Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fan Loyalty? Or An Excuse to Behave Like Idiots?

I'm sitting in the comfort of my air conditioned home right now, watching the 2nd of the 3-game Dodgers vs. Giants game. Thanks to Manny and his lead feet, San Francisco is already up one run in the first inning. I shouldn't be so hard on the guy - like my friend Kristin says, he has Designated Hitter written all over him. Fast running does not fall into the requirements of a DH. But then I'll forgive him, like we all do. He did hit another great home run last night.

But I want to vent a little about last night's game and the behavior of the fans - from both sides. Thanks to the rowdiness of the crowd, I think I've gone to my last LA v SF game at the park.

Now, in all fairness, I very well know how bad things can get at games between these two teams; after all, their rivalry goes back what...60, 70 years? Way back when it was the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants.

And maybe it was because we were in the loge section, sitting underneath a concrete overhang that amplified the noise level about 100 decibels.

But last night was the worst I've seen, and we weren't even in the bleacher section. Several times during the first part of the game, we couldn't even watch the game because of fans in our section constantly baiting each other, throwing food, booing, screaming, posturing, and chanting "Fuck the Giants," - a little more sinister than the standard "Giants suck" chant. When the female Dodger fans behind us got up and went across the aisle and crawled into a SF giants fan's lap to antagonize him and try to start a fight, was when I was started to get truly nervous about the situation. And that was only in the 3rd inning, before the beer really started to take effect. And the food concessions kept selling that beer until the seventh.

Thankfully the Stadium security was on the situation quickly and without further ado threw out two entire rows of people sitting directly behind us. Sometimes Dodger security team has a reputation for overreacting to what people have said were trivial offenses, but last night was one time when I was grateful for that reputation.

And that was just our section. I'm sure these scenarios were being played out all over the stadium - we just couldn't see them.

Maybe I'm getting old. And I love a great time just as much as the next person. I was even pumped up yesterday about going to such an exciting game. And I won't ever tell someone that they shouldn't go to a game. This is the great American pastime after all. But when you pay good money - and a Dodger Stadium a game can run you $40 to $100 between tickets, parking and food - and you are in a situation where you can't enjoy the game, it makes you think twice. I think I'm done with dealing with this kind of nonsense. This is team loyalty at its worse.


Charles Gramlich said...

That just doesn't sound like fun to me. How ridiculous that folks would act that way.

Laurie Powers said...

It is, Charles. Ten-year-olds were behaving better than these people.

Walker Martin said...

Yes, I know about how team rivalry can get out of hand. I've suffered through the same scenes as you have described when I attended the Mets vs Phillies games in Philly.

The last time I took my wife and kids to see the Mets/Phils was many years ago. All 4 of us had Phillies caps or shirts and our seats were upper deck behind home plate. However the Phillies ushers recommended that we not sit there because the visiting Mets fans had just about taken over the entire section and we might involved in the usual fighting between fans. They told me I would not want my children to be witness to what might happen. So we went out to the outfield to avoid trouble.

Since then, I've attended with friends or gone by myself. I love baseball and would recommend that you try minor league games. We have a Double A team here in Trenton that we've all gone to for hundreds of great games over the last 15 years. It's still professional baseball and alot less expensive than Major League games. The seats are very close to the field and the players are not spoiled yet by enormous contracts.

I've also attended many minor league games in Reading, Pa, Lakewood, NJ and other cities. Baseball for the family still exists for fans and players who love the game.

Laurie Powers said...

I have heard that about other teams, Walker. We have a semi-pro team here in Long Beach, the Armada team, part of the Golden Baseball League. We've been to a few games and they're a lot of fun. Although I'd rather go to a AA or AAA games and see the up and comers.

Oscar said...

It's too bad they're not fighing and arguing over my book, The Stranger from the Valley. I guess that's way too much to expect. I've been a long time sports fan of various teams, but I could never understand why people carry on that way about something that's going to take place again the next day or next week.

Lana Gramlich said...

Yet ANOTHER reason why I don't support pro sports. <:\