To boo, or not to boo...

I'm curious on other's take on booing your hometown team. This came up this weekend when the Blues lost 8-4 to Winnipeg, and allowing Patrik Laine to score 5 goals. It was a miserable performance, and coming off a 6-2 win over Nashville, really encapsulates the Blues season, as they are inconsistent as hell, but mostly really bad.

They are in last place Central and have the second fewest point in the NHL. Yet they spent big in the offseason, and added some great players, and most expected a great season. Head Coach Mike Yeo has already been fired. And while I tend to mostly defend coaches, as I think they fired too soon most of the time, this made sense.

So, after this game the fans booed the ever-loving daylights out of the team as they left the ice. A local sports guy shared a video clip of the booing, and the responses were just overwhelmingly about how they deserve it. There is definitely not an argument that the fans are wrong and the team is actually better than they think. It's been bad.

But I don't boo for losing. I'm a homer in the truest sense. When my favorite teams lose, I feel bad, but I have always felt like I was feeling bad with my team, that they want to win as much as I want them to win. I mean, how can I mock as and scream at some guy I would ask for an autograph from (to be fair, I don't do autographs, but it is out of respect for someone else's time).

I mean, some of my favorite moments playing sports came when teams I played for were pretty bad, but were able to win games we shouldn't. The ultimate was this intramural slow pitch softball team I played on my freshman year at KU. We were awful. We might have won one game all season, maybe we were winless. I don't remember because the end of season tournament went so different. Even though we were an all-freshman team of people that just met in our dorm, something clicked. We started beating every team we faced, including teams of older player from frats. It was nuts. We did lose in the finals to a team made up of university staff of older (30's and 40') men. I mean they blasted the crap out of us. But that run was so much fun, I don't remember the season.

And that's how I am with watching sports. Most of the time, things don't change. Bad teams are bad, and that's that. But it is so much fun to be on the journey when things do change.

But what really stuck me, as the fans responding that the team deserved to be booed, was that they were derided for "lackadaisical effort" and "not caring." I mean, they looked terrible, but I've played on enough bad teams to know that you don't have to be not trying to look horrible. Not getting to a puck means the other guy was faster, took a better line, not that he "wanted it more." There are sometimes moments when players do let down, but they are far fewer than fans seem to want to admit.

I think the moment that really crystalized why booing was so antithetical to being a fan was a chiefs playoff game against the Colts. It was crazy cold, as in my beer would freeze as I was driving it cold (not hyperbole!). The Chiefs lost 10-7. The Colts kicker missed 2 of three FGs, but Lin Elliot, who had already been struggling this season missed all three, including the last second try to tie the game. As he trotted onto the field for his third try, the stadium erupted in boos, as if that was going to get him in the right mindset. Did they want him to miss it? Yeah, I'm glad the Chiefs cut him and moved on, but that moment really affected me. If, as fans, we buy into the notion we have an effect on the game, why would it ever be harmful to the players we want to watch win?

Several years ago my daughter begged me to take her to a hockey game. She was fascinated but the entire experience. But a pair of fans behind us spent the entire game booing and complaining about Blues players sucking and being terrible. It ruined her experience, and she never wanted to go back to any sports game. And the Blues won that game.

But in the Twitter discussion, I realized I am in the massive minority on this. What do you guys think?

Oh, you mean like Yankees fans, who talked trash when they acquired Giancarlo Stanton, only to boo him in his very first game?

Yeah, people like that piss me off. If it is because, lets say, and I'm just spitballing, you team drafts a stud running back with the #2 overall pick, and during some random game vs one of their biggest rivals, he steamrolls them the entire 1st half. And then the coaching staff goes, "that worked too well, let's change it up", and they lose the game 25-22 and only get 3 pts and 50 yards in the second half? Then YES, you boo their asses when they come home this week.

If you are a fan of the team you shouldn’t boo. If they are doing poorly they need encouragement not to be derided. I generally agree with you Jay.

