Bernstein’s Blog: Fans in Glass Houses
All fandoms suck, to an extent.
It’s an inherently unpleasant sight, when you think about it: large groups of overweight, aggressive, drunken, white men in home-team jerseys screaming profanities.
This goes for those groups in Green Bay, Philly, New York, Manchester, Oakland, Auckland, Tallahassee, Istanbul, and yes… (you knew this was coming)…Chicago.
Fans here can be just as vile and cretinous as any. Don’t feign indignation and pretend otherwise — spare us.
I have no idea what those Soldier Field ogres said to the Packers’ Nick Collins to set him off after Monday’s game. But I have been to enough Bears games to see how stupid and belligerent many of the fans are even without booze, and how night games bring out the worst of them in the worst ways.
The dust-up adds to the list of local incidents that give the city a formidable hand of cards to play in the trick-taking game of ugliness. New York puts their Yankee Stadium knife-thrower on the table? Counter it with the on-field attacks here on Tom Gamboa and Laz Diaz by inebriated south-side hill folk.
Philadelphia leads with the guy intentionally puking on a cop? Trump it with entire sections full of garbage-throwing Wrigley chimpanzees in cargo shorts. Or the guy going after Randy Myers. Or the dolt who set off a brawl by grabbing Chad Kreuter’s hat.
(Certainly, the legendary European football hooligans operate at a different level of organization, drunkenness and violence. They are playing at the big-boy table with the South Americans who murder under-performing players)
I get it. Making fun of fans from other teams and other cities is part of talking about sports. But any time you start to do it at all seriously, keep in mind that nobody has any high ground here. We have all been in the same feculent swamp.