I remember back in the 90s when the “Tomahawk Chop” was all the rage back when the Braves were routinely in the World Series. There were some people who thought that this was offensive to American Indians. Of course this ignored the fact that the thing started with college football and the Florida State Seminole’s football team. I never thought it was offensive to anyone. I mean, this was baseball. If you are offended at something stupid at a baseball game then you have bigger problems than drunken fans chanting off key and waving their arms around. I didn’t like the Chop because I just thought it was stupid.
What purpose did it serve? From what I understand a lot of athletes, especially those in sports that require concentration like baseball, learn to tune past the crowd noise around them. This is how athletes can play anything in front of thousands and thousands of people. Do they even hear all of that chanting? Doesn’t it just become something that’s happening in the background? It’s just stupid and not offensive. Then again, I am not a Native American. If there was some team that had a name that was a combination of German, Finnish, Irish and French Canadian and a chant that somehow combined that I might have found it offensive.
See, I just don’t understand where fans come up with this stuff. Who started “The Wave?” Why? What purpose does this serve? If anything that would be incredibly distracting to the people on the field. In baseball this would be hugely distracting if you were on the pitcher’s mound or in the batter’s box. This is done to entertain the fans, I guess, since many find baseball boring. If that’s the case then why have I seen it at football games and other sporting events? Go home and then stand up and sit down a lot. You can exercise and not bother anyone.
Here in Chicago we seem to have a large supply of idiotic fans. Just the other day the Chicago Bears faced off against the Minnesota Vikings in very cold weather. We got tons of snow here and then, as per usual, the temperature plummeted and it got really cold. This is not pleasant weather to watch a sporting event in. Unless you are in a skybox no one should have to sit outside when the temperature is under twenty degrees. This is from someone who actually likes cold weather. However, I also had my moments freezing at Bears games when I was younger and my dad shared season tickets with some friends at work. Trust me, there is nothing fun just sitting there while the blood in your body slowly freezes. The Bears don’t even have cheerleaders anymore to make things interesting and to get the blood flowing in at least one place.
So, of course, the newspaper the following day had to show the one idiot who took off his shirt during the game. This happens every time the Bears play in the cold. Why this is supposed to show support for the team, I have no idea. The players don’t play without shirts. They may play without sleeves, but I have never watched a football game where the guys played without shirts. The one guy I saw on television didn’t even have anything written on his chest. How sad is that? He couldn’t even find like-minded idiots to spell out the team’s name.
Of course these king of people show up in a bunch of places. You see them a lot in Green Bay. Of course, Green Bay Packers fans may have more than a few screws loose to begin with. When you live in the state of Wisconsin and you live and die by a football team you have to wonder about their sanity. These are fans who will their season tickets to their ancestors. When people move out of town there is a scramble to get their tickets.
The worst fans in the world are from Philadelphia. They are notorious for being, quite honestly, jerks of the first order. I have heard these people on sports radio programs and they seem to think that if you show up at a Flyers, Eagles, Phillies or 76ers game wearing anything but a hometown Philadelphia team jersey this is a license to beat the hell out of you. Keep this in mind of you ever plant to visit Philadelphia. Yes, it may be billed as the City of Brotherly love but they only love you if you wear a hometown team’s sportswear. If you don’t then the City of Brotherly love will beat the snot out of you and then go off for a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich. These are the same fans who booed and then threw snowballs at Santa Claus when he made an appearance during an Eagles game.
I have also never been one for tailgating. Given all of the fantastic restaurants and the great friends I have with great backyards and great grills I don’t understand the desire to add the flavor of car exhaust to whatever meat may be searing on the grills. Are rickety lawn chairs really more comfortable than an easy chair or a booth in a restaurant? Again, how does this help the team? Do they play better knowing you sat out there freezing and attempting to eat frozen bratwurst? Is Rex Grossman going to actually throw a pass forward just because more fans show up to drink earlier out in the parking lot?
I like to get to the game early, but I like to do that so I can walk around the stadium. Usually it’s fun to see all of the souvenirs and the food stands, especially when you visit U.S. Cellular Field where the Sox play. I like two watch the pre-game stuff. I like to yell when the team does well. What I don’t do is scream at the top of my lungs when I am sitting just beneath the surface of the sun trying to convince the manager or coach I have a better idea of what he should do than he does. I also hate the people who feel a sporting event is a great place to take a cell phone call and then wave at the freaking television cameras for nine innings or four quarters or three periods. All right, we all see you. You’re famous now. Please put the phone down. A pitcher should be allowed to legally bean anyone seen doing that behind home plate with a fastball to the head.
It’s OK to be a fan. Being a fan is fun. Being a fan can be fun without painting your face. Being a fan can be fun while still keeping warm and avoiding frostbite. Being a fan can be fun without being obnoxious. Being a fan can even be fun when you are sitting in a section full of people rooting for the opposite team. Doing all of the rest of that stuff doesn’t help the team, it just make you look stupid.