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When Does Heckling Cross the Line?
September 16, 2004 9:55 AM   Subscribe

Heckling? Good Natured Fun or Verbal Abuse
The recent assault of a fan by Texas Rangers' reliever Frank Francisco with a folding chair is inexcusable, there's no doubt about that. But what about the fans who literally spend every moment at the park needling, heckling and verbally abusing the players?
There's a difference between ribbing the opposing team and calling an athlete a fat f***. Where does the line get drawn and why is any heckling permitted anymore?
posted by fenriq (85 comments total)

 
If anything there isn't enough heckling. Throwing a chair into the audience? What a fucking jerkoff. He's a professional ahtlete, for Christ's sake, if he can't handle a little heckling and then go home and swim in his pool of liquid gold, I say kick him out for good. If it weren't for the fans, sponsorship, etc... these guys would be shit.

why is any heckling permitted anymore?

Probably lots of reasons. 1) Keeping a heckle-free crowd would be near impossible. 2) It's good for team spirit 3) It's part of the fun 4) I have the right to heckle by dint of a) freedom of speech and b) admission price 5) Why does everything have to be "nice"? 6) What kind of a game would it be if it didn't inspire rivalry and passion?

I've often thought that there should be good bands and bad bands at concerts so the crowd can get their boo on.

Now, the most boo I've ever seen was when Guerrero got beaned in the shoulder during his second last at bat trying to join the 40-40 club. The Montreal fans booed the pitcher for the rest of the inning, stopped when the Expos went up, and started booing again for the entire next half-inning. It was incredible. My throat was sore for a week afterwards.
posted by jon_kill at 10:12 AM on September 16, 2004


what I think is that its good to heckle players in a somewhat respectable way. Just assume that the player is your friend who is on the other team. You can harrass your friend until the cows come home but there are certain lines you do not cross. For one, that is still a person, and two it is disrespectful to the families around you.
posted by LouieLoco at 10:24 AM on September 16, 2004


The line should be security.
The victims husband pancaked himself when he was quoted about the specifics of his season tickets. He said those seats were specifically purchased to be as close as possible that he could heckle the opposing teams. Maybe why no charges will be pressed, just lawsuits, suspensions and fines.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:28 AM on September 16, 2004


Good point LouieLoco, ettequett.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:35 AM on September 16, 2004


etiquette. Reminds me of the bars in Paris, France - go to a disco tech if you want to talk over the other patrons conversations in the room.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:40 AM on September 16, 2004


"He's a professional ahtlete, for Christ's sake, if he can't handle a little heckling and then go home and swim in his pool of liquid gold, I say kick him out for good."

That's just wrong. It's an excuse for people to act like jerks.
Would you like it if some random yahoo showed up to your job and harassed you?
These guys have feelings just like anyone else. What happened to "Do onto others as you would have them to onto you?"
posted by black8 at 10:45 AM on September 16, 2004


Perhaps we should ban booing/heckling in general . . . sure would make life easier for entertainers all around. In fact, I think we're lucky they're letting us within earshot of them, and charging so very little for the privilege.
posted by hackly_fracture at 10:52 AM on September 16, 2004


Would you like it if some random yahoo showed up to your job and harassed you?

It's part of their jobs to be harassed. You shouldn't feel bad about heckling a professional wrestler playing the role of heel, and you shouldn't feel bad about ribbing the visiting sports team. It's a tradition, and to take it out of the game really does ruin a lot of the fun. Really, professional sports are pretty boring if you can't yell, "Eat a salad, Giambi, you fat sack of crap!*"

*Heard at an actual ballgame.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:54 AM on September 16, 2004


Yeah, just because he makes a good income doesn't mean he should be exposed to abuse. Heckling, when done respectfully, is fun and adds to the game. When its done by an asshole, it makes the game suck.

Why is it okay to be abusive to someone who happens to be a pro athlete?

uncleozzy, if you need heckling to make sports interesting then perhaps you need to find something else to watch. There's respect and there is abuse, I have no problem with respectful and good natured heckling. I have a serious problem with assholes using heckling as an excuse to vent their inner fury.
posted by fenriq at 11:01 AM on September 16, 2004


"Would you like it if some random yahoo showed up to your job and harassed you?"

You mean if my job paid over two million dollars a year on average, for playing a game?

Hell yes, I'd love me some hecklers at that price.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:04 AM on September 16, 2004


Best heckler comeback I've ever heard, by David Cross on Mr. Show:

"I don't come to where you work and slap the dick out of your mouth!"
posted by ChasFile at 11:10 AM on September 16, 2004


Perhaps we should ban booing/heckling in general . . . sure would make life easier for entertainers all around.

Seems to work for the Bush campaign.
posted by terrapin at 11:10 AM on September 16, 2004


Would you like it if some random yahoo showed up to your job and harassed you?

