Thursday, May 11, 2006

We Want BEER!!

If you’re from the Metropolitan New York area you know about the catastraphies that have hit the Yankee faithful a few years ago: Beer is no longer sold in the bleacher section. At first this would appear to be a good PR move. The bleacher creatures have been a thorn in the side of the Yankee front office for years. I remember back in 1995 when I was the tender age of eleven and the Yankees were playing the Orioles. It was my first time in the bleachers, and as I walked through the tunnel I could hear the cheers coming a mile away: “Brady (referring to then Orioles outfielder Brady Anderson) takes it up the ass-DOO-DAA! DOO-DAA! Brady takes it up the ass, O-the-DOO-DA day!!” The occasional, “shave your sideburns you ferry bitch!” would also be thrown in intermittently. The rest of the game was a blast: My friend’s mom left the stadium after the 2nd inning in fear and waited in the car, and I was left with my other eleven-year-old buddy alone. While we sipped beer, which was given to us by one of the two thousand drunks in the stands, I got to witness some “crazy ghetto fools slangin’ drugs” for the first time. Yes, my friends, the occasional crack smoking was permitted with a blind eye. The one time I saw security do anything was when a fight broke out in the first row—the two hooligans were apparently blocking the view of some of the spectators. Had the fight broken out a few rows back, security would have surely let it slide, which I know for a fact because two-innings later, a fight broke out two rows behind me and no one seemed to care. These were the good ol’ days in the lawless bleachers…

Ten years later…

I entered the bleachers last year to see the Yankees play the Royals. I heard of the no beer rule, and so, did what every other bleacher bum is now forced to do—walk across the street to one of the local bars and take shots of Jack Daniels so I can “keep a buzz on” for the next three hours. I, along with a couple buddies, however, immediately felt out of place when we entered the stadium. My friend stood up rudely and called Aaron Guile (the Royals right fielder) a fallacious piece of shit! He looked around the section for some laughs, but was, instead, greeted with parental, disapproving glances. The section was flooded with families who certainly didn’t want to hear some drunk yelling profanities at the ballplayers. There were some “bleacher creatures” still looming, but there was no unity. We sat there feeling drunk and awkward for the rest of the game.

I went to my first Yankee game of the year against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays a couple of weeks ago. It was a fine game, and I wasn’t sitting in the bleachers. Sipping beer, I had to go to the bathroom in the sixth inning. As I unzipped, a guy came in the bathroom and said, “Securities after me! This is bullshit! Some kid was wearing a Red Sox hat and I ripped it off his head and threw it on the ground!” The crowded bathroom stood staring at this guy, who, even in New York, was impossible to ignore. Someone bravely yelled “Relax! Calm down buddy!” The man rebuttaled, “RELAX! HOW can I RELAX?! This is bullshit! Thirty years ago if a fan wore a Red Sox hat at a Yankees-Devil Rays game they would be shot! Shot in the fucking head!” It was at the end of this ridiculous statement, where everyone in the bathroom looked at each other and slowly left the bathroom.

The number of falsities in this man’s statement are endless. For one thing, the Devil Rays were created in 1998, and I don’t think shooting anybody thirty years ago was allowed. But the point of the story is this: Despite Yankee personnel’s best efforts to improve the “environment” of the stadium, they have only made it worse. Bleacher bums, instead of sticking to the crowded section in right field are now filtering throughout the stadium, even to the box seats, which they continuously cheer against. Not to mention that bleacher bum chants are funny, cheerful, and though not in great taste, are usually passable. I have never once heard someone say they want to kill anybody, or knock hats off an opposing team’s fans. While I cannot excuse the crazed bathroom fans reaction, I will say that without a home the bleacher creatures have started to lose their minds. Hatred has built up inside of them as a result of having to buy expensive seats, just to be able to buy expensive beer. And now they take their vengeance out on the wealthier sections.

So please Yankee stadium, give the bleacher bums back their home. Cut your losses, keep the rest of the stadium “orderly,” and let the bums be bums in the bleachers. Open up beer sales in the bleachers again, and then everyone will be happy. (Except Aaron Guile)


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