New Year's resolutions are an opportunity for self-improvement. They let us identify our bad habits and replace them with something productive. Since sports fans can be some of the most flawed people on the planet, we've assembled this handy list of resolutions for fans of different sports to make 2015 your best year yet.
Who: College Football Fans
Resolution: I will enjoy the 2015 college football season instead of focusing all of my energy on complaining that eight teams are not invited to the College Football Playoff.
Why: We saw some incredible regular season battles for the top two BCS title game slots since the highly-criticized selection system took over our souls in 1998. However, nothing was like 2014. This is not a pro-Ohio State/anti-Big 12 resolution, but instead one that will allow the diehards to soak up what proved to be a hypnotic dose of passionate excitement as more than a dozen teams jockeyed for position over 3-plus months. Ultimately, the CFP system might be expanded to eight teams by 2020 or sooner, but that move would significantly de-emphasize November football and simply move the heated debate from the No. 5 and 6 teams to the No. 9 and 10 teams. Enjoy the beauty that is the college football regular season.
Who: 49ers and Raiders Fans:
Resolution: I will not discuss, promote or otherwise weigh the possibility of instigating verbal or physical altercations between fans of the opposing team during the non-matchup year of 2015. Further, I pledge to renew this resolution for every year until their next meeting in 2018 and for every year into perpetuity.
Why: The disdain between Oakland and San Francisco fans is well documented and the criminal records support the fury. The inter-Bay rivalry has produced far too many ejections and arrests as a result of bludgeoned faces, broken limbs and borderline terrifying brawls.
Who: All soccer fans
Resolution: I will be excited that people are finally starting to get into soccer, and I will not be pedantic about correcting their terminology, tell them why MLS isn't as good as Premier League, or accuse them of bandwagoning. I will be patient with their questions and help grow the game.
Why: Getting angry about soccer's growing popularity is like getting mad when your favorite local band finally signs with a label and they're not your secret anymore. Yeah, the experience feels less inclusive, but now the guys you like to watch actually get to eat and pay rent and have their talent appreciated on a national level. Now that a whole generation that has grown up playing soccer is reaching adulthood, the time is ripe for soccer to be considered alongside the Big 4 American sports. Make a resolution to help spread the good word of soccer instead of trying to keep more fans away.
Who: Oakland Athletics Fans
Resolution: I will mentally prepare myself for multiple roster overhauls in 2015.
Why: Following Billy Beane's monster summer in which he acquired the likes of Jason Hammel, Jeff Samardzija and Jon Lester for a team that appeared destined for a meaty playoff run, many Athletics fans thought that the longtime GM would finally abandon his transactional tactics. Although Beane's constant shuffling has proved beneficial at times over the past decade, it has been agonizing for many locals that simply want some familiar faces in an empty ballpark. Their eventful offseason included moving Samardzija, Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss, once again proving that betting against an annual Beane overhaul is a horrible decision.
Who: NBA Fans
Resolution: I will write one letter per day to the league office expressing my sheer hate for the widespread flopping epidemic in the NBA in hopes that Adam Silver will bring forth hefty fines and public ridicule on these flopping players.
Why: There is already an anti-flopping system in place but it is not good enough. Many NBA fans and fans of other sports, blast the soccer world for its disgusting display of flops, and while this is a valid criticism, the NBA is no better. When Lance Stephenson can slap himself or Dwayne Wade can fake a foul like a scared gerbil, the system obviously is not working. Passionate hoops fans have allowed the NBA to see unprecedented international growth; therefore, these same fans must channel that passion to plead with Silver to remove flops from the league.
Andrew Doughty is a writer for Next Impulse Sports