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Day 88: The Most Vain in the Game?

November 4, 2010

The latest teaching-based violation of Year Without Football occured yesterday as part of a vocabulary lesson.  The word was “vain,” defined as “having too much pride in one’s looks, hair, etc.

After admitting to my own vanity in regard to my education, birthplace and experiences, I needed to connect the concept with something the students dealt with every day.

“Yankee fans are extremely vain, right?”  The group of 4th graders swelled with approval to compliment the handful of young bandwagoneers taken aback by the statement.  “Lakers fans…they’re pretty vain, too.”

The natural flow of the conversation then progressed to football.  I threw the question out, “Which football team do YOU think has the most vain fans?”  Their discussions made very clear their comprehension of the word.

The Steelers and Patriots were tossed into the mix as were the Colts and Chargers.  The Raiders picked up a fair amount of nominations as well.  The runaway consensus: the Dallas Cowboys.  That’s when I knew the method was effective.

They’re not wrong, either.  Aside from perhaps the Washington Redskins, no other franchise in the last fifteen years American sports is as overvalued in relation to its recent on-field results.  The distorted image the team’s fans hold of the franchise’s national perception is an exact inverse to anything its players have accomplished since the mid-90s.

The key aspect of the definition of “vain” is “having too much pride.”  4th graders connected that characteristic with Cowboys fans.




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