Semi-pompous? Fuck That; I Could Out-Pompous You on the Pompousin'est Day of Your Life

>> Thursday

Just as I agree that booing largely has no positive effect on the players in question, I disagree with the argument frequently made on PTI and other inferior knockoffs like Around the Horn and Cold Pizza that it's somehow a bad thing that "People pay their money and think that that entitles them to say whatever they want to a player," because actually it does.

Saying it does operates, I assume, on the premise that your purchase of a ticket brings with it certain privilages and obligations and that nowhere among those obligations is a preclusion from booing. Therefore, the fan, within this code of conduct so to speak, has every right to boo. Fine. However, this also assumes that from the fan's perspective, the only code of conduct that should shape one's behavior as a human being sports fan is what is written before them.

Hence, this viewpoint implies that the only bounds a fan should impose upon himself in his treatment of an athlete are dictated by his dollar. This sounds awfully primative. After all, aren't these official codes of conduct usually shaped and reformed by those who by their own volition choose not to take for themselves every liberty granted within an inch of these bounds? The defending the "right to boo" arguments, to me, are usually an over-extension of a very narrow and contrived societal value (*cough* free-market economics *cough*).

What we really have at sporting events is a petulant and mob-like mentality. People take advantage of their complete invulnerability, all nestled comfortably in the stands, to exploit the total vulnerability of an athlete on the field. (To clarify, I mostly mean mental vulnerabilbity, but as the 2004 "Basketbrawl" and similar recent events have shown, this can extend to physical vulnerability.) Would even ten percent of booing fans offer that same kind of antagonism to a player in a one-on-one encounter? Or would they even take that opportunity to offer harsh but constructive criticism? Fuck no.

Do most fans really give a damn about the actual people playing for their team? Hardly. The guys in the hometown unis just represent something whose success the fan can use to boost his ego because--whoa shit--he cheers for them! And wears their hat! And when the fan is not appeased, his ego--which he has attatched to the success of people wearing this particular uniform--has taken a hit. So now like a depraved little child who loses in a church bingo game, he will take advantage of his mob majority and lash out anonymously at another individual whom he knows nothing and cares nothing about. Because the little tantrum makes him feel better. And then he rationalizes it by pretending it will motivate the player or some hogwash like that.

Because I know nothing has motivated me throughout my life like anonymous antagonism.

Taking a step back, what's the real meaning and purpose of booing and cheering in sports? Most reasonable people agree that it's a fan response that reflects effort by those on the field/court. Fine. A team gives noticeably poor effort (more or less a choice), people boo. No big deal; especially when a collective group of fans boos a team collectively for this reason. There is a collective relationship here that relies on collective messages.

This is a much different dynamic than the mob-mentality crowd showering boos on an individual unless the individual has unequivocally done something to antagonize the fan base enough to evoke such antogonism in return. Personally, I think this rarely, if ever, happens.

So even if reasonable people can agree that booing is a reaction to effort, boos are NOT justified when they are triggered by results (e.g. a blown save, missed free throw, or strikeout). I defy anyone to explain how booing can possibly be used constructively or productively when they are purely a reaction to a result.

Now those of you who know me (let's face it; anyone who's reading this) know what launches me into this diatribe--boos during baseball games (particularly from those egocentric, egotistical, petulant, yuppy Cubs fans). Now does it make sense why it bothers me so much? Booing in baseball is almost always disproportionately directed at an individual, and more importantly, in response to outcomes. Baseball--in terms of individual outcomes (a strikeout, an error, a wild pitch)--is not an effort sport. Please don't tell me that it is because it will only cause me to break into my other diatribe called, "You have a fundamental misunderstanding of how baseball is played and the limitations of individual results and I don't think you understand what a trend is or what human error is and stop me before I have a brain aneurysm, damn it."

And as for the "but when you're making that kind of money" rebuttal...well, I have a whole other lecture packaged and ready to go if needed.

So there--I've made clear how I feel. Boo at your own risk.

(By the way, for any outside readers who don't know this, I just so happen to live with Mike, so hopefully I don't incite a blood bath with this post. Wish me luck!)


Nathan 3:49 AM  

I hope to God that you and Mike are both sitting in your respective rooms, restless at 3 in the morning, arguing via Yellow Chair Sports without stepping into the living room to say an audible word to each other.

Nathan 3:57 AM  

...or 1 in the morning, now that I actually bothered to look at the time posted instead of assuming that if I'm just reading it now, you must have just written it.

Vinnie 10:31 AM  

Actually, we were trading emails.

You suck.
Yeah, that's right.

RE: You suck
Go to hell.
Yeah, that's right

RE: RE: You suck
Fuck you.
Go to hell.
Yeah, that's right.

Matt 12:11 PM

Mike 12:33 PM  

Checked on that. It's open.

Vinnie 1:54 PM  

Why you gotta hate, Bechtel? This might be the most intelligent discourse we've had amongst ourselves since that time we were all loaded and spent an hour or so hacking out a definition of "sport" (a discussion prompted by one very angry Pat Scott).

Matt 3:42 PM  

Yeah, it's up there amongst the more civlized of our debates. Especially more civilized than Orton v. Suck and Orton v. Suck II.

Anonymous,  7:21 PM  

you all suck and should shut your mouths... you dont know anything about anything...

and that orton vs. suck argument was great!

Matt 9:27 PM  

The chances of Pat Scott or Gavin Soto having written that last comment are pretty good.

Vinnie 2:38 AM  

Haha, Orton vs. Suck was indeed awesome. Speaking of Pat Scott, I think he's the only one left with his money still on Orton. Damn it! too.

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