Baffoe: Convention-Goers Are The Lowest Form Of Fandom

By Tim Baffoe-

(CBS) Stop. All of you pathetic excuses for human beings, stop.

Stop attending team fan conventions. They are the equivalent of a Justin Bieber concert, and you, convention-goer, are the screaming, crying, fainting tween girl.

You are the lowest form of fandom. A grown adult traveling downtown to a hotel ballroom to see other adults talk about their jobs—pathetic. And if you seek autographs, please drive off a cliff.

I’m a Cubs fan and root for them harder than anyone. I also understand that the Cubs play a game, and I respect myself too much to ask another grown man who plays a game for a living to write his name on something while I’m wearing a shirt with that man’s name on it.

And I know you make fun of Trekkies and the weirdos who go to adult entertainment conventions and buy the rubber genitalia replicas of their favorite porn stars. But guess what? You’re no different. Your drooling over a middle reliever or offensive lineman or backup goalie is on the same level as the creepy guy imagining his life-sized doll he’s kissing is really a person or that he’s a member of the Imperial Army.

If you’re there on business, fine. Nobody ever went broke trying to make money off of idiots. I’ll also cut you some slack if you are there with your kids and strictly for them. The fawning over athletes by children is absolutely fine—I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t guilty of it back in the day. I spent an entire summer as a kid writing to every player on every professional baseball, basketball, football, and hockey team asking for autographs and memorabilia (and I actually got a lot of stuff in the mail, my favorite being an autographed picture of Vlade Divac).

But at the same time, use the opportunity to teach your kids. Let them know that these men are professionals whose ultimate motivation is money. It’s not the fans, regardless of what PR clichés come out of their mouths. Let your kids know that this isn’t real life, that sports do not put food on your table or stop you from going to work each day. Sports are our greatest opiate, and we should not let them consume our lives or take up our time in the form of spending hours in a room with a bunch of strangers hoping to get a glimpse of Ryan Dempster (“Oh, I hope he does his wonderfully hilarious and accurate Harry Caray impression!”). Have your kids learn that someday they will have to accept that these men are not role models or heroes, and teach them proper priorities.

The clips of this past weekend’s Cubs Convention were beyond embarrassing as they and ones from Sox Fest and the Bears and Blackhawks Conventions always are, and none more than the freakish ovation given when Kerry Wood and his new contract were announced. You were going nuts for an average at best middle reliever who flexed his “Cub fans will be angry if I’m not on the team in 2012” muscle to get Theo Epstein to sign him while Epstein is trying to tear down the old Cubs—that you for some reason celebrate—and build a champion. “Oh my God! It’s Kerry Wood! He struck out 20 Astros fourteen years ago and hit a homerun in a playoff game that we lost! I’m gonna go get his autograph and then huff some cleaning products!”

What bothers me the most is that outsiders see you the convention-goer as representative of a team’s fandom. It isn’t fair to the rational people who aren’t pathetic fanboys to be lumped in with your dumbass questions to the general manager and you buying a t-shirt with an uncreative joke about the team on it. You “got Wood?” Congratulations. I have a college diploma.

And I am aware that proceeds from these sports conventions often go to charities. Fantastic. But forgive me if I’d rather just mail a $60 check to a charity than stand among a bunch of sheep in jerseys and watch the team president jam with the awful Plain White Tees.

Be an adult for once. Cheer for your team, but don’t blur the line between sport and real life, and stop burying your head in the sand in thinking these players, coaches, and executives are glad to see you and want to talk to you, and stop with the eternal optimism crap. Embrace reality instead of fantasy for once. And I don’t want to know where you’re hiding that Kim DeJesus-autographed mini bat.

tim baffoe small Baffoe: Convention Goers Are The Lowest Form Of Fandom

Tim Baffoe

Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget , but please don’t follow him in real life. He grew up in Chicago’s Beverly To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.

More from Tim Baffoe
  • Cris Benson

    “…weirdos who go to adult entertainment conventions and buy the rubber genitalia replicas” Tim Baffoe did you really think this out before this idea before putting to keyboard.

    Come on Tim their not sex addicts, perverts, or sexual deviants. That was just stupid. Crazy yes but not sexual deviants that comparison is irresponsible and just for shock value.

    Very lame Tim.

  • I Call BS

    “I also understand that the Cubs play a game, and I respect myself too much to ask another grown man who plays a game for a living to write his name on something while I’m wearing a shirt with that man’s name on it.”

