I've looked and looked for a metaphor, illustration, or picture that would help explain the point I wish to make...here goes...
OU football is a passion with me. [Don't tune me out yet, please.] I'm a season ticket holder. My wife is as bad as I am. We go, game day, three hours early to soak it all up.
But I like OSU too. The Cowboys [that's the Oklahoma State Cowboys] are my second favorite team. I'm pulling for them against every foe they play, except one.
The Tulsa Hurricaines are my third favorite team. We lived in Tulsa for ten years and love the "Caines" except when they are playing you know who. How can I like all three? They are all in my favorite State called Oklahoma.
Recently I heard an exchange on sports radio that made me half mad. One caller, an OU fan, was taking to task another caller who was also an OU fan. What about? The latter OU fan had said he likes OSU also. The former OU fan was irate that a true OU fan would dare say he had any feeling but hatred for OSU. You see where I'm going with this don't you.
Let's say Christians, anyone who names the name of Jesus as True Lord, are like a State. Within that State you have different groups. [OU/OSU/TULSA fans] The common ground for those groups is football. But they've chosen to align with different groups for whatever reason. That's OK. In Oklahoma you're free to be a bit different. It's even OK to believe your group is closest to what governs true great football. [OU is certainly that.]
Somehow, however, there can be respect for ALL those involved in football, whether OU, OSU, or Tulsa. And, certainly, there is no need to be angry with one who is a fan of one group but doesn't hate the fans of the other group. And you wouldn't want, IMHO, to penalize a person because they are appreciative of other group fans. After all, it is football we're talking about here. Let's respect all fans, choose which group best matches us, and not be angry at those among our group who have a love and appreciation for all fans, even those who think differently about some of the teams.
Suppose, as has happened on occasion, something untoward [that's an old word that means "bad" for all you new translation buffs] transpires on the OU team. If the people in charge hide the wrongdoing, the trust factor of many OU fans would be damaged when it becomes known. [Not to mention that it is ethically wrong to hide reality anyway.] But, if faced, spoken of, dealt with, and corrected, not only is trust restored, but the ultimate goal of good football will go on unhindered. Having problems is no problem. Not facing problems honestly and openly is a major problem.
Some rabid fans might see dealing with the problems as disloyalty or hurtful to the team. I don't. I see it as honesty, courage, and a true commitment to what makes football a truly great sport. And, I respect the ones who had courage enough to speak to the problem when they knew many rabid fans would not understand and there could be a heavy price to pay.
Well, I don't know whether anyone understands what I'm saying or not. But it sure helps to say it. As with all parables/metaphors, don't press every point and miss the the heart of what is being said.
By the way, OU will win the Big 12 championship. OU will win the National Championship. OSU will have a great season. 11 and 1 with a major bowl victory ain't bad a tall. Tulsa will win their conference championship. Take it to the bank.