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A black eye at Dodger Stadium that needs to be removed

As spring training grows near and the opening of a new season beckons, I have one request of that certain element of the Dodgers’ faithful … grow up.

You know who you are. Exactly what you are continually escapes me, probably because of the constant cringing.

For some reason, these Neanderthals feel compelled to flaunt their collective low IQ.

This is how it works. The Giants come to Dodger Stadium and at repeated points in the evening the chant will echo throughout the ballpark:

Giants suck!

Really, this is not clever. It’s not intelligent for a fourth grader. What it is, is embarrassing, though those busy with the self-demeaning miss the reality.

It doesn’t stop with the Giants. When Barry Bonds used to come to town, he drew special abuse. The Padres hear it, the Angels, the Phillies, almost any team or individual--provided he’s a star--can be showered with verbal stupidity.

It reverberates throughout the stadium, a black mark on the sports culture of Los Angeles. Really, you wonder what the rest of the country thinks. Ooooh, aren’t those L.A. fans just so mentally nimble? Regular Cameron Crazies.

Not that the chant  hasn’t been heard in other ballparks or L.A. venues (Lakers), but it is Dodger Stadium where it seems headquartered even if most out of place.

Dodger Stadium remains one of the most beautiful and historic ballparks on Earth. It is supposed to be a great place to bring the family for a summer evening.

Los Angeles, and Dodger Stadium in particular, should be above such silliness. The majority of Dodgers fans are, but there are enough of the misguided to get the chant going, and enough misdirected youth ready to jump in.

Don’t think they’re upsetting the Giants. They’re not causing Tim Lincecum to toss one to the backstop.

They’re just displaying misguided support that causes nothing but unease for the rest of the fans. And a simple request--grow up.

-- Steve Dilbeck
 
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I mean there is a fine line where Dodger fans need to "grow up."

I don't see a problem where a rival such as the Giants come to down and a little chat such as "Giants suck!" or boo the opposing team is all fine and dandy, but when fights and food is tossed to those opposing fans that's when things get dicey.

I know I'm not the only one who goes to the Ravine and feels like a little kid all over again, the smell of the grass, the beautiful bright green grass, looking across the stadium and look at all the history involved here - if I'm going to pay a certain amount for my seats, $15 for parking and $10 for a Dodger dog ... I think certain chants should be warranted that would make my experience at the Ravine worthwhile.

But like I said, other fans who go there to get wasted and cause all problems are a sorry excuse ... I'm not forgetting other opposing fans who go there and cause problems with Dodger fans either.

Regardless, the Ravine is beautiful and the Dodgers have GREAT fans. CHANT all you want guys!

LETS GO DOYERS!

College graduate, MBA on this end. Oh yeah, Giants suck...

Steve- I could not agree more. I'm a guy. I use language my mom wouldn't be proud of if she heard it, so it's not that I'm offended by that particular phrase. This phrase should be stopped. There are young children at the stadium and just as importantly: The Dodgers, Dodger stadium and Dodger fans are too classy to be represented in this way.

Hey, Steve: You suck... Some of us go to the ballpark to purposely revert to a child-like glee. Booing opposing players -- and umpires -- is a time-honored American pastime tradition. So long as it isn't overtly indecent, it should remain part of the game. Where do you think the Brooklyn Dodgers got their nickname "Bums?" Most of it is just some good old-fashioned, good-natured venting. Don't confuse this with profane, even violent outbursts from lower elements of society. Please, Mr. Dilbeck, for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon, let me be a kid again. And keep off my lawn!

I totally agree, Steve. I don't mind fans going negative, and I know when the Giants are in town it's hard to resist, but besides the immaturity of "___ suck" chants, it's not even clever, or funny at all. There's a way to be obnoxious if that's what people want and also be clever/funny. Some Red Sox and Yankee fans are good at this, in their home parks. Yelling "[Team or player] sucks!" is just the laziest kind of yahoo fandom.

Of course, I'd rather fans not be obnoxious in the first place, but again it's hard to resist when it's the Giants (and to be fair their fans have been yelling Beat LA for years which is hardly any more clever). But maybe we could collectively come up with something more clever.

