No Wave in the Bailey
How much fun was Saturday night? A 4-0 demolition of Saint Louis that saw FC Cincinnati's very first hat trick thanks to Djiby Fall's magnificent prowess in the box. And I have not seen many people make a big deal about that; despite being the team that had a golden boot winner last year, we had never seen a hat trick from any player! And from the man that has been anointed the successor to Okoli's role as top goal-scorer, it was that much sweeter to see this team's plan come to fruition.
Following the game, and the inevitable hangover that comes with a season opener like a side of fries, some took time away from their families on Easter Sunday to talk about what had happened. Not what happened on the field mind you, but what happened off the field and in the stands. Of course I am talking about "the wave". What else would there be to talk about after FCC's most complete performance to date? Yes, folks on Reddit and Twitter took to their keyboards to decry or defend the wave happening at a sporting event. I can already hear the groans. But this does give us an opportunity to talk about why the Bailey doesn't do the wave and maybe, if I may be so bold, to provide a suggestion for a wave replacement.
See, the wave is generally hated by "sport purists," and feel free to roll your eyes at that title, I did. The history of the wave begins in the 1980's with a cheesy ice hockey promoter. He called himself "Krazy" with a K, so you exactly how fun he was. The wave eventually made its way around the American northwest in college football and baseball, before it came to Mexico in time for the 1986 World Cup. And it was there that the world was introduced to this crowd display. In fact, most of the rest of the world will call the wave "the Mexican wave" because of this World Cup connection.
But here's the thing about the wave: it has nothing to do with the teams and players in front of you and has everything to do with not paying attention. When you see a crowd doing the wave, what is everyone doing? They're watching the wave and waiting for their turn stand up. They're cheering for it to make it all the way around the stadium. They might even boo sections that haven't caught on yet. And then people start counting the number of times the wave makes it around the stadium. But guess what happens when you're watching the wave, cheering the wave, or booing other parts of the stadium; guess what you're not doing? You're not watching the game. You're not paying attention to what is happening on the field. And, worst yet, you're making the experience worse for everyone else.
And I do mean everyone.
Players in all different sports have complained about the wave, saying it is distracting, not helping, or even offensive. Teams have even put out official statements to get rid of the wave or even ban it from their crowds. A very high profile example of this was the Texas Rangers, going so far as to put up a message on their scoreboard before games. Or the Arizona Coyotes took a more hands on approach, calling out fans directly on twitter. And, of course, you're being annoying to those fans that don't want to participate and want to sit and watch the game they paid to see. I'll defend a fan in displaying their fandom, but not at the expense of another fan getting to watch the actual game.
Believe it or not, our very own FCC has a position on the wave. The club signed off on, and put their logo on, an anti-wave shirt from Cincy Shirts. Keep in mind, in order to use the name and logo like that, someone at the front office needs to give them the OK. So in their own small way, our club and their front office has made up their minds about the wave: knock it off.
And, in the bailey, we agree: please stop the wave. Yes we in the bailey are standing, singing songs, banging drums, and setting off smoke bombs, but everything that happens in the bailey is in reaction to the action of the field. You'll hear "We don't, we don't, we don't mess around, HEY!" after every goal or the hilarious Reading Rainbow song after the other team gets a yellow card. Everything is done to support the team on the field, and they appreciate it, a lot.
Now, it's at this point where I can hear the moaning "wow the bailey thinks they're better than other fans." That's completely false. Nobody is saying they are better than anyone else. Everyone that buys a ticket is more than happy to enjoy themselves as they see fit, until it starts to ruin the experience for others. And frankly, as much fun as the wave may be, it is time to acknowledge it's not the best use of your time or energy.
So here's my suggestion: sing with us! There is only 1,700 people in the bailey, that's not enough to be making noise for all 20,000 of us! So when we start singing, you should too! And how do you learn the words to the songs? I'm so glad you asked, because there's actually an entire YouTube page for you! And lyrics! How convenient is that!? I think I need one more sentence that ends with an exclamation mark!
In conclusion, do what you want; you're the boss of your own hands. But if you want my advice, sing along with the bailey and let’s make Nippert the soccer fortress we know it to be.