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December 05, 2005

Comments

Caitriona

Nice post, Hugo. You're right that too many people fail to learn the lessons you've learned.

Camassia

I hardly ever go to sporting events, but as it happens I've been to a baseball game in Minneapolis and another in L.A. in the last six months. I was struck by how much ruder the L.A. fans were. In Minneapolis a guy near me actually apologized for yelling so loud he made the old lady in front of him jump. Although it might also have had something to do with the fact that we had better seats in Dodger Stadium, and were probably surrounded by more rabid fans.

Breadfish

It's that kind of nonsense that keeps me from ever setting foot in the stadium here. Especially here in the South where the drinking starts at 8 a.m. in the grand old tradition of "tailgating", people just get way too nasty.

Only positive is, usually after gameday that poison seeps out pretty quickly. I guess it has to go somewhere, and better into screaming like a nitwit at a match than getting into fistfights with the neighbors.

djw

What if I don't root for anyone to get hurt, but rather humiliated? I don't want to see Derek Jeter injured, but I can think of few sights that would give me more joy than him losing a game by letting a slow roller between his legs or throwing a routine out 10 feet over the first baseman. I'll concede it doesn't say anything particularly flattering about me, but I've made my peace with it.

Heather

Okay - glad that you've brought up sports recently. I am someone who could go her whole life never having watched a sporting event of any kind and be perfectly happy and I am engaged to a man who loves sports. He watches the games, monitors the message boards and goes to as many live events as he can, and I resent it. I think it's time away from our family (I've got three kids and we plan to have a child) and from ME. I had a stepfather who's interest in sports superceded everything else. We couldn't make noise while a game was on. We couldn't ask him a question while a game was on. And a game was always on, and I've got some anxiety about my fiance and his interest in sports because of this. I don't want him to have to pencil me in at halftime in order to get his attention. I know I'm not the only woman who feels like this and I feel like it is a feminist issue in terms of how much undivided attention men think they need to give their partners in order to nurture a relationship. I suspect it's somewhat like housework - men will tend to think the toilet only needs to be cleaned every other month or so, while the women think it's atleast once a week. Of course, not to compare relationships to toilets. How do we close that gap? (I'm somewhat disappointed to hear that your wife is a sports fan since I can't use her in my defense! :)

Ali

I appreciate this blog. As a die-hard female USC student who goes to all the games, I find it quite ridiculous how there can be such a concentration of bloodlust in one area. Just the other day walking the path to the stadium to watch USC tackle UCLA, a UCLA fan slapped me in the face. I couldn't believe it! I couldn't just stand and take it, but there was no way I could physically fight back, I'm above that. So I just made a sarcastic quip about how manly he looked in his adorable powder blue t-shirt, and went on. Some people just take it too far.

Hugo

Yikes, Ali. I've seen similar things take place many places. I've been to many Division I college games in many places (admittedly, mostly on the West Coast) and can say that all things considered, fans are fans are fans. I've seen bad behavior -- and acts of kindness -- from Trojan and Bruin, Cardinal and Sun Devil, Duck and Wildcat, Cougar and Beaver and Husky and, yes, Golden Bear.

The only time I've ever reconsidered my belief that all fans behave in exactly the same way (generally poorly) was at the 2003 Insight Bowl, where my Bears played Virginia Tech. The Hokie fans were civil to a fault, and I was stunned by the lack of profanity and vulgarity. As someone whose family is filled with diehard UVA fans, that's tough to admit.

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