My first Dodger game was at the Coliseum 1959. Nothing, I mean nothing compared to the dynamic duo of Koufax and Drysdale during their tenure! I was at the pennant clinching game in October 1965 when Sandy beat the Milwaukee Braves. I so want to go on the 27th, yet like most, it's a matter of financial resource. I'm doing my darndest to make it happen. If I can't, will it will be televised on Fox Sports West; (like Scully/Wooden) or captured on DVD? Thank you.

Obviously,

Isn't this what a large percentage of sports is all about? Beating the other team, in addition to winning?

Steve, have you ever been to a college basketball game? Pick one out of a good 150+ schools, and you will hear "B-S" and "A-H" chants throughout, with kids in the stands. "Giants suck" is nothing compared to what you hear at a college football or college basketball game. Just head over to Westwood, SC, or Pasadena, and you'll realize that us Dodger fans behave like nuns compared to those student sections.

I've seen the other side of this (being a Dodger fan who now lives in San Francisco). That phrase is used with "Dodgers" in front of it too, though far less often than "Beat LA".

What I've come to conclude from the dozens of games I've seen at Candlestick and PacBell, er, SBC, er AT&T Park, is that the animosity for the other team is much greater than any particular passion for their own team. I conclude that the Giants fans have little to cheer for, so they can only express disappointment in their own team by focusing themselves on negativity towards their more successful rivals.

Dodger fans need not be so insecure. Dodger fans should be better than that, directing energy in support of our team, rather than hostility towards an opponent.

get a life steve.... its all in fun

its all in fun. bonds sucks

Though I don't do it, there is nothing wrong with giving the opposing team a little grief, especially when it is clever.

(Fill in the blank) sucks is not clever. The special ed kids that I work with come up with better stuff every day and they are a few eggs short of a dozen in the brain power department. I've always thought that a good heckler KNOWS his opponent. Ruben Rivera flipped my brother off one day a few years back when my bro asked (well, yelled) him to go steal one of Bonds' gloves for him. My brother wasn't vulgar or profane and he still got under Rivera's skin.

By all means, give the Giants (and every other team) hell. Just be a little creative and use your brain.

At the games.
High school, College, or Pro.
Football, Basketball, Baseball.
Wherever a crowd is gathered and the competition is on.
The taunting SUCK chant can be heard.
Wish it were just at Dodger Stadium and there were some way to eliminate it.
Good luck and best wishes in the quest to rid the scene of boorish behavior.


Gus: No TV plans have yet to be announced, but discussions have begun.

I completely agree Steve. Booing the other team is great, that particular chant is moronic and embarrassing to L.A. and the Dodgers, as well as setting a very bad example to the kids in attendance. (Yes "adults" your behavior sets an example wherever you are.) The most ironic thing is when the chant starts while the other team is beating us. They can't suck too much if they are winning...

You're complaining about the use of the word "suck"? Geez, if that's your idea of an offensive word I suggest you go to a hockey game for a real ear-full. What's disgraceful at Dodger Stadium are all the Inbred Empire idiots who drink malt liquor in the parking lot and pick fights with anyone wearing the opposing team colours. The ballpark is a place where we can let loose our angst and focus all our frustrations on the opposition with loud and strident hollers and bellows of "GIANTS SUCK!!!" For the money we pay, we deserve it.

giants suck is not okay, but let them chant beat LA.. right..

Really? You must be desperate to write something- ANYTHING- to waste a blog post about a subject that is so incredibly silly. If you thing Dodger fans lack class for yelling "Giants Suck!" then you should hear some of the vulgar things that Ginats fans yell at Dodgers fans. Get out of the press box & sit in the stands if you want to hear some real vulgar language.

I find it interesting that with the many holes and questions facing the team that you would choose this subject to blog about. It seems like you must have had severe writer's block (and/or a complete lack of imagination).

I think the "____ suck" chant is pretty remedial. My friend told me that the obscene chants at soccer matches are much better.

