Are rude fans a reflection of society?
As a long-time Brewer and Milwaukee Brave baseball fan who goes back to the first years at County Stadium, 1953 and 1954, I can't help but notice the difference in Milwaukee baseball fans this past year at Miller Park.
Even though I live an hour's drive north of the city (Jim Gantner was a student of mine at Campbellsport High School), I still managed to attend nine or ten games this past year.
What I did notice is the shockingly large number of "fans" who are there for anything-but baseball. Perhaps it's because many of them are rookies who are there to "experience" Miller Park, but not baseball.
The most glaring feature of some of these folks as that they show little or no awareness of the game that is going on immediately in front of them. What they do seem to know how to do is to get up any time they please, stand in front of people who are watching the game, and do whatever they need to do, whenever they need to do it!
For example, in the right field loge area near the foul pole I witnessed one guy getting up, deciding to buy a $30 round of beer for his five friends. It didn't matter that his thirst occurred while play was happening. It didn't matter that three of his other friends stood up in front of others to distribute the beer. What did matter was that he was thirsty-now. To heck with the rest of us sitting behind him.
Then there was the lady in the terrace along the first base line with her four kids. She was the only adult, so I suppose she had an excuse. But whenever any of the kids wanted anything-hot dog, soda, bathroom, souvenir, whatever, she stood up-clearly in front of spectators behind her, to tend to the needs of the "youngins." It didn't matter if an important hit, out, home run, or stolen base had just occurred. She had a "right" to stand up!
And the coup de grace was delivered in the right field loge when an adult of about 21 wanted to put on his jacket. He stood up, during the middle of an inning, holding a "beverage" in one hand, while he attempted to put on his coat using the remaining arm only. My brother, who was watching the game with me, watched in disgust as the guy stood there and stood there, unable to put on his coat while the game was being played. Finally I helped the "fan" with his coat. He had no clue he was blocking our view-for three minutes.
No matter how much more I say, I doubt whether any of the offending spectators are reading this article. But, they'll be back again next year, doing the same things again and again, waiting mainly for the sausage race to start! Oh yes, don't forget about the "tee shirt toss," the "Frisbee contest," and "the section which cheers loudest gets a free snack from TGIFriday's." Darn, I forgot, the Friday's "winners" have to drive down to Miller Park on a non-game day and purchase a meal in order to get the "free" snack. Hmmmmm.
Instead I long for the good old days of watching-just plain baseball, with only the occasional distraction of Earl Gillespie or Blaine Walsh reaching out from the broadcast booth at old County Stadium to catch a foul ball with a fishing net.
But that's another story.