It’s sports fandom, not fandumb


By Kathryn Minnitit

The greatest season of the year has arrived: baseball season. The best thing to do on a day off is to go down to the city and enjoy a good ol’ baseball game, which may or may not involve talking trash to the other team and their fans.

I am a born and raised a Chicago White Sox fan. When you are a Cubs fan and you show up to U.S. Cellular Field, you should be ready for some insults regarding your looks or maybe even your mother; that’s just how it is.

Whatever the case may be, it is all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Over the years, fans have just gone overboard when it comes to brawls at sporting events, especially baseball.

I am all for playful verbal taunts; it is part of the baseball culture. But I want to feel safe going to a game knowing that I will not be put in the hospital just because I wore a White Sox jersey to Wrigley Field.

Recently a couple of L.A. Dodgers’ fans beat a San Francisco Giants fan so severely that he’s been placed into a medically induced coma and had the left side of his skull removed to control the swelling in his brain. Why? Because he wore a Giants jersey.

This sort of senseless violence not only makes you look stupid on a primitive scale, but it also represents your team in a negative light. Fans are supposed to support the team through thick and thin, not start drunken fights whenever something doesn’t go the way they want it to.

Fans tend to believe that in order to be the best and most faithful fanbase, they need to do anything to protect and honor their favorite team.

People need to look at both sides of the spectrum. At one point of the season you might be that annoying fan that is cheering for the Red Sox in a stadium full of Yankees fans. You do not want to fear for your life so treat others with the same sort of civility and respect.

Violence should never be the answer in a sporting dispute. Baseball games will not be enjoyable if fans are scared for their lives just because they want to cheer for their team in enemy territory.

There are several ways to limit these sort of acts of brutality. U.S. Cellular Field stops serving alcohol after the 7th inning, which I believe is a good step in preventing such violence by allowing fans to sober up and avoid drunken brawls after the game.

If just cutting the booze does not help, security needs to be heightened in and out of the ballpark to avoid fan confrontations.

Ultimately all of the security and limits on alcohol consumption are not going to stop stupid fans from taking things too far.

As individuals, we all need to act responsibly by cheering for our teams without resorting to uncivilized behavior. If you see someone failing to adhere to this rule of common sense, tell a security guard before things get out of hand.

We need baseball to stay fun and violence-free so people of all ages can enjoy the great American pastime without fearing for their lives.