Good post Steve

Never!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't like this anywhere. I am a Dodgers fan who lives in the Bay Area, and Giants fans are just as guilty of it when the Dodgers come to town. One out of every fifty is sporting a T-shirt that says "[expletive] the Dodgers" and they scream that, and "Dodgers Suck" loudly, even when there are small children around. The venue where this behavior is officially discouraged is the Oakland Coliseum, where the Raiders' management is trying to foster a more family-friendly environment.

I totally agree, Steve. I've been going to Dodger Stadium since 1974. I've been to almost every other ballpark in America, but I love DS most of all. That said, the sort of boorish behavior you allude to (and this particular chant is only a small part of it) has spoiled the experience for me. I now only attend games if an out-of-town friend wants to go. I can't remember the last game I attended where there wasn't a fight in my or a neighboring section. Ushers get abused mercilessly by profane drunks. The "....suck" chants and those damn beachballs are the tip of a nasty iceberg that make attending games unpleasant, despite my love for the team and the beautiful setting and stadium.

I contrast it with the final game of the WBC that I attended, between Korea and Japan. 55,000 absolutely delirious fans from two groups who like each other far less that Dodgers fans and Giants fans, and all 100% positive. That was how Dodger Stadium used to be for big Dodger games. Now I'd much rather watch on TV (especially as long as Vin Scully is working).

I also have to disagree with you Steve. I think chanting "Giants Suck" is definitely within the rights of a paying ticket holder. And I realize you aren't saying that they shouldn't be allowed to chant it, its the simplest and most direct voicing of the crowd's overall feeling about the opposing team. Although I think the thing that you probably fail to address here is that Dodger fans probably have a reputation for escalating situations beyond a simple chant. That is one thing that you should be admonishing, not a teasing, generally friendly chant.

You should also suggest an alternative that is easy to chant. I attend Dodger games for exactly the experience of taking in a game and sharing in the collective experience of watching baseball live and I think that chanting and cheering is part of that experience. I think you're misguided in saying that we're not upsetting the Giants or causing Tim Lincecum to throw one to the backstop. By that thread, why bother to cheer the Dodgers when they do something good too? We should all just stay home and watch on television. Even if we aren't able to prove that we are affecting the outcome of the game, I think many people, myself included, like to think that our chanting, both cheers and "Giants Suck" alike do somehow affect the performance of our favorite (or most hated) teams.

let's face it ,,,

Hey, I'll take "Giants Suck!" over parking lot stabbings any day...

The very reason I'm reluctant to go to Dodger Stadium is what I label "Raider Fan". They're misplaced thugs that have no where else to go but Dodger Stadium.
I love the Dodgers but actually enjoy seeing them more on the road at places like AT&T Park and Angel Stadium. Both stadiums have a safe, family atmosphere. Their staff's are the best I've ever seen and their security does not put up with the nonsense you see at Dodger Stadium. The last game I attended at Dodger was the the 8 inning no-hitter Weaver pitched against the Dodger which the Dodgers won. I was with my 7 year old son (who has autism) and he heard fowl language the entire game. I've been a huge Dodger fan since the early 60's and never thought I'd see the day where I felt safer taking my family to see them in San Francisco than at home.

Maybe if you framed the use of the phrase as rank plagiarism? "You clowns are just stealing something Red Sox and Yankees fans have been doing for years. Is that the best you can aspire to?"

Yeah it's only dodger fans who say the other team or player sucks....and beat LA is very clever....great post guy I think this blog makes dodger fans look bad!

"giants suck is not okay, but let them chant beat LA.. right.." -- who's saying that's acceptable either?

Should we be incredibly asinine just because Giants fans are? Or should we just stoop as low and inane as they do? I say Eric L has it right, yell things fine, but be clever. No one's saying you don't have a right to yell that stupid chant, but the question is why can't you come up with something more clever than that lazy 3rd grade level thing, and the 2nd question is why do you feel good about yourself yelling it?

No ones saying "Beat LA" is clever. It's obnoxious, lazy and cliched as well.

Steve this is what sports rivalries are all about. Go to the game loosen up and have some fun.

steve get a life. If you havent been paying attention the Giants do suck! Go to san fransisco and you will hear the same kind of talk up there. its all in good fun.

