Mark Simons, a Brewers Super fan. Does he still have his season ticket right behind the away dug out? I stumbled across a little news piece on this guy on you tube whilst looking through clips of games. It is legendary that a fan can have such an impact on a game. I’m a firm believer that the fans are a 12th man (I know 10th in baseball) and have witnessed on many occasions how fans help their team at games. With my seat at the Amex in the 4th row from the front, on many occasion our section has got a rise out players from the opposition just in front of us.
Be the extra player
In football (soccer) there is a yellow and red card system. The yellow card is a final warning and red card means you’re off the field and your team is down a man. On one such occasion at an away game at Leeds United in May last year (2013), us Brighton fans did everything we could to give their star striker stick (El-Hadj Diouf – known for rising to fans baiting). We did so well that after he scored against us, instead of celebrating his goal, he came running over to us and gave us a hand gesture in retaliation. The referee gave him a straight red card for trying to incite us (officially known as un-sportsmen like conduct). Hasten to say we went on to win the game with that man advantage. It is for this reason, I think attending games and supporting your team is so important. You can make a difference.
Never cross the line
I must point out though, there is a line with this and that downright abuse is not on. It has to be clever and these players have to accept that as professional sportsmen they will take some stick from opposing fans.
A friend of mine whom I sit with at home games is very good at giving the opposing team players stick. He will nearly always get a rise out of the players, but it’s all in a good nature (there is no foul or abusive language). At the last home game, the opposition had a player who’s surname is Husband. All my friend did throughout the game was shout “Wifey”. It got to him at first but by the end of the game he was giving him a smile and thumbs up. After the game, my friend got his autograph on a few items and chatted with him. By all accounts he was a good bloke and my friend now has a few programmes to sell on eBay!
The atmosphere is part of our football culture, to be loud and boisterous, intimidate but support. Real fans will appreciate a good sportsman (even on the opposition), but they’ll want their team to have the edge. I hope this culture lives in baseball because the atmosphere is one of those things that for me, makes attending a game worthwhile. It is the only time you’ll ever get me to sing (albeit very out of tune).
So I’ll be at Miller Park for the season then…..
…I wish, but I do hope the Brewers fans are passionate, loyal and lively and I hope it’s also in good taste and good humour. Update on my t-shirt though, it has been despatched today. Hope it arrives tomorrow!
Until next time…….GO BREWERS!!!!!