How NOT to root for your favorite team


Fans from different baseball franchises have different ways of rooting for their teams. For instance, in Boston and New York they put their hands together and do something called clapping when they're excited about something going on down on the diamond. Strange, I know, in this day and age, but the sport is still considered pretty sacred in some parts of the country.

Over here in California, where I hate living during baseball season, we've got thunder sticks (actually invented in South Korea and used there for years before being imported to the U.S.), and/or rally monkeys, thanks to the Angels. And we have the wave and negative chanting in Dodgers stadium.

There are many theories on the origin of the wave, with some saying it was started by college football teams, and others saying it comes from hockey. Regardless, it gained popularity in the 80s in Mexico during the FIFA Football World Cup at the Estadio Universitario in Monterrey. Whether it belongs in baseball or not, one thing I know doesn't belong is the negative chants; specifically, "[insert name of other team] sucks!"

Yesterday, I was at the Dodgers/Phillies game and was once again amazed at how often Dodgers fans resort to the "Phillies Suck!" chant. I counted 37 instances, vis-à-vis 14 instances of "Let's go Dodgers!"

Is this really what we want to be teaching all the young, innocent boys and girls being introduced to the game? Watching a seven-year-old's face, I could see that he didn't know whether to join in or refrain each time the crowd launched into another refrain.

And if you're rooting your team on, why put the other team down? If the other team didn't exist, you wouldn't have a game to go to in the first place, right? Why not some respect, then? And, hey, if they really did suck, would they be in the NLCS? And not to let Boston and New York off the hook completely, we also know they're guilty of their share of negative chants, although to a much lesser degree than what we're subjected to out here in LA, where it's as ubiquitous as late-comers to a playoff game.

Help me out here people: what can we do about it, at least for the sake of our kids?