, the next time Lexi Thompson places her ball back on the green and misses the exact spot by a fraction of a fraction of an inch, well … no harm, no foul. After the event, Thompson wouldn’t be assessed four penalty strokes — two for signing an incorrect scorecard she did not know was incorrect — thereby costing her a victory.

Now the real point:

Do you know why this rule now exists? To prevent no-life, joyless tools from jamming the USGA switchboard trying to bag some silver spoon for brushing a grain of sand in the bunker on his back swing. Aha! Violation!!! That’s a penalty! Where I grew up, we had a word for this kind of person.


Look, I get it. Sports evokes strong feelings in all of us. And with good reason. Whether or not you’re a hockey fan, we can all appreciate the exhilaration (or deflation) that comes along with sudden-death overtime in the postseason. There is nothing like it. We watch the games in hopes of feeling what the players feel, in victory or in defeat, and someone a long time ago figured out that he could make a ton of money in the process. Unfortunately, some people tend to take this all a little too far.

Lighten up, folks.

When you get right down to it, you don’t have as much at stake as you think you do.

Tony Massarotti is an avid Boston sports fan and has covered sports in Boston for more than 15 years for both the Boston Herald and Boston Globe. He now serves as a co-host on afternoon drive on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. He was a two-time Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year as voted by his peers and has written four books, including “Big Papi,” the New York Times-bestselling memoirs of David Ortiz. You can follow Tony @tonymassarotti.

Tony Massarotti