Credit: David Cooper, Toronto StarIt’s been 6 games into the young Blue Jays season, and I’ve already had the pleasure of going down to the ol’ Rogers Centre to catch a ballgame. That game just so happened to align with John Farrell‘s return to Toronto, last Friday night. The stadium was filled with 45,328 energetic, enthusiastic and overzealous fans. John Farrell coming out to give handshakes with the umps and John Gibbons resulted in the most deafening chorus of boos I’ve ever heard down at the dome. Home run shots were met with tens of thousands cheering hard in unison. Even though the team lost, it was probably the best game I’ve ever been to.
Unfortunately there was also a lot of things that went down that was either unacceptable, in bad taste or just general nonsense behavior. You take the good, you take the bad. My newest Do’s and Don’ts list will tell you how to be a decent person while watching your Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre.
Do cheer for your Toronto Blue Jays.
There’s nothing better than organic support for your favourite teams. Chants and cheers are fun, and they help create an electric atmosphere that really brings a fanbase together in support. There’s nothing that sounds better than 40,000+ fans yelling “JOSEEEEEEEEEEE JOSE JOSE JOSE!” at the top of their lungs, or “Let’s go, Blue Jays!” The Rogers Centre can provide a great opportunity to get together with friends and catch a game.
Don’t start the wave. Ever.
It’s a pointless exercise in self-indulgence done by those with little interest in the game. I was unfortunate to be witness to two dudebros (approximation) trying to start the wave in the section next to me, and they fell into the typical tropes of wave-starters. They were drunk. They were males aged 27-36. They tried from the beginning of the THIRD INNING to the end of the game starting the wave around the stadium, getting everyone in their section to look at them for instructions as to when to start up again. They also missed Mark DeRosa and Jose Reyes‘ first home runs of the season, as they were facing away from the field on both occasions. They also forced potentially hundreds of fans miss out on these key plays by having people in the wave stand in front of them, as illustrated here. It’s not just me talking in length about it, it’s highly-respected Blue Jays bloggers as well as the Texas Rangers making words into actions by banning the wave in their stadium. By trying to start the wave, you’re making the statement that you’d rather be doing anything else but pay attention to the game. For shame.
Do boo the opposing players/former managers.
They’re the bad guys; the people trying to make your team lose. Yelling at them, heckling them, booing them are all fair game. Whatever it takes to make them slip up is fair game, and adds to the notion of a home field advantage. It can make the difference, especially when it becomes difficult for players to relay messages on the mound or to pick up signs from the base coaches.
DON’T BOO YOUR OWN TEAM!
This is the most frustrating aspect of being a Blue Jays fan at the Rogers Centre. There’s almost no reason to boo your team’s players or managers because they are not winning. Unless they are in a very distinct circumstance where they just give up (a la Vince Carter in his last days with the Raptors), they’re trying their very best to get the victory. Emilio Bonifacio isn’t trying to strike out 4 times and create 3 fielding errors in the same game. R.A. Dickey isn’t trying to give up 7 earned runs, 10 hits and 2 walks over 4.2 innings. They are professional athletes, who above everything else in life just want to win. Booing and heckling your own team can bring nothing but negative aspects to the ball club, and reflects poorly on the rest of Blue Jays fans and Torontonians alike. It makes us out to look classless.
(For those of drinking age) Do try downing a brew or two before a game every so often.
For all people who can (or are capable) of drinking the nectar of the Gods, you have to go to a Jays game inebriated at least once in your lifetime. It can make for jovial one-liners, boisterous chants and great memories with friends old and new, especially other drinkers at the game. If you feel like getting a second mortgage on your house you CAN buy some drinks at the Rogers Centre somewhere between $10-12, but if you’re like me and prefer to save that money and put it towards attending future games, you can head over to the close local places like Casey’s, Loose Moose, Wayne Gretzky’s and Jack Astor’s and get some food and drink before you make it over to catch the game.
Don’t let the drinking make a fool out of yourself.
This is a big one because, especially with the Red Sox series, it was pretty brutal down at the Rogers Centre. While loudly booing the Red Sox and cheering the Blue Jays made Friday night’s game magical, it was overshadowed at times by idiots throwing paper planes and beers down from the 500 level, as well as people fighting twice near the left field 100 section. On Sunday this guy was caught puking his guts out, while two morons streaked across the field, delaying the game and getting arrested. While it was a blowout 13-0 loss that alleviated some of the tension, for those individuals it will come at a cost in one way or another.