Do you perform your job in front of tens of thousands of strangers every day?
posted by mkultra at 11:13 AM on September 16, 2004


Since when does “crossing the line” warrant throwing a chair? If the heckling crossed the line, the player could have had security eject the fans, which happens all the time. I think that we all forget that professional athletes are a bunch of morons who don’t exactly get paid for doing smart things.

I wonder how Francisco's punishment will compare to Bertuzzi's?
posted by Smooth at 11:20 AM on September 16, 2004


why is any heckling permitted anymore?

Because it's fun.
posted by mosch at 11:24 AM on September 16, 2004


Whatever happened to "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"?

What a thin-skinned asshat this clown is. Oops, better watch what I say or Francisco may throw something at me.
posted by terrapin at 11:28 AM on September 16, 2004


What a thin-skinned asshat this clown is.

The guy plays 116 or so 3-4 hour games a year. That's alot of verbal abuse for anyone to take. Add in the fact that if he doesn't perform well - in front of millions of people, mind you - he loses those millions of dollars. Now, I'm not saying he should have done it, but I can empathize with the kind of pressure he's under.

I think both spectators and players need to take some responsibility, here. I've sat over the visiting team's dugout on a number of occasions, and all I can say is that it was bound to happen eventually. It sucks that someone had to have their nose broken for this issue to come to a head, but in any other arena the kind of verbal assault, pea-nut tossing, and beer-pouring spectators routinely engage in would get them arrested.
posted by ChasFile at 11:38 AM on September 16, 2004


You can't ask: "Would you like it if some random yahoo showed up to your job and harassed you?"

Sports are NOT real jobs and the "how would you like it..." tests do not stand up.

If this logic were to hold true, I'd demand a trade to a company with more pay and better benefits!!!
posted by Smooth at 11:40 AM on September 16, 2004


I realize tossing peanuts doesn't sound too bad, but consider that spectators also hurl things like batteries, coin, and nails.
posted by ChasFile at 11:43 AM on September 16, 2004


As sort of an aside, am I the only one who finds it almost intolerably annoying to have some clown in the same row as you yelling things all game long? Especially when it's both unoriginal and vulger. I can only take some annoying guy who's spilling his beer all over people yelling, "you stupid fat fuck! Roger Clemens is a fucking queer!" for about five minutes before I stop paying attention to the game and start giving serious consideration to how I could accidentally throw the guy down the stairs.

As a fan, I would urge others to do what I've done with friends a few times in such situations: heckle the heckler. He'll usually shut up or at least quiet down a bit. Plus the people around you will probably thank you profusely.
posted by The God Complex at 11:46 AM on September 16, 2004


I can empathize with the kind of pressure he's under. ChasFile: Yes we all know what absolute fucking hell being a waiter is.
posted by jon_kill at 11:47 AM on September 16, 2004


The guy plays 116 or so 3-4 hour games a year. That's alot of verbal abuse for anyone to take. Add in the fact that if he doesn't perform well - in front of millions of people, mind you - he loses those millions of dollars.

Let me see if I get your argument:

He is paid millions of dollars to play approximately 116 3-4 games (isn't he a relief pitcher?) and therefore I am somehow supposed to understand his dilema of coping with the stress of that workload and cut him some slack?

I. Don't. Think. So.

The guy is an overpaid, whiny thug. I hope he gets jail time like someone who works a real job would if they decided to throw a chair at someone in their place of work.
posted by terrapin at 11:54 AM on September 16, 2004


Oops. 3-4 hour games.
posted by terrapin at 11:55 AM on September 16, 2004


TGC, I'm right there with you. One yaboo just yelling and yelling and yelling drives me nuts.

Heckling drunken hecklers doesn't sound like an especially good idea though.

I just sit and wish for them to be mouthing off looking the wrong way and get a foul ball right off their forehead to knock them out cold like a switch. And no one gets in trouble for it either.
posted by fenriq at 11:56 AM on September 16, 2004


I think they should hand out a list of appropriate and courteous heckles before each game...

Pardon me sir but I believe your baseball skills are somewhat overrated.
posted by sexymofo at 12:07 PM on September 16, 2004


I'm kinda proud of this heckler. He really got into Francisco's head - which is what it's all about. Last year I was at a basketball game v. U of Iowa soon after Paul Peirce was accused of sexual assault. He was really playing well until while he was shooting free throws, the crowd started chanting "no means no". Needless to say, he was taken out of his game. That is brilliant heckling.
posted by jmgorman at 12:12 PM on September 16, 2004


Feeeeeeenriiiiiiq

FEEEEEEEEEEENRIIIIIIIIIIQ
posted by picea at 12:24 PM on September 16, 2004


I'm kinda proud of this heckler

Anyone who buys season tickets with the sole purpose of heckling the visiting team is either deeply invested in his home team's success, or a real bastard. Or both.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:27 PM on September 16, 2004


why is any heckling permitted anymore?

