When I’m rooting for a team, whether it be the Eagles, Seahawks, Phillies or Mariners to name a few, I cheer for the team when it does good and boo the team when it does bad. What?!?! You boo at teams you root for? Yes, I do. I want them all to win, but I boo when a player does not perform or worse, when a player just does something absolutely stupid. I feel they deserve a good lashing of boos. We’re not in grade school, where everyone gets patted on the back for trying hard and expresses the “maybe you’ll get them next time” attitude. This is the real world with professional athletes that are paid big $$ to perform. So when Richie Sexson (Mariners’ first-baseman) bats .200 for two years in a row while collecting one of the largest salaries in the clubhouse, I feel I have earned the right to boo. Or whenever Kenji Johjima (Mariners’ catcher) steps on the field, I do my best to express in the universal language (boo-ing) that I don’t appreciate him grounding into 21 double-plays this season (tied for most on the Mariners) and swinging at first pitches all the time.
Philadelphia fans are known for our blue-collar mentality and short patience. We applaud the outfielder that catches the ball and runs into the wall, and boo loudly when the Eagles go 3-and-out… heck, Philly fans boo-ed Santa Claus when he parachuted in during halftime of a Christmas Eagles game because the team was losing. I’ve brought that same attitude here to Seattle… so when a Mariners pitcher walks a guy with the bases-loaded, I stand up and yell, “BOOOO, toss the bum out!” all for the purpose of trying to get someone in there that can help the team win.
There’s a nice article by Bill Simmons from ESPN’s Page Two that explains the art of boo-ing in sports… my thought is that if you don’t boo when they stink, you must not care.