Are you someone who boos a lot at sporting events? Do you boo when your favorite team has the audacity to fall behind in the first inning? Or when a future Hall of Famer goes into a prolonged slump? If so, that’s all well and good according to Philadelphia Inquirer columnist John Gonzalez, who takes exception to columnists and TV announcers who chastise fans for booing at questionable times.
“Many media types I know hold the fans in contempt. It’s sad when, say, a cheese-heavy local baseball blogger thinks he knows it all but fails to see himself for what he is: a glorified stenographer with a bloated ego and a sweet gig. It’s the misguided elitism that rankles. Reporters don’t consume sports the same way fans do, and few of them have made much of an effort to understand your perspective….Boo whomever you like. Or don’t. It’s up to you. Just don’t let anyone dictate the terms of your passion. They aren’t you, and they shouldn’t pretend that they always know what’s right.”
Passively accepting the commentary of, say, Bob Costas is for lemmings from the Midwest, Gonzalez says.
“Context is important. Let’s not forget where all this supposedly unsavory conduct occurs. We don’t live in St. Paul, Minn., or St. Louis. The fans there are Stepford automatons, blinking and cheering and slobbering on cue. It’s frightening. Many of the people (in Philadelphia) take pride in being the opposite of the typical mindless water-and-sprout mutants filling seats in stadiums across the country. Philadelphians have long seen themselves as open, honest brokers – fans who will tell you exactly what they’re thinking instead of what you might want to hear.”
So in conclusion: Philadelphia fans can tell you what they’re thinking (even when you don’t want to hear it), but Philadelphia announcers cannot.
– Photo Los Angeles Times