Ravens players upset about fans booing Lamar Jackson

"It definitely did bother me," left tackle Ronnie Stanley said after the final team meeting of the year. "As a football player, an athlete, a competitor, [we] sacrifice our whole lives to be in this position. We love our fans and everything they've done for us, but there are going to be good times and there are going to be bad times, and we expect your support in all of those times. If you're not going to support us, then you've really got to question yourself on that one."
Fans booed Jackson and the offense every time they walked onto the field in the third quarter. There was even a chant for Flacco, the former Super Bowl MVP who was on the sideline as Jackson's backup.

Running back Kenneth Dixon tweeted Monday morning: "You either with us or against us real spill. I'm ten toes behind [Jackson]. Keep ya boo's (plain disrespectful) that man gave us life."

Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith went over to fans behind the team's bench who were chanting "Flacco."

"Was I surprised? I wasn't surprised. I was more just a little pissed," Smith said. "We fought and this guy fought and was 6-1 as the starter. It got a little bit rough at the end and people were booing. Come on. Why would you do that? It was the same guy that helped us get here. Now, you're booing him. I just thought it was a little foul."

While I don't think Lamar Jackson is going to be a long term successful QB in the NFL, it was also kind of sad to see Ravens fans turning on him so quickly. And this is not to call out Ravens fans in particular, as Chiefs fans have a long history of booing players and coaches. Some fan bases may be better or worse than others, but all of them have had their moments.

Band wagon jumpers are kind of awful. People that jump off the bandwagon during a game and then want back on should be banned from stadiums. There are folks rooting, praying and hoping for a comeback, and the boos and name calling do not make it a more exciting event. They understand that the only guarantee was that a game would be played and both sides would try to win. If losing hurts so much that you lash out, sports are a terrible hobby for you.

Baltimore wouldn't have been in the playoffs without Lamar. Dumb reactions yesterday.

I think most of my friend circle has always taken the line that you don't boo college kids, no matter what. But professional athletes are fair game.

You don't boo your own team.

Management? Sure. But not the players.

In some ways I find the sarcastic cheer more annoying. When your goalie has given up 5 goals in the first period, makes a routine stop, and the crowd cheers wildly that he actually made a save.

If your team is absolutely stinking up the joint, I think fans have a right to boo. That said, when your team is playing awfully, it's not like they don't know they're playing awfully eitehr, so for me, booing your own team should be a rare matter, ideally for when your team is not only obviously terrible, but also obviously not trying.

Short of that, however, I find gallows humor more entertaining. Like an story I remember reading a while ago about the Charlotte Hornets. Baron Davis was bringing the ball up court in a hilariously silent, perhaps 20% full stadium, and some bright fan yelled out "Hey Baron! I got next!"

Instead of booing, I just show my displeasure by not spending money or time as a fan. Sure, I will watch big games but I won’t go out of my way to buy merch and I sure as heck won’t drop $100+ on tickets.

The way I see it, sports are like any other form of entertainment. I don’t go see terrible movies because a favorite actor is in it. I love Bethesda and Bioware, but both those companies have dropped giant steaming deuces lately. So no more preorders from me until they up their game.

All of this should go double for sports teams. Not only are athletes paid a metric butt ton, but taxpayers are often picking up the tab for new stadiums and tax breaks. So when your team sucks, not only are they failing at their jobs but they are also stealing public money that could be used for much better purposes. See Seattle’s $150 million stadium upgrade for the Mariners, one of the consistently worst teams in baseball. During a time when the city has a massive homeless crisis. The only thing that even slightly balances this out is if you have a strong winning team that brings in tourist money and prestige.

I will be loyal to my college and high school through thick and thin, cause well they’re amateurs and I actually have something in common with the average player. But pros? Nah - I expect you to do the job you get paid millions to do.

I should also note, I only believe it's okay to boo professionals. High school and college players? Absolutely not.

Prederick wrote:

I should also note, I only believe it's okay to boo professionals. High school and college players? Absolutely not.

1. Same.

2. Usually I will just leave early if I am really pissed. Exception. I think the last Twins game I went to was like two seasons ago. It was such a sh*t show. Horrible plays, no hustle, and just a blow out.

They didn’t get beat down, they just started beat down and stayed there. The crowd that was left was actively booing by the fifth inning and I was totally one of them.

Top_Shelf wrote:

You don't boo your own team.

Management? Sure. But not the players.

You’ve clearly never been to Philadelphia.