Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rules for Road Fans

In last night's Yanks vs. Rockies game, 45K+ fans filled a park that usually only has 25-30K. Flash bulbs fired on every pitch to Yankee players like Jeter and A-Rod. In the 8th, in the midst of a Yankees rally that ended when Latroy Hawkins struck out Jorge Posada with the bases loaded in what would eventually be a 3-1 Rockies win, the crowd was more or less evenly split between Yankee and Rockies chants.

Which is to say, it was a typical Yankees game, or Red Sox game, or any game where the road team has a national following, and the local team doesn't fill their park.

Having been a road fan, and having suffered intensely through them while at home (2003 ALCS, Red Sox Nation cheered my A's still-warm corpse in front of me, causing a hate that the Twins, Yankees and Tigers will never eclipse), let me humbly suggest the following rules.

1) Do not wear your team's colors. Yes, I'm advocating that you be a ball-free pussy that doesn't enjoy the game to the fullest. I'm also telling you that it's rude, classless, and that you deserve any abuse you suffer, up to and including criminal mischief.

I'm not saying that I'm going to be the guy pouring beer on you, insulting your girl, decorating your colors with condiments, challenging your (shriveled) manhood and taking a secret piss on your clothes, in or out of the urinal. Or secretly daydreaming of you getting The Mussolini Treatment.

But I will admire it.

2) Do not chant for your team. The people around you have spent their lives, for good or ill, rooting passionately for the hosts. When the rival chant starts up, the benefit for your team is minimal. The hate that you are creating? That's permanent. It'll find an outlet eventually -- either on you, or someone less deserving.

3) Do not take pictures with flash photography. There's this thing called television. It even comes in high definition now. There's also this thing called a DVR, or Tivo. It allows you to record the game you were at, in better detail and clarity than your crappy cell phone camera. And guess what? In both cases, you won't want to look at it after the game.

Taking pictures of you and your friends, during the inning breaks? Absolutely. Taking pictures of every pitch? Seriously, is your life so deprived of excitement that you need dozens of pictures of routine at-bats in the middle of a career that will have something like 10,000 of them?

4) Get your head in the freaking game, for the love of... Do not wear comically out of date jerseys; this just in, Sox Nation, Pedro's not coming back. Do not use your cell phone to call the outside world just to say where you are. If you must, do so quietly, by cupping your hand over the receiver and moving in close, you know, like a polite human being. Applaud good plays by either team. Sing during the 7th inning stretch. Be a baseball fan first, a fan of your team second. Make me not hate you.

5) If the home team does not have violent and passionate fans that fill the stadium, preventing you and your horde from having sections of your own, it does not mean that the people who are there are doormat pussies who deserve to be abused. It means that they are fans of a franchise that does not provide to them the same level of service that your fan base has received.

Do you also go to areas with bad school districts and mock the parents that live there? Or bring take-out from fine restaurants into fast food joints? Or bring your luxury car into poor neighborhoods and laugh at people with older cars? Play practical jokes on the homeless?

No, one fervently hopes, because those would be acts without charity, or humanity, or class. You'd have to be an utter and complete asshole to do things like that.

Now... do the math.

6) Realize, for once in your blighted lives, that the world extends beyond your own ass. Or...

7) Stay the hell home. The sooner you do, the sooner we can toss this interleague bullshit into the ashcan of history, where it belongs. (No, I'm not holding my breath.)


The Truth said...

I guess that would require me to stop wearing my Cardinals World Champions shirt to Wrigley Field. I don't really see that happening.

In fact, I feel it's my duty to help Cubs fans by rooting against their team at home. These fans have a problem, they're Cubs fans. They don't realize how tragic that is. They need redemption - and sometimes tough love is the only way to find it.

David said...

I used to think the Yankees fans were the worst, that has changed since Boston won the World Series. Without a doubt Boston has the most classless fans.

...from Safeco field in Seattle.

Tracer Bullet said...

A friend once wore his Eagles jersey to a Redskins game at FedEx Field. He said he didn't say a word while suffering extensive abuse while the Eagles were behind. When the Birds came back to win, he didn't have to say anything as the crowd around him got quieter and quieter. I don't know whether that would have worked with the vermin in Dallas.

DMtShooter said...

This was cross-posted over to a Mariner blog, and the response there and here was interesting... everyone identifies with being a road fan. And hates people on cell phones.

But the majority of games that you'll go to... are at home. And everyone's got a cell phone.


Dirty Davey said...

Depends on the sport. I was once in a large contingent of Eagles fans in Charlotte for a Panthers game, and we had a great time. Lots of green jerseys in our section of the stadium.

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