Can't we all just get along?

The landscape of sports and politics have radically changed over the years.

At one time, a Democratic Congressman could argue his point when on the House of Representatives floor, and then go out for dinner and drinks with his Republican buddy, putting all differences aside to enjoy a nice steak and cold adult beverage at one of Georgetown's best restaurants.

No longer. Now it's as if these two sides are from different planets.

The same can be said when it comes to something as innocent as sports.

Whatever happened to the good old-days when everything was decided on the field, and after the contest was over, we could all be friends again.

Just read the average message board and it doesn't take long to answer that question.

Fans have turned passion for their team into pure hatred for the other side . When former Georgia athletic director Damon Evans got a DUI and was caught in midtown Atlanta with a young coed, complete with her red panties in his hand, there was nothing funny about this.

When former Georgia Tech quarterback Joe Hamilton was fired from his new job at the school after he got caught with pot, there was nothing laughable about that either.

They got what they deserved, but did we really need to keep piling on. These mis-steps cost two talented young men their careers and reputations.

Yet, many outside the Bulldog and Tech Nations found it all amusing, and they said so by filling message boards with their venom.

Often, Tech and Georgia fans directed the nasty posts at each other since for the most part, the two sides don't like each other.

Other levels of sports aren't immune from the "poison posted" either. Certain websites feature high school bantering, as grown adults often call out young athletes for mistakes they might have made in a recent contest.

Does an adult really need to vent because 17-year-old Johnny threw too many interceptions or Jackie served up a game-winning home run in a fast-pitch softball game?

Writing about the game is one thing, being mean and vindictive is a totally different manner.

Programs involving younger teams aren't immune from some of the craziness either. Recently, I made the mistake during a phone conversation of referring to a baseball team as a recreation team instead of a travel squad.

Boy did I get an ear full.

Here is a new flash the average person doesn't really care? It's great for these kids to be playing this high level of baseball, but what happened to also just having fun?

All I was trying to do was see about getting a picture of the team in the paper, not start a national crisis.

We have enough of those scattered all over the world, so we don't need to argue over semantics, especially when it comes to something that should be as pure as baseball when it is played by young people (It's okay to go them young people isn't it?)

Perhaps technology is to be blame for all of this. Before fans had 24-hour, 7-day a week access to blogs and websites, we didn't have to worry about some of this nonsense.

We loved our teams. We cheered hard for them and wanted them to win. We even gave opposing fans a hard time, mostly in a good-natured way, then we moved on with our lives.

Will we ever get back to those days? Probably not, but can't we at least get along, or at least keep it all in perspective?

After all, win, lose or tie, the sun is going to still come up again.

(Doug Gorman is sports editor of the Clayton News Daily and Henry Da).