We all know that I am a huge comic book movie fan, and based on the start of college football season and the changes I have made to my Twitter and Facebook icons, you should know that I am a sports fan too. In fact, I’ve been a fan of the Michigan Wolverines since I was four years old and being born and raised in Detroit means that I’ve also been a fan of the Lions, Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons my whole life.
I’ve always struggled for a way to bring both of those passions together in some form since I have a lot of friends who love both and don’t believe in the “historical divide” that has always kind of been there in terms of being a geek or a jock. Not that I was ever a great athlete, but you know what I mean. Growing up, those who played football at recess made fun of those who read their Star Trek Encyclopedias alone at recess.
That line has been majorly blurred over the years though, because a lot of people recognize just how similar geeks and sports fans are in reality. Dedication to what you love, willingness to wait in long lines for tickets and spending copious amounts of money we don’t really have on related merchandise are just a few of the comparisons that make us all one in the same.
Not all of the comparisons are good though, like the one that I’m going to talk about right now that I have seen all over the DC Extended Universe fandom and coincidentally enough, the Michigan Wolverines fandom. It’s a nasty little syndrome called “We know more than you on this subject despite the fact that we don’t get paid to do it like you do, and we’re going to make sure that you know how we feel because you should be doing it our way, not yours.”
This terrible affliction is present in just about every fan base there is of a sports team or comic book movie franchise, but lately with the continued boom of social media it has taken a very ridiculous turn on all fronts. We all know the constant criticism that has been levied at the DCEU and while it goes in several directions and covers many different forms of displeasure, it all funnels back to WB and the job they have done since 2013 in building their own shared cinematic universe. The issues and gripes that fans have had with WB’s decisions have been voiced loudly and publicly to no end, and it has led so many fans to go so far as to tweet the creators and executives like Geoff Johns, Zack Snyder, David Ayer and even Patty Jenkins with suggestions, or in some cases directives on what they feel the DCEU should be doing that would work in their world, completely ignoring the fact that these are paid professionals who make movies for a living and are entrusted and paid by the studios to do that job to the best of their ability, whether a fan likes it or not.
A similar thing is currently happening with the Michigan Wolverines fandom. The football team has had its share of issues on the offensive side of the football to start the season, particularly at the quarterback position and on the offensive line, but there have also been issues with other positions on the offense and some of the plays called by the coaching staff haven’t really worked out as a whole. The thing is, instead of allowing or trusting the coaching staff that is paid to do their job and the players who are actually on the field giving their all to take care of these issues, you have fans that are openly booing their own collegiate team and voicing their dissenting opinions and advice on Twitter to players and coaches about what they think the team should be doing to turn the season around.
Here’s the twist. Similar to how the DCEU has succeeded at the box office with a current haul of $3.1 billion and counting, the Wolverines have won BOTH of their first two games this season by an average margin of 19 points. The problem that a lot of Michigan fans are having is how those points were scored, with the defense scoring a combined total of three touchdowns on two interception returns and a fumble, and a safety. So there are people out there actually arguing that the offensive unit has only scored a total of 46 points and that instead of beating Florida 33-17 and Cincinnati 36-14, they actually “only” won 26-17 and 20-14 because for whatever reason, defensive touchdowns don’t count to them, even though they do count period.
To me, that silly complaint is little different than the complaints about Superman and Batman’s portrayal in the DCEU to this point that has been enough to make billions of dollars at the box office globally but not in the way that so many fans want it done, like that somehow makes the billions earned not count or truly be a mark of how popular and financially successful the films have been.
Ultimately as with anything, this comes down to expectations and utility and the expectation of a number of DC fans along with Michigan Wolverines fans has not been met, despite the success that both have been enjoying to this point. We know there are things that need to be worked on with both, such as Michigan’s offensive line consistency and QB play and the DCEU’s tonal content with regard to the general audience along with solidifying its official slate of movies past Aquaman, currently in production. Instead of being a complete jack wagon and tweeting these directors, producers, coaches and players your ridiculous suggestions of what they should be doing, how about trusting them to do what they are paid (not the players) to do in the first place?
Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff have forgotten more about coaching the game of football than you or I will ever know. The same could be said about Zack Snyder and the directors of the DCEU. Just because we buy tickets to their movies or games and have gone to film school or studied film, or played football in high school and coached in a minor league program somewhere doesn’t make us as fans any less childish and arrogant for thinking that we have the right to just tell the professionals that they should be doing what we think they should be doing. We are not big budget film directors, producers, coaches or college football players. We are fans and that’s it. Act like an intelligent one with a modicum of respect and leave the job of movie making or football coaching to the actual professionals. If you don’t like their work then don’t watch it. Period.
To be clear, this isn’t saying that critiquing the job that these people do is a bad thing that only jack wagons do, since someone is going to immediately jump to that stupid conclusion. No, this is only saying that trying to be a know-it-all and telling the coaches or directors how to do their job is a bad thing that makes you a jack wagon. Avoid thinking that you know more than they do because the truth is you don’t. If you did, you would be getting paid to do it the same as they are and you’re not because you’re on Twitter trying to “teach” them something instead. Do yourself and the respective fan bases a favor and just shut up. Critique to your heart’s content to whoever will actually listen to you, but don’t presume to know more than the coaches or directors just because things that are obvious to you are not being addressed the way you think they should be.