Good Christ. I'm not sure which you show less understanding of, spectator sports or freedom of speech. Fortunately, this post will be every bit as effective as all those MetaTalk posts asking why people can't stick to making single-line posts, or include only a few links, or include lots of links, or post only in rhyming couplets, or whatever the hell, which is to say not at all. Fans will continue to heckle as long as they're charged good money to watch grown men earn better livings playing games than they do at their miserable jobs, and a good thing too. And in the spirit of all those fruitless MeTa whines: can't we keep from editorializing in our front-page posts????
posted by languagehat at 12:31 PM on September 16, 2004


Warning: Very annoyed rant.

Look, it's pretty simple.

Baseball fans, as of right now, 2004, basically everything about your game is creepy. It didn't used to be this way. It sure is now. Just take a good hard look at yourselves. Your best team isn't something people love to hate. It's just something stupid to hate, a reason to avoid the sport entirely. They're like some twisted mirror image of the 90's Bulls. Of course, not that the rest of the teams are any more helpful, what with all the stadium extortion they can't shut up about. And how about them players, on so much juice that Minute Maid is collecting their sweat.

But then, my friends, there's you. Wow. What, you think it's a sacred ritual, some holy tradition to look for new and amusing ways to publically insult the genitalia of some guy? What kind of creep ARE you? You somehow fit your four-hot-dog-and-overpriced-beer ass in some particularly convenient seat. Good for you, we're proud. You think this means you've now won the right to take out all your pathetic frustrations in life on some guy who, by mere dint of his unimaginable wealth, has been rendered an unthinking, unfeeling robot?

No, we know you don't think that. That's what makes it so cool. Stoning someone isn't nearly as fun if they're sitting in a Bradley. No, you know he feels the burn, you just somehow think that the 0.00001% contribution to his salary you made renting that aforementioned chair makes him your fucktoy to do with as you please.

Bull? Horns. Pity? Not from here. After all, you wanted one chair. Why wouldn't you want two?

Oh. Yeah. Because it hurts. Apparently your pain is the only one that counts. Your pain, and now your goddamn lottery ticket. Go. Take your money. Show it off to all your friends, who I'm sure will try twice as hard now that they smell blood in the water and cash in the air. Watch your game get even more creepy, and more marginalized, less Will Clark and more Barry Bonds, less Jackie Robinson and more A-Rod (what kinda porn star name is THAT?), less Babe Ruth and more Babe Ruth Barr.

You know, part of sport is being able to relate -- to the team, to the players, to your fellow fans. You think about that, and maybe one day, hopefully soon, you all will stop being so damn creepy.

Rant over.
posted by effugas at 12:33 PM on September 16, 2004


MetaFilter - clowns yelling at the clowns who are yelling things.
posted by fatbaq at 12:41 PM on September 16, 2004


What effugas said more or less. I can understand a bit of mild heckling, I do not understand the need to scream verbal abuse over and over again, nor do I understand why people feel that because someone is talented and lucky enough to make a living playing sports it somehow means they're worthy of contempt and insult. See a shrink, there is something wrong with you if you think that yelling personal insults ad nauseam is acceptable simply because someone earns a great living being an athlete.
posted by biscotti at 12:51 PM on September 16, 2004


Heckling is necessary and ethical. It's also one of the few genuine traditions left in major league sports. Heckling serves as the flipside of cheering: Just as any heroics should be applauded, it's the fan's responsibility to deride any sort of weakness. This is especially true when that weakness is not related to the player's actual abilities, but rather is some kind of character flaw. Francisco is now open game for the harshest kind of heckling -- and when he plays again, he's bound to get the worst of it. It's just the right thing to do.
posted by eatitlive at 12:53 PM on September 16, 2004


what effugas said
posted by bob sarabia at 1:02 PM on September 16, 2004


For > 1 mil per year, anyone here may call me anything they wish.

I'm not making an ethical or moral judgement on it, I'm just stating the truth.

I mean it. Secure me 1 million U.S. dollars or more per year, and you may call me anything you can think of, repeatedly. In fact, I'll rent out a stadium and let you scream at me for hours on end. I would literally allow you to scream at me until you became bored and no longer found it fun or interesting.

I promise I will feel bad about it while I drive my Ferrari back to my gated mansions. I will fret over it while I lounge on a tropical island for 3 months during the off season. And I promise I won't laugh at you later for helping pay my salary to do it.

The *ONLY* reason heckling should be limited is because of the aggrevation factor to other fans. I can't imagine giving a moment's consideration to the overpayed steroid abuser on the field.
posted by Ynoxas at 1:03 PM on September 16, 2004


picea, you better quiet that down, I've got a chair loaded and ready to hurl!

