The Annoying Guy in our Section

Kyra DeBlaker-Gebhard

In light of recent events--a losing record, a frustrated team and an even more frustrated fan base--I can't help but wonder: What is good baseball behavior?

Where I come from--Philly by way of New Jersey -- it is acceptable to curse, kick and scream at your team and fellow fans. While it isn't my style -- OK, maybe I curse at the umpire who makes a bad call -- I wonder what others thought about good and bad baseball behavior.

During a recent home stand, I suffered through what I call the 305 whistle. A fellow season ticket holder in section 305 whistles a loud, two-index-fingers-in-the-mouth whistle each time a Nat steps up to bat. With at least three at bats an inning, times nine innings, one's eardrum begins to suffer. I suffer in silence and only occasionally complain to my husband (who also finds the loud, piercing whistle annoying). But no one else seems to say anything to the regular whistler and occasional offender (he has, in the past, gotten kicked out of the park for making racially and culturally insensitive comments about members of the opposing team).

When I returned to the park for the series against Cincinnati, 305 W was not in attendance. I was immediately relieved, but I was more surprised that our fellow seatmates were just as relieved. The regulars in 305 started to talk about how much we hate the whistling and the annoying comments, and we shared our observations about his behavior shifts when he brings a family member to the game rather than a friend.

I left the game that night wondering why we hadn't banded together before to ask him to stop whistling... none of us care for it very much and we don't see how it adds value to the game, but we don't want to ruin a fan's experience even though I suspect the whistler has ruined the experiences of others.

What are your thoughts on baseball behavior? What is too much and when are we being too hard on our fellow fans?

By Kyra DeBlaker-Gebhard  |  August 15, 2008; 9:05 AM ET  | Category:  Kyra DeBlaker-Gebhard
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Comments

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How old is the guy? I always groan when I see 2 twenty-somethings (who always seem to be double-fisting Miller/Bud Lite) sit down in the row directly behind us. I immediately know that there is about a 90% likelihood that these guys aren't going to pay any attention to the game and my 7 year old daughter is going to be inundated with F-bombs and other assorted cursing.

Courtesy and respect for others has gone completely out the window at sporting events.

Nice post.

Posted by: Washington, DC | August 15, 2008 10:29 AM

First, if he made racial remarks, he shouldn't have been escorted from the stadium, he should have been served a lifetime ban from the team.

Some folks think you need to be loud and obnoxious to be a 'good' fan. Whereas paying attention (without your phone being on) and getting 'into' the game is what folks ought to be there for. There are different ways to do it, some are simple, some are by simpletons.

Posted by: Kim | August 15, 2008 10:41 AM

Kyra - Our partial season ticket plan seats are in Sect 305 and I know exactly who you are talking about. He's highly annoying and obnoxious with his comments shouted at the top of his lungs throughout the game. (Kept comparing Ryan Howard to Frank Howard...whatever??)

Personally I've never thought to say anything to him because I just don't want to let him know I've been paying attention to what he says. Also he seems the type that would then turn his actions on the fans around him.

I'm headed out to Nats Park this evening and am really hoping he's staying home tonight. :)

Posted by: Manassas, VA | August 15, 2008 1:04 PM

You should have your fellow section-mates incite some mob justice on him when it's mini-bat promotional night.

Posted by: M Street | August 15, 2008 1:05 PM

The regulars in my section are very nice and not at all obnoxious. However, we are usually surrounded by group ticket sales seat holders--teenagers from some high school not in the local area who don't care about the game and spend the game yelling to each other 5 rows away and getting up during at-bats to buy food. Very annoying.

I try to keep my obscenities to a minimum, and usually just make snide comments loud enough to be heard a few seats away. The only time I got really loud and obscene was when that umpire called three balks in a row against Perez.

If I was in your situation Kyra, I'd just tell him that although you appreciate his enthusiasm (G-d knows the National's fans are too quiet), the whistles are grating on your nerves. And buy him a small cowbell.

Posted by: Ed Ramras | August 15, 2008 1:34 PM

We had some guy in a neighboring section assault (knocked the hat off) the guy sitting behind us. Never saw him again.

I generally think that Season Ticket holders are good fans (and have a greater right to get angry with the team, Acta, Kasten, Bowden, etc. then other irregular attendees. www.halfstreetblues.com)

I'm a big fan of "the Announcer"...Charles. Great guy. Announces pitching changes. Has been sitting in 310 the past few nights.

Posted by: Willie | August 15, 2008 3:56 PM

Really, Kim? Maybe thrown in prison, too for the "racial remarks"? Why can't the left-wing nanny-state thought-police types just counter free speech with more free speech, instead of reacting in a way that makes the politburo in Beijing proud? Why does everything have to be a criminal offense?

Posted by: sec133 | August 15, 2008 10:05 PM

I wish the Nationals' fans were a bit more intense -- not mean-spirited or vulgar, mind you, just more demonstrative. In fact, beginning tonight, I would love to hear some chants of "Fire Bowden!" erupt from the stands, particularly after the Crow fiasco. Visibly show your disgust over the way this franchise has deteriorated into a joke, that you're sick and tired of Stan Kasten's bread and circuses, Clint and the godawful "Sweet Caroline."

Posted by: Vincent | August 16, 2008 10:56 AM

On another thought - I just saw where www.battingstanceguy.com has just put up a video on the Nats. This guy is hiliarious in his impressions of baseball stars. Thought you'd want to see it. He's been on ESPN.com

Posted by: Baseball fan | August 16, 2008 10:20 PM

It occurred to me that you should interview the annoying guy for the Grounds Crew blog. Tell him you're a reporter for the Washington Post, ask him why he does what he does, does he know he annoys people, does he care or is that the point, did he always behave this way, etc. And then assuming he doesn't punch your lights out, you've got another column.

For that matter, even if he does punch your lights out, you've got another column ...

Posted by: Mister Parker | August 19, 2008 8:48 AM

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