    So I’m assuming you have no autographs, no jersey’s and no memorabillia in your house, huh Tim? I find that hard to believe. And what’s more pathetic…..A man who plays a game for a living or a man that writes articles about the man who plays sports for a living?

    “Sports are our greatest opiate, and we should not let them consume our lives or take up our time in the form of spending hours in a room with a bunch of strangers hoping to get a glimpse of Ryan Dempster.”

    Yet sports absolutely consume the lives of you and everyone who works for the Score and every other sports media outlet. Your life is consumed covering something that we aren’t supposed to be consumed with. That’s hypocritical and very, very sad.

  • Zatso

    Nice to see an article with a lot of sense to it. Cubbie lovers will continue to bleat on and on.

    This Wood adoration is stupid. He’s a year older and slower no matter how you pontificate.

    Sentiment doesn’t doesn’t have an ERA average, W/L record, or K’s to SO’s count.

    Money minded athletes are terrible role models. You want enjoyment, go to a T-ball game.


    • Guy Incognito

      ERA average = Earned Run Average average

  • Rich G

    It won’t be the lowest while sports talk radio callers still exist.

  • John Gallione

    Get your head out of Dan’s ass for two seconds and write something that matters. Just because you won some contest doesn’t mean you are above every other fan. What is wrong with people taking a day off work and having a little bit of fun while meeting their favorite cubs players? Its harmless and you know it.

    • Lil' Bycracke

      That’s what I thought now:

      Baffoe = Bern-stein Jr.

      • Chris in Scottsdale

        Bernstein = Yogi Berra.
        Baffoe = Dale Berra.

  • Jason

    I would not ever go to a cubs convention but who am I or you for that matter to say someone else can’t enjoy it. Not everyone is living the life that they had hoped for and if they want to be meatballs for a few hours so be it. As for your comment about “outsiders” anyone who would think that those fans are representitive of all fans is a meatball themselves. Get off your high horse and let the dopes have their fun. It’s all money in Theo’s pocket for future, hopefully good, moves.

  • Scott

    While I agree with Dan & Terry on many issues, this one I disagree with. Maybe not disagree, but more like indifferent towards. If somebody wants to sink their money and time into the Cubs Convention or any other fest or convention, then who are we to say they shouldn’t? 25 years ago you could have written this column and urged the Cubs to stop it because it makes the Cubs fans look stupid, but now that every team in every professional sport does it, all fans everywhere look stupid, don’t they? So what Kerry Wood gets a standing o? Go to A’s Fest/Con and I’m sure Seth Smith will be warmly welcomed and Coco Crisp will be cheered for staying in Oakland instead of joining a team with an actual chance in 2012.

    And what fan base doesn’t look stupid to an outsider? Dodgers fans are stupid because they arrive in the 3rd, leave in the 7th, and celebrity watch during innings 4, 5, and 6. And they beat up people in the parking lot too. New York and Boston fans are foul-mouthed, annoying-accented elitists. And maybe if they stopped singing “New York, New York” or “Sweet Caroline” they’d actually win something this decade. I mean, what team has perfect fans who leave quickly and quietly when their 4th place team wins a meaningless August home game?

    Finally, thank you for breaking the news that sports are about money. And here I thought if I talked to Marlon Byrd for 20 seconds while he signs a photo of himself, we’d become best friends and he’d show up to my birthday party. I guess now I’ll just have to use his signed picture as something to put up on my wall and know that he will never be my BFF. Oh well, better than yet another $10 framed picture of Paris from Ikea.

  • Big Cat

    “You are the lowest form of fandom. A grown adult traveling downtown to a hotel ballroom to see other adults talk about their jobs—pathetic.”

    Uh, no.

    The lowest form of fandom is the so-called “fans” who pour beer on an opposing player trying to make a catch at the wall, then try to let their friend take the rap. Or so-called “fans” who throw debris all over the field and cause a delay in the game because their need to show off how stupid they are had to be satiated. Or the kind of fandom that turns on one of its own who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and did the exact same thing a bunch of dopes around him did, only he got got because he’s the one who actually touched the ball out of play, and now it’s somehow his fault that the nine men on the field can’t throw strikes or field routine ground balls.

    I’ve never been to an adult entertainment convention or a Star Trek convention – or a Cubs convention for that matter. But I don’t mock anyone who does because it’s their hobby and their money and it in no way, shape or form concerns me how other folks entertain themselves as long as it does no harm to me. I usually enjoy your columns Tim, but this one? BAD.