I'm not against heckling at all, I'm against people disguising verbal abuse behind heckling's skirt. There's a pretty easy to see line between heckling as a part of the game and being abusive.

The fan comes off to me as having been abusive.

No, it doesn't excuse Francisco's actions in any way but saying that pro athletes need to "just take it" because they make a lot of money is ridiculous. By that rational, homeless people should be able to get in your face all the time because you make soooo much more than they do.
posted by fenriq at 1:04 PM on September 16, 2004


This all reminds me why SportsFilter exists, since sports posts just turn into an excuse for non-sports fans to drone on about how overpaid athletes are. They should accept heckling in any form because they draw a salary of a given magnitude? Where's that cutoff for pro athletes; should some kid in Single A get heckled viciously or can he react like a human being?

I'm all for heckling. I think it's wonderful when it's brilliant (and I still cherish memories of a high school hockey game where I got the opposing goalie to look at me while he was facing a breakaway-- you can guess the result), but if you're not a sports fan, you're probably not familiar with the levels some people take it to. As an example to support what TGC said, there's a season ticket holder for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays who is so loud and obnoxious, TV broadcasts actually shut off the crowd mike near him. And you can still make out what he's saying. It pisses me off a thousand miles away. It's gotta drive the other 15 fans in the building nuts.

I'm not saying what the kid did was right (though at 20 you'd be lucky if all you caught from me was a beach chair once you got me to snap) and I'm not saying heckling should stop. What I am saying is this is another area where we gone too far and it's so over-the-top with people trying to get on TV/ be noticed it's no wonder things like this happen and will continue to happen.
posted by yerfatma at 1:07 PM on September 16, 2004


I can't imagine giving a moment's consideration to the overpayed steroid abuser on the field.

See, that's why it's so wonderful to live in the US today. The athlete on the field isn't another human being, he's a stranger who doesn't count because I don't know him or like him. Allow me to label him, group him, pigeonhole and file him away without a moment's consideration. The problem isn't so much the athletes (it's confirmed they're 100% all assholes who beat their wives and use steroids to get to achieve what we could not), it's inhumanity.
posted by yerfatma at 1:13 PM on September 16, 2004


I'm still waiting for all of you to start heckling each other.
posted by Jeremy at 1:23 PM on September 16, 2004


By that rational, homeless people should be able to get in your face all the time because you make soooo much more than they do.

Except that homeless people don't pay me to entertain them ;-) Count me in the "heckling-is-cool-except -when-it-annoys-other-fans-due-to-excessive-vulgarity-or-irritating-repetitiveness" camp.

On preview: Jeremy's got a rubber arm, neener, neener, neener.
posted by sharpener at 1:25 PM on September 16, 2004


What I am saying is this is another area where we gone too far and it's so over-the-top with people trying to get on TV/ be noticed it's no wonder things like this happen and will continue to happen.

If we're going to single out ballpark assholes, how about the people sitting behind home plate, oblivious to the game, waiting with a celphone to their ear for a cue to wave their arms at the camera. Now THAT'S annoying.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:31 PM on September 16, 2004


Please. Baseball has had far worse violence in its history than in these relatively tame times. Name calling? "Ooh, he called me a bad word!" Grow the hell up. Since when did sports get all Disney-fied?

See, used to be, people cared about their teams, because their teams played in their cities, with players from their towns. So if you were from Boston, you didn't just dislike the Yankees -- you hated them with a passion that is sadly missing in today's overanalyzed, over-medicated world. Fights broke out all the time back in the Golden Years of baseball. It's called passion -- don't be so freaking afraid to express yourself. Everyone's gotta be such nice girls and boys for 99% of their lives; going out to the ballpark and insulting the other team's players is the one time you're allowed to be a jagoff.

Now, that doesn't mean there aren't good and bad ways of doing this -- as with any sport (heckling included) there involves some finesse if you want to stand above the common fuck-nutter. But if you go to the park with your kids, be prepared for a Long Talk afterwords on the ride home -- you may want to bring a medical dictionary.

If you want love and happiness, go buy a puppy.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:33 PM on September 16, 2004


By that rational, homeless people should be able to get in your face all the time because you make soooo much more than they do.

They do. Where the fuck do you live?

I'm with C_D, where did all this sensitive Pollyanna bullshit come from? It's really beginning to scare me.

Did you guys watch too much ST:TNG growing up?
posted by keswick at 2:07 PM on September 16, 2004


See, used to be, people cared about their teams, because their teams played in their cities, with players from their towns.

Talk about claptrap. List me the best Sox players from New England. I can think of a few that might make the Sox top 50 list off the top of my head: Fisk, Remy, Mo Vaughn (from CT, grew up a Yankee fan), John Valentin, but the best of the best are from way out of town. And that was true in 1910 as well.

