Author Topic: Baseball fans vs. football fans  (Read 2588 times)

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Offline tomterp

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Baseball fans vs. football fans
« Topic Start: September 19, 2005, 01:03:48 PM »
Heard Phil Wood talking about this subject on XM 175, guess he decided to make a column out of it.

For NFL fans, class dismissed
By Phil Wood
Examiner Columnist
Published: Thursday, September 15, 2005 12:17 AM EDT
Every so often I'll come up with another reason why baseball is better than football.

After attending the Ravens' season opener against Indianapolis, I've got another one: fan decorum.

Call it what you wish, but at a Major League Baseball game you are far, far less likely to face behavior in the grandstand that has you wishing you were elsewhere.
Does it happen? Of course. But in nearly five decades of going to ballgames, the football crowds are far rowdier than the baseball crowds.

Sunday night at M&T Bank Stadium I was seated upstairs in the end zone. From the time I sat down until my wife and I left, language directed at players -- on both teams, by the way -- and fan-to-fan, was unrelentingly blue.
I'm no prude. But when you can't complete a sentence without a swear word or some sexual or scatological reference, you've got a problem. Some of these guys -- and it was overwhelmingly a male trait -- must spend part of their workdays thinking up more creative ways to swear.

I'm sure there are readers out there saying, "Hey, it was the Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore's old team. Those fans were justified." I'll allow for a scintilla of hard feelings, though many of the guilty were too young to have any real knowledge of the old Colts.

But when the Ravens' Matt Stover, one of the most reliable kickers in NFL history, has a bad night, you would've thought he'd missed on purpose based on crowd reaction.
A good portion of the crowd also cheered when Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller went down with an injury.

Baltimore's not alone in this type of behavior. I've spoken with many Redskins' fans with similar stories to tell. Ronnie Lane, my colleague at XM Radio, describes a nearly identical situation in Tampa when the Buccaneers play.

It seems to be league-wide.

I've been to about 60 Major League Baseball games this year in Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Detroit, as well as several spring training sites. Even on opening day at Fenway Park, with the Yankees providing the opposition, the Red Sox faithful gave the Bombers an earful, but other than the word "sucks," heard nightly on network sitcoms, it was largely obscenity-free.

At Nationals games you'll hear the occasional "boo," though little in the way of really and truly grotesque verbiage.

It may be a blessing the free-agent shortstop's name is Guzman. He can always pretend the fans are yelling "Gooooooz." And some of them may be. Orioles' fans are almost genteel compared with their brethren across the street.

Perhaps you think it's the nature of pro football that fans get so caught up in the game, they feel like they're part of success or failure on the field. I'll admit home-field noise can be a factor in winning or losing.

But players can't make out what you're saying from hundreds of feet away. It's all just noise to them.

It's just as effective if you keep it within the bounds of good taste.

Phil Wood has covered sports in the Washington-Baltimore market for more than 30 years. Listen for Phil on XM Satellite Radio's new MLB channel.

Offline DelNatsFan

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Baseball fans vs. football fans
« Reply #1: December 12, 2005, 02:54:18 PM »
I've never been to an NFL game so I can't say I've experienced it firsthand, and I live 30 minutes from the Eagles (and you know the reputation attached to Eagles fans). A lot of what he says has merit.
  That said, people don't act up at baseball games as much as football beacuse if you so much as pass wind on the way to your seat at a ballgame, a security guard is up your butt and in your face and dragging you out. I have to say it isn't that way at RFK or Camden Yards or even Citizens Bank park, but Yankee Stadium is absolutely miserable. All they want to do is give you a hard time;(mostly off-duty NYPD on a power trip.) Even their Spring Training facility is like that. (that's why I'm no longer a Yankee fan). I'm not talking about being unruly and I'm not a neanderthal by any means, but your not allowed to tell the umpire he sucks anymore after a few bad calls or else you get escorted out. It's absolutely ridiculous! there has to be a happy medium.

Baseball fans vs. football fans
« Reply #2: April 08, 2006, 12:41:29 PM »
Tampa Bay Buc fans can be bad.  

Went to a game two years ago in NC and boy, even when they make up only like 10% of the crowd they mouth off like they own the place.  Of course, they all high tail it out of there before the final seconds of the game if they are losing big.  On this particular day they did.

When it comes to baseball fans though, we have our fair share of douchebags.  Fans of the Mets, Yankees, Red Sox, and Angels I think are notoriously A-Hole.

Offline Minty Fresh

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Baseball fans vs. football fans
« Reply #3: May 01, 2006, 02:19:09 PM »
I guess it depends on what you call a "fan."  To me, baseball is the far superior sport because the fans are (for the most part) fairly well behaved.  I feel like I can take my three-year-old to a game and not have to emotionally prepare him for what he's about to face.  Whereas if I were to take him to a pro football game (which I probably won't until he's 16) I'd have to do a month's worth of prep-work to ensure he isn't scarred for life.

To me, I expect far less intellectual discourse from a football fan (or a hockey fan for that matter) than I do a baseball fan.  There is a reasonable expectation (and I feel it's warranted) that baseball fans know more about their game than football fans do and the average educational background of a baseball fan is far more expansive than his fotball counterpart's.  I think - over time - this has resulted in a certain resentment from football fans; laying claim to a less "snobby" atmosphere at their games.

It also depends on what you expect out of going to the game.  e.g.:  I love college hockey.  I also go into the games not expecting a library-like crowd and an elevated sense of decorum.  I think that's why I enjoy it so much.  It allows me to be a "meat-head" while still enjoying a game that I love to watch.  Whereas, I would not expect to go to a professional baseball game and hear the typical taunting you'd hear at a Cornell v. Harvard hockey game.

I find that I am enjoying football less and less as time goes by.  I still love it, but I think it's more because the NFL is "event-like" in the sense that it's once a week.  Sunday afternoons are special in that sense.  You can stop everything for football because it's once a week.  With 162 games, what difference does it make when game #91 between the Rockies and Brewers is on.  You aren't gathering around the t.v. for that.  But even a game between the Cardinals and Browns in week #8 means "FOOTBALL IS ON!!!!"  So I guess it's that "special event" style atmosphere that makes football enjoyable to me, not the sport or the fans......