On the topic of "the woo" during Reds games at Great American Ballpark, I'm a little ambivalent. I get why it annoys many, but it really doesn't bother me. I'm opposed to anything that limits one's enjoyment of a ballgame, but I'm very much in favor of people having their fun as long as its not coming at one's expense.
But I'm also a lover of things like chaos, and people being all butt-hurt at something they can't control. I'm naturally inclined to root for the students trying to pull the innocent prank on their helpless principal, or angry angry constituents shouting down the dim-witted politician at a public appearance.
So now I'm in favor of the woo.
And the woo is causing chaos. Two of the most prominent media members in the city have used their forums to admonish GABP woo-ers.
First, there's John Fay of WCPO.com...
I have a simple request: Stop the wooing.
You can boo. You can cheer. You can clap. You can stomp your feet. You can do a little "Hey, batter, batter!" You can call the pitcher a belly itcher.
But please stop the wooing.
And now, P-Doc, who's gone in with a sharper knife...
Wooooing is worse than the entitled little darlings who storm a basketball floor after a big win. At least those people are annoying just once. It’s worse than people in the row above you who spend an entire Bengals game swearing, knowing your 5-year-old is right below them. At least they’re vocalizing your frustration.
It’s worse than just about anything. And it needs to stop.
The Reds train their ushers in the ways of courtesy and pleasantness. They should also train them to identify Wooooers and warn them once to take a damned pill. Second woooo, banish them the rest of the game. Sentence them to doing something terrible, such as acting civil.
The pleasure of the many should not be sacrificed to the dumbfoolery of the few.
Sit down, shut up, watch the game.
John and Paul are both fantastic at what they do, and both have been very kind to me, but I have to admit that I love this so much, in part because I always laugh when people for whom the ballpark is a workplace scold those for whom the ballpark is an escape, and in part because the image of these guys sitting up in the press box or watching the game from home getting aggravated at something they're helpless against makes me smile.
Actually, no. It makes me wanna yell woo!
You can scour the internet about find - often-aborted - attempts to stop the woo. There's a Twitter account, a reddit page, a petition (because those always work), and angry anti-woo people frothing on their keyboards on message boards (as if there's anyone besides an angry person on a message board).
Nevertheless, the woo-ers persisted.
We have people - often reasonable people - suggesting that someone at a baseball game - a baseball game for God's sake - be kicked out of the park for using their voices.
We have the always-enjoyable "oh not, what will they think about us on the coasts" crowd that clutches their pearls at anything that fuels the pretend national perception that we here in Cincinnatuh are just a bunch of wooing rubes.
We have legitimate, hardened, and respected newsmen using their time and energy on something that's completely independent of what's happening on the field.
We have helplessness. We have chaos. I love it.
I'm not saying that fans should have total free reign when they attend sporting events. I'm opposed to those who use profane language, especially when there's kids around. Heckling that lacks creativity or humor is annoying. It bothers me when fans block the view of others. I can't stand it when Tommy Toughnuts comes to a game looking to throw down with those who don't share his rooting allegiance.
The guy who willingly sounds like a jackass while wooing? Meh.
There's a way to make the wooing go away, although it will be harder than it would've been nearly five years ago when it first started. Ignore it. Don't acknowledge it. Certainly don't show that it bothers you. God knows you shouldn't give the woo-ers a newspaper column to point to. If I was the guy that started the woo in Cincinnati, I'd have P-Doc's piece framed by the end of this week.
But I want more of this, both the wooing and the reaction to it. Along the line of thing worth being angry over, this is somewhere in between the guy at the gym who grunts a little too much and the woman in the cube next to you who chews her gum a little too loudly. And among the many, many things a fan can do to ruin someone else's experience, this is somewhere in between using the wrong cupholder and giving away the answers to the Scoreboard Stumper.
No one's getting hurt, but plenty are getting mad. I'm somewhere in the middle enjoying as it happens.