Rhett Miller asked the crowd last night if anyone in Boston (the venue was across the street from Fenway) still cared about the Sox. Apparently they did.
posted by yerfatma at 2:08 PM on September 16, 2004


I'm with Civil and Keswick.

Getting heckled is in the job description. You're trying to tell me that pro baseball players didn't sit down front when they were little kids and watch the players take it in the ear? (Before someone points out that the poor ones didn't, fine. Maybe the poor ones didn't.) Probably not one of them though, "Gee, I'll make it to the big leagues and be above reproach!!!"

Effugas' little rant above is certainly strange in tone, but not very effective in message.

If the big fucking thug had a problem with a fan, he should have had them removed. It's probably well within his rights. A fan chucking shit on the field can be removed, so a fan distracting a player beyond reason can probably be removed.

Maybe, though, in that case, he should rent A League of their Own and give it a good, hard watch.
posted by jon_kill at 2:18 PM on September 16, 2004


Fuck you Civil_Disobedient you sad sorry fuck. You worthless piece of shit, why don't you learn to write something coherent instead of the sad drivel which pours constantly from your porcine snout? You want passion? I got your passion right here you lazy Monday morning quarterback sitting at home on your fat ass and writing inane verbage on your candy-ass web sites like you have some kind of elite intelligence. And don't give me any crap. I HAVE a MeFi login and I can say whatever the fuck I want you dumbass. It's my consti-fucking-tutional right.

Please feel free to cut and paste after every Civil_Disobedient post.
posted by Eekacat at 2:19 PM on September 16, 2004


All that rankor is wasted as far as I'm concerned. They should have used it for Boston.

There seems to be no end to abusive heckling-everywhere...
Bush Vs. Them, Us Vs. Bush, Them Vs. Bush, Them Vs. everybody.
posted by xtian at 2:40 PM on September 16, 2004


What yerfatma said. (hey look, I'm heckling!)

It's not about "passion" (watch a Leafs game with me some time...if they ever play again, that is), or a bit of heckling here and there, it's about the people who scream their heads off for the whole game, acting like out-of-control, mob-inflamed, uncivilized, playground bullies. It's not "sensitive Pollyanna bullshit", it's calling asshole behaviour, asshole behaviour.
posted by biscotti at 2:42 PM on September 16, 2004


Please. Baseball has had far worse violence in its history than in these relatively tame times. Name calling? "Ooh, he called me a bad word!" Grow the hell up. Since when did sports get all Disney-fied?

Hell yeah! If you don't like heckling, watch Japanese baseball. Everyone claps, there are designated cheering sections for each team, and when the opposing team is at bat, the other team's cheering section stays politely quiet. It's also the most boring sporting event you'll ever watch in person...

There are also plenty of jobs where you suffer verbal abuse (ever telemarket?), and you don't get a 2 million dollar pay check at the end of it. The players who can't take it are weak-minded or weak-willed, and probably have some anger issues.

Yeesh.

Rhett Miller asked the crowd last night if anyone in Boston (the venue was across the street from Fenway) still cared about the Sox. Apparently they did.

The Red Sox just completely sold out the season, which I think is only the 4th time in major league baseball history for any team.
posted by SweetJesus at 2:44 PM on September 16, 2004


Daaaarrryl. Daaaarrryl.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:56 PM on September 16, 2004


I'm kinda missing rainbow-hair guy right about now....

There should be some rules about the level of heckling allowed vs. how much blood and carnage is allowed in the sport.

Maximum Heckling
Boxing
Ice Hockey
Football
Gator Wrestling

Medium Heckling
Baseball
Volleyball
Basketball
Javelin Throwing

Minimum Heckling
Synchronized Swimming
Ice Dancing
Croquet
T-Ball
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:07 PM on September 16, 2004


Some of the best bullpen heckling of all time happened when John Rocker played in San Francisco after his SI interview. Heckling can be hilarious, and I'm surprised no one has quoted the Simpson episode with Daryl Strawberry. In case no one has seen the actual melee, Francisco was not being heckled at the time he threw the chair. He had to leave the dugout and come all the way down to the bullpen to throw that chair.

On preview: Thanks for the Simpson reference Space Coyote.
posted by whatever at 3:09 PM on September 16, 2004


in response to Space Coyote

*sniffs, wipes a way a single tear*
posted by keswick at 3:10 PM on September 16, 2004


Please. Baseball has had far worse violence in its history than in these relatively tame times. Name calling? "Ooh, he called me a bad word!" Grow the hell up. Since when did sports get all Disney-fied?
Not sure where you live, C_D, but baseball hasn't even been close to Disney-fied. Have you missed the antics of folks like Rocker, fans interfering with games in New York and Chicago, rioting after a variety of Boston games, a player clubbing a mascott with a bat. Sure, it's not tackle baseball, but the game has a tangible element of violence.
See, used to be, people cared about their teams, because their teams played in their cities, with players from their towns. So if you were from Boston, you didn't just dislike the Yankees -- you hated them with a passion that is sadly missing in today's overanalyzed, over-medicated world.
I lived across the street from Fenway Park for a year. During the playoffs that year, the Red Sox and the Yankees met in round two of the ALCS. For a week before the game, while tickets were on sale, all I could hear, twenty four hours a day, were people waiting in line for tickets tirelessly chanting, "Yankees suck!"

