Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bark and Let Bark

The Four Loko Kids burning LeFoolio's jersey in the Muni-Lot.

At the last Browns game, a man was asked to sit down in the Dawg Pound because he was cheering to much. For my non-Cleveland friends, the Dawg Pound is the end zone area with the most faithful, raucous fans. You don't sit in the Dawg Pound and knit. If you have ever heard of the Browns, you know this.

I can only assume that this directive is coming from an effort to make the games more family friendly. The Browns currently have a family section, which I have no problem with. If you want to take your kids, or have a tame experience, this is where you should sit. Browns fans are hardcore. After years of the Cleveland Sports Fail Reel, we have to be. Games in freezing temperatures, wind and rain and snow. Yup. We're there. A Browns game is nothing like say, a Colts game.

For years I worked at Colts games, including games in Lucas Oil Stadium - a snazzy enclosed stadium. The women come decked out in their high heels and bedazzled sparkly Colts shirts. In the middle of winter they complain that it is too the Stadium. I would politely tell them that as soon as they got to their seats, it would warm up. Colts fans are sweet and polite. But even at Colts games, there are some raucous areas of the stadium. If you have a family or have tender ears, you don't go up there.

Football isn't a polite sport. Why should we expect its fans to be?

Don't mistake me, I get the fact that everyone has some cash on the line for their tickets and they want to enjoy the game. But, if you are the person that has earplugs in your ears griping because the crowd is too loud, I am as irritated by you as you are of me. 

Keg bowling in the Muni-Lot.
On a home game morning, take a walk through the Muni-Lot. You have rowdy fans getting their cheer on. Hundreds and hundreds of people. Parking lot after parking lot. Fans drinking their loaded hot chocolate and enjoying some burgers, all in all, an adult event. But every game, there are people that bring their kids. Kids in the Muni. Inevitably, some little one walks by the Four Loko kids and begs their parents to let them participate in keg bowling. Or, worse. Last year, I had some Bluto try to kick in the door of the porta potty I was occupying. When I got out to have some harsh words with him, I saw his little boy standing near him, cheering his pops on. Real father of the year material. It was one of the few times I was speechless.

My point is life is about choices. If the crowd is too rowdy for you, stay home. Watch the game in the comfort of your house with your nice and clean bathroom. Maybe even take a nap at halftime. There is no shame in that. But if you look around and you are the only one in your section fuming about the drunk guy screaming at Big Ben while wearing a cape, then maybe the guy in the cape isn't the problem.

If someone is threatening and dangerous or outright offensive, I agree with giving them the boot. But if it is a guy wearing floppy dog ears barking until he goes horse, I say bark and let bark.

Braylon Edwards jersey sacrificed.

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