Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Don't Jays Me, Bro

The Toronto Star recently ran a story that basically said the Jays have some of the most obnoxious fans in baseball. Having been to a number of games over the past few seasons, I can't say I entirely disagree.

A main crux of the article is commentator and former catcher Gregg Zaun's comments that fans are getting younger and drunker, and that they should not be surprised when they are ejected from the game for unruly and obnoxious behaviour, as a fan was on Friday.

Yeah, pretty much.

There seems to be an opinion, as the article points out, that paying for a ticket entitles a fan to be able to act in any way they see fit. At the best, this can include repeatedly trying to start a wave in spite of the fact that no one is interested, and at the worst, it's standing and berating players, regardless of whether those around you find you funny, just before running on the field1. Then, should anyone voice displeasure, it's okay to act self-righteous and offended and because you're "Just tryin' to support the team!"

Shut the hell up.

I think Zaun hit the nail on the head when he said Jays fans - the ones attending the games - are getting younger and drunker - the worst offenders seem to be slightly younger than me, but were clearly raised in a completely different environment.2 There seems to be this false sense of entitlement that a person can act like a prick right up until he gets in trouble, at which point he gets indignant about "abuse of authority" or some other shit.

I would venture that it's a combination of the influx of self-righteous, hipster fans - these are the fans that have an encyclopedia of information and tweets at their fingertips, all the opinions to go with them, but haven't watched the game in three innings - and the increasing number of lady Jays fans, thereby increasing the number of meatheads trying to impress them. Combine that with the time JP Arencibia gave you a retweet on your birthday, and you've got a dangerous recipe for entitlement and shouting.

There's really no solution to the problem - you can't ban a certain segment of fans3 - except to try to exhibit a higher level of pride in the team and the fans representing the team.

Considering how many fans refer to the Jays with the collective "We", you've got to wonder how long before the team posts a notice in the Rogers Centre:

THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THOSE OF THE TORONTO BLUE JAYS BASEBALL CLUB

1 - Nice star tattoo; do you have a matching dolphin?
2 - This isn't a "Back in my day" argument, those are stupid
3 - *cough*Ottawa Senators*cough*

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