The hatred of the Yankees is alive and well in Boston. After the first home game during that series, where the Red Sox pounded the Yankees behind good pitching from Martinez, the fans rioted. Cars were overturned and trampled. Violence broke out as Yankees fans mistakenly left their teams logos visible on their person or their cars. Trapped amidst this all, behind the Green Monster on Lansdowne St., it was quite remarkable. There was a clear sense of celebration gone wrong. Thankfully, my apartment was 100 yards away.
Fights broke out all the time back in the Golden Years of baseball.
Again, you must have missed last years second round ALCS, where Don Zimmer, an ex-Red Sox, charged at Pedro Martinez after he beaned someone. A coach of the opposing team got into it with the pitcher. If that's not passion, I'm sadly mistaken about what it is. This year? More fighting between the same two teams. Watch this weekends series, tell me you don't see it.
posted by sequential at 3:13 PM on September 16, 2004


I'm kinda missing rainbow-hair guy right about now

"All of this strange behavior finally came to a head in late September of '92, when Rockin' Rollen was arrested after holding a maid hostage in the Hyatt Hotel next to Los Angeles International Airport."

sequential, let's not forget the gorgeous site of Jason Varitek's hands in A-Rod's mug after a conversation that (allegedly) included the sentence, "We don't throw at .260 hitters."
posted by yerfatma at 3:47 PM on September 16, 2004


keswick, I live in Northern California and yes, we have plenty of homeless people but they don't interact with me very often. I know them, they know me, there's no point in talking to me since there's no chance I'm giving them money.

sequential, its not just Boston that hates the Yankees, pretty much everyone outside of New York hates the Yankees. I know many people who cheer for two teams, the Red Sox and whoever's playing the Yankees that night.

If the Sox are gonna do it then this is the year, the Yankees have bad pitching where the Sox have two franchise aces backed up by a damned scary lineup.

Who doesn't want to see a World Series without the Yankees (or the ever-circling Braves) in it?
posted by fenriq at 3:59 PM on September 16, 2004


Not sure where you live, C_D, but baseball hasn't even been close to Disney-fied.

You need to come see a game at Safeco Field. Family friendly funtime.

Hell yeah! If you don't like heckling, watch Japanese baseball. Everyone claps, there are designated cheering sections for each team, and when the opposing team is at bat, the other team's cheering section stays politely quiet.

This sounds suspiciously like Safeco Field.
posted by pitchblende at 4:24 PM on September 16, 2004


By that rational, homeless people should be able to get in your face all the time because you make soooo much more than they do.

For $5,000/yr, I'll gladly sell season tickets to anybody, the homeless included. They'll get to yell at me 40 times a year for about two hours a stretch.

If they're not effective hecklers, I'll provide them with a list of things that I'm particularly sensitive about. If they can sell out an entire bleacher, I'll bringing a psychiatrist and a writer, to help them out further.

Besides, homeless people already yell at me. The only thing I've ever done as a retort was to meow at a homeless guy who was barking at me.
posted by mosch at 5:13 PM on September 16, 2004


Not sure where you live, C_D, but baseball hasn't even been close to Disney-fied.

I picked the Sox because I used to live in Boston for so long. Thing is, where they play you get more Yankees fans then Boston fans (all the NY / B.U. transplants). It'd almost be better if they moved it to Southie just to bring back the ultraviolence.

I HAVE a MeFi login and I can say whatever the fuck I want you dumbass. It's my consti-fucking-tutional right.


posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:17 PM on September 16, 2004


biscotti, bob -- thanks!

jon,

My point is that you baseball people are weirding the rest of us out, seriously yo, and no amount of "well, they make alot of money" and "they knew what they were getting into" and "but it's TRADITION" is going to change the fact that you get your jollies off from loud, incoherent, unoriginal, gnawing, self-and-only-self-gratifying, snap-inducing whining. You get off on hurting people. That's fine for the S&M crowd, but for the rest of us, it's creepy and it's weird, and the more it's defended, the less we want anything to do with your sport, no matter how much we liked it as a kid. Remember all those people who backed away from Baseball after the mid-90's strikes? Crap like this keeps us away.

