Fan- (noun) derived from the English word fanatic meaning a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm. Its always been noted that people take the love for their teams to the extreme, but recent goings on in the sports world and how some fans reacted has irked me to a level I've never reached.
The emergence of social media, Twitter and Facebook in particular, seems to have totally disconnected people from the fact that athletes are human just like the rest of us. Our society has this mentallity of "I can say whatever I want behind a keyboard" and while friendly banter between opposing teams' fans is acceptable, some people cross the line of fan etiquette.
There is also an increasing amount of violence at sporting events, some where people even get killed over something as silly as team preference. I myself witnessed a fight between Laker and Spurs fans after game 2 of the 1st round playoffs between them. "Smack" talk turned into verbal threats towards ones mother, then escalated into a 5 on 5 brawl taking 3 police officers to break it up. I would love to ask the involved parties what they gained out of their actions, I assume the answer would a black eye and a night in the tank. I'm as big a Spurs fan as they come and I will talk some trash to a Lakers or Mavs fan any day of the week, but I would never (and most likely couldn't physically) throw a punch at someone because we disagree on a certain team.
Fans have forgotten how to treat other fans as people and instead treat them like they are scum from another planet and it only seems to be getting worse with each new generation. Is there hope for society to reverse this trend, or will showing your true fandom eventually turn into an all out gladiator fight to the death?