    • BearsFan401138

      Good comment BC. I couldn’t have put it better myself (esp. the Bartman incident.).

      I can tell you from personal experience going to a few comic conventions that fans of one hobby or another dream of the opportunity to meet in person the people involved in creating the thing(s) they enjoy so much, and if they had the chance to get an autograph or two in the process, you better believe they’ll try to capitalize on that opportunity, and like it or not Timmy, you’d do the same.

      What, are fans of sports like baseball and football expected to be like golf fans whose only reaction is polite clapping when something good happens and remain silent the rest of the time? I realize that you and the rest of the local sports media would prefer nothing better regarding fan behavior, but you’re living in a dream world if you expect that to actually happen Timmy.

  • Bud Wille

    Great blog Tim. I agree with you here. I am not calling for an end to team conventions, but as long as they have them I hold the right to make fun of attendees and the events that take place at them.

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    Never been to one, don’t intend ever to go.

  • Courtland

    I am from Tampa Bay, FL and found this link on a sports memorabilia collecting website (currently with 6,335 paid members, and 30,947 free members). I am not even really sure how to respond to this, other than that it is complete BS.

    I have been participating in my hobby since 2007, and have been a passionate baseball fan (specifically Rays) forever. Collecting baseball memorabilia is my hobby, and something I plan on participating in for the rest of my life.

    Your arrogant name calling and insults are absolutely uncalled for. If you don’t want to collect sports memorabilia, fine. But there isnt really a reason for you to toss out insults as a professional.

    In my time, I have had the opportunity to meet and collect memorabilia from the greatest in the game. Pujols, Jeter, Ryan, Hamilton, Cabrera, you name it. The autographs that I own represent memories that will last for a lifetime of meeting some of the best athletes in all of sports.

    I really just dont think its fair for you to publish an article bashing a large group of people for almost no reason that I can tell, other than that you have some weird hatefulness inside of you.

    This is actually the first time I have ever commented on a news article. I normally dont see a need for it, however this article was definitely upsetting.

    Have a great day

  • Matthew

    It’s far more pathetic to invest time writing this blog than actually attending a fan convention. The lowest form of fandom can be represted anywhere: at games, in bars, or rioting in the streets of Happy Valley. Everyone has some hobby or interest they are “nerdy” about. As long as they aren’t harming anyone I don’t see any reason for such a condescending, angry blog. I’ve been an avid listener of B&B for years and this looks like plagiarism by an English teacher. When you sit down to write your blogs, you should formulate your own opinions first.

  • TIm sucks.

    Your and Idiot!!!!!!!

    Why is it wrong for grown men to have heros? If your an adult that spent his entire childhood collecting sports memrobillia then why should you stop. Maybe some cubs fans like Kerry Wood who are you to tell them to not cheer for his signing. Grow up you moron. You are the lowest from of a human being and spent to much time “huffung” while at Iowa to remember what it was like to be a civilzed human being. You are pathetic Tim!

  • sheeplehunter

    “Your and Idiot!!!’ “If your an adult…” “You are the lowest from…” “huffung” “civilzed’

    HA HA HA…really? Missed a few grammar and spelling assignments growing up? What a PATHETIC post.

    I enjoyed the article. To those who didn’t appreciate it….baaaahh baaaaahhh baaaaaahh

  • MadCityMac

    I absolutely LOVED the article, and I’ve been a Cub fan for over 40 years. The problem with this franchise are the SHEEPLE who keep on forking over money for a sub-standard product, such as the moron in the photo with the “This Is The Year” sign. Blind allegiance to this franchise is a sad problem. “Wait til next year”, “this is the year”. Idiots. “Oh, we have to hold onto Cub’s tradition!” Tradition? TRADITION? What, the tradition of losing? I’m sick of it. “Loveable losers?” Really? Just win. If FanBoy Ricketts keeps his nose out of this whole thing, Theo has a chance to change the tradition of losing. Blow it all up!


      wow arent you just a great cubs fans

      • chucky

        Yes , he is. He’s probably 10 times better a Cubs fan than you are. I ask you, just what do you have to be proud of as a Cubs fan? 103 years of not making the World series? Total mismanagement of money and resources? A “tradition” of utter futility? Go take a look in the mirror before you decide to jump on other people you dork.

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