Sports are about relating. I relate a hell of alot better to the guy going ballistic on some creepy person who won't leave him alone than on the woman who thinks her fifty bucks comes with free harassment therapy. Did he overreact? Hell yeah. Is he going to suffer for that? You bet. But should he have been put into the position, day after day, week after week, hundreds of times a year of being subjected to this... Chinese Idiot Torture?

I'm not saying she got what she deserved. Hurting people is wrong, a fact I'm surprised I have to argue (and again, this is why y'all creep the rest of us out, we learned this when we were kids and didn't forget it). But if you're going to step up to the plate, don't be surprised if you get a pitch.
posted by effugas at 5:21 PM on September 16, 2004


This sounds suspiciously like Safeco Field.

Except, you know, when they boo the home team because they give up half a dozen runs to the f*cking Devil Rays in a single inning. But admittedly, their booing was very polite.

To give credit to Seattle fans, though, the majority of them steadfastly refused to continue the Wave that a group of drunk hairdressers kept trying to get going. I'm not sure if that was because of their excellent taste or because they were just apathetic, but I commend them either way.
posted by kindall at 5:24 PM on September 16, 2004


kindall, Attempted initiation of "The Wave" at any sporting event, concert or large public gathering should be punishable by immediate exile to France.

effugas, I get your point but not all baseball fans are like that at all. In fact, the vast majority of fans are very cool about it. I don't get heckling either, no wait, I don't get heckling strangers. I totally get heckling your friends.

But heckling isn't being mean, or shouldn't be. If I went to my first baseball game and heard some asshat yapping at the players the whole time, I'd probably not go back. It IS creepy and wrong.

Tradition's a really stupid defense too. It used to be traditional to not allow black players to play with white players. It used to be traditional to not wear protective gear. Tradition is nice when it makes sense.

As a solution, why not make "heckling zones" - places where all the loud mouthed jerks could flap their faces and only bother each other?
posted by fenriq at 6:03 PM on September 16, 2004


effugas, I'm not even in this thread.
posted by jonmc at 6:44 PM on September 16, 2004


He was talking to me, jonmc.
posted by jon_kill at 8:32 PM on September 16, 2004


As a solution, why not make "heckling zones" - places where all the loud mouthed jerks could flap their faces and only bother each other?

You mean like this? Or did you mean like this?

effugas: Real life is not the way Mr. Rogers told you it was. The sooner you learn this, and accept it, the happier you will be. Oh, and if heckling keeps you away from baseball, too bad. Don't let the turnstyle hit you in the ass on your way to the golf links or tennis court, ya poof.
posted by keswick at 8:38 PM on September 16, 2004


Oh, and if heckling keeps you away from baseball, too bad. Don't let the turnstyle hit you in the ass on your way to the golf links or tennis court, ya poof.

Why don't you go fuck yourself, you fucking pedantic whiner. Your something-interesting-to-say average is well below the Mendoza line.

Don't like it? It's part of metafilter (now), bitch!
posted by The God Complex at 8:44 PM on September 16, 2004


keswick, kind of a different implementation and certainly the target demographic is different. But yes, why not give them a place to be wankers? Its not political, its them being asses on purpose because they feel like they can be part of the win somehow by needling some player.
posted by fenriq at 8:48 PM on September 16, 2004


Watch out God Complex, I'll throw a chair at you. BTW, I'll be expecting your $5000 payment via PayPal. cues up "and the money will roll right in"
posted by keswick at 8:58 PM on September 16, 2004


Now, wait a minute. From what I've heard, Frank Francisco doesn't even speak a word of English. How did he even understand what was being yelled at him? I think he just wanted to be a badass and make a name for himself while he was at it. Mission accomplished, bub.
posted by ScarletSpectrum at 9:35 PM on September 16, 2004


A less-than-estimable source claims that the heckler was taunting Brocail about his stillborn child.
posted by trharlan at 10:20 PM on September 16, 2004


Oooh, that sheds a new light. Who knows if it's fully true, I'd guessed he was being a dick but really, what kind of a pathetic loser of a man berates somebody over the death of a kid?
posted by fenriq at 11:41 PM on September 16, 2004


keswick--

Sure, the real world is fucked up. That's why I can relate more to the player throwing the chair than I can this couple's truly pathetic seasonal investment in the Four Hour Hate. You're the one seeking perfection -- that baseball players should be some kind of perfect mystical deities, accepting and absorbing all harassment with grace at best and quiet suffering at worst. Well guess what, they're just as human as you and me; fuck with them, maybe even mock their poor dead son you creeps, and eventually, they fuck back. Only instead of being some pathetic couple armed with nothing but their (likely) transferred mutual hatred of eachother, we're looking at a gigantic, physically fit, and very pissed off individual whose day job is to convert every day objects into projectile weapons.

Welcome to the real world. Should I put Mr. Rogers back on for you?
posted by effugas at 2:23 AM on September 17, 2004


Can't take the heckling, Civil_Disobedient? Where's the chair you pussy! HAhahahaha

Actually, there is good heckling, and bad heckling. Bad heckling is a big reason I don't follow professional sports anymore. I took my father to a baseball game once. I had great tickets 3 rows behind the visiting dugout, and these drunk assholes screamed and yelled nonsense almost the whole game. I asked them to chill, but their response was they payed good money for the tickets and they could do whatever they pleased (that's putting it nicely, they also had some choice words for me). I guess that included messing up a perfectly fine time for all the people around them (who also payed good money for their tickets). I don't believe having the price of a ticket gives anyone the right to be an asshole (any more than being in a fraternity does). I've heckled my fair share of players (like screaming at Jose Canseco at every fielding miscue... a job to make one hoarse in a game), but geez, show some class people. Professional sports certainly don't miss me, and that feeling goes both ways.
posted by Eekacat at 3:45 AM on September 17, 2004


I see nothing wrong with any of this, if you're gonna scream abuse at people, be prepared to eat chair.

You're all a bunch of pussies
posted by fullerine at 4:19 AM on September 17, 2004


This post sucks!

Get a blog!

"Heckling? Good Natured Fun or Verbal Abuse"

Learn how to use punctuation, retard!
posted by Blue Stone at 4:48 AM on September 17, 2004


Can I change my answer? I can? Okay, I'm with fullerine. Nobody is at fault.
posted by jon_kill at 6:18 AM on September 17, 2004


Goddamn flip-flopper.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:50 AM on September 17, 2004


You call me names, I'll break your wife's nose. Sound fair??

These people are highly paid entertainers. For some fans, heckling is entertainment. Where do you think all of those millions come from?

If that player would rather trade places with me and work at my desk so that he doesn't get heckled, I'll be pleased to do so.
posted by eas98 at 6:59 AM on September 17, 2004


The three best heckles ever were Bill Hicks in his "drunken c*nt" tirade (available as the bootleg "I'm Sorry Folks"), Eric Cantona's amazing drop kick back in '95 and the possibly apochraphyl story of Kirk Douglas' other son as a stand up comic whereby the entire audience where chewing him out. He shouted "Don't you know who I am? I'm Kirk Douglas' son!" A quick witted audience member stood up and shouted "NO! I am Kirk Douglas' son!" The audience one by one stood and shouted the same.

I watched Eric lash out live on the day and I have honestly never laughed harder at someone's misfortune than when that mouthy fat shite got two French feet squarely in his chest.

I vote "YAY!" for heckling. It's audience participation in the purest form.
posted by longbaugh at 9:02 AM on September 17, 2004


These people are highly paid entertainers. For some fans, heckling is entertainment. Where do you think all of those millions come from?

As I mentioned before, what about the thousands of other fans who have to listen to a vulgar string of nonsense from these drunken imbeciles? What would happen to me if I stood on a street corner somewhere yelling out obscenities? I bet at some point some nice young police officer would come guide me away.

Oh, and if the guy was actually heckling him about the birth of his still born son, then all I can do is appluad Francisco's aim with a chair: he got them both with one throw!
posted by The God Complex at 11:34 AM on September 17, 2004



Watch out God Complex, I'll throw a chair at you. BTW, I'll be expecting your $5000 payment via PayPal. cues up "and the money will roll right in"


I have chair-fu.
posted by The God Complex at 11:35 AM on September 17, 2004


I have honestly never laughed harder at someone's misfortune than when that mouthy fat shite got two French feet squarely in his chest

amen to that
posted by Frasermoo at 11:39 AM on September 17, 2004


what about the thousands of other fans who have to listen to a vulgar string of nonsense from these drunken imbeciles?

Very simple answer: if it had been a fellow fan that beat him with a chair, we wouldn't be having this discussion. The surrounding fans have every right to get pissed off when they can't hear/see the game they overpayed for, anyway.

But not the players. They have to suffer, what with their lavish dinners, big houses, fancy cars, ho's and bitches, bitches and ho's.

posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:23 PM on September 17, 2004


Blue Stone, why don't you go and see if you can actually cram your entire head up your own ass?

You don't like the post, DON'T READ IT!

Retard is the best insult you can come up? Oooh, I'm soooo incredibly shamed by your manly denigration.

You want? Me too! learn how to. puncuate better@@@/

Tell you what? Once you've gotten your head out of your ass, I'll punctuate better. I'm sure you've never made a typing mistake in your entire life. Lighten up or just shut up.
posted by fenriq at 1:06 PM on September 17, 2004


Civil--

You know, we're kinda saying the same thing: Nobody likes the players, and the fans are kinda scary too.
posted by effugas at 3:23 PM on September 17, 2004


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