I'm kind of ambivalent toward this one Steve.

Though "@#$&% suck" is more annoying than anything else, the alcohol, fights, and other verbal abuse in the stands is much worse.

I would love for the Dodgers to start banning fans and posting their photos on a web site so that everone can make fun of those losers. Since all they have is their useless pride taking that away from them would be poetic justice.

The worse thing that happened to the Dodgers was for the Raider to leave town. They left but their "fans" stayed.

And just to put this argument in context...

I was at a game in the mid 80's. It was bat day. Remember they would give kids these miniature bats...some were even painted blue.

Some "fan" decided to hurl his bat from his seat in the top deck. We all watched as that bat flew over the rail to the reserved section (I assume).

An inning later a woman with an ice pack on her head, her husband, and security were in the general admission section looking for the culprit who was quickly pointed out by other fans. He was taken away to a flood of boos.

I was just a kid so I don't know what the outcome was (other than I think bat day was eventually banned) but if you could ask that woman today which is worse (listening to an annoying chant or being beaned by a thrown bat) I'm pretty sure we know what the answer would be.

In that sense "Giants suck" is not that bad.

Anyone who has been attending games at Dodger Stadium over the past 10-15 years can definitely see a difference in general crowd behavior. "___ sucks" may not be offensive in itself to the general public but it is a symptom of a greater degeneration in fan manners.

Fans pay for the right to boo the opposing teams but not all fans take into consideration those around them when they scream. I’m certain that beer plays a factor but it’s also seems to just be more acceptable these days to trash talk the other team, the players, and fans of that team. I’d love to see the Phillies lose every game they ever play but I still felt bad for a man and his pre-teen son who were enduring a chant of “Phillies suck!” directed toward them over and over by Dodgers fans at a game I attended at the Ravine in 2009. The guy and his kid sat there, quietly, enduring it without comment, which seemed to encourage the nearby fans to get louder. The boys in blue lost that game, which didn’t help.

Even more embarrassing are Dodgers fans that boo and swear at the aisle attendants for taking their beach balls.

Overall, Dodgers fans are among the greatest fans alive (and better than NoCal Giants fans every day of the week!) but the behavior of a small but loud subset of these fans has gotten worse since the O’Malley days.

I take it you have never been to NY or Philly to see a game? Just so you know. I would read whatever a chimpanzee can bang out on a keyboard over anything written by you.

What do you expect from a bunch of drunks? I don't like what Dodger stadium has turned into over the years. Angel stadium is civilized; Dodger stadium has become a madhouse.

>>I was with my 7 year old son (who has autism) and he heard fowl language the entire game.<<

Hey RandallC I have an 8 year old with autism. Got any tips for keeping an autistic child from melting down during a nine inning game?

I have to keep taking mine for a walk which means I miss most of the game.

I'm with you. It's a kin to hanging out with drunk family members at resturants.

I don't condone this behavior from fans and I certainly don't behave in this manner, but I think it will be awful hard to put a stop to it.
It goes on everywhere and I've been to several parks in my 63 years as a fan.
Including my hometown parks of Citi Field and Yankee Stadium.
You just have to ignore it.

Mr. Dilbeck,

This is the kind of attitude that makes the rest of the nation view Dodgers fans as disinterested, fair-weather fans. (And the fact that they show up in the 5th inning.)

Attend a Yankees-Red Sox game, or a Mets-Phillies game, or a Cubs-Cardinals game... and you will hear some REALLY "childish" things.

And it's not a bad thing! Passionate fans make the games more exciting and the rivalries more intense.

Steve, just curious, are your moderators basically approving every comment posted here? Cheers.

Underdog8: Approving the comments is currently a shared responsibility, though I try to do most of them. If you see something you feel is inappropriate, please let me know.

Hockey fans have been chanting (for example) "Blackhawks Suck" for at least 20 years.

Is it the word "sucks" that bothers you so much? If it were "stinks" would that be better?

I'm struggling to find the point of this post, it reads like a humorless schoolmarm who either doesn't like anything too intense, or has particular aversion to the phrase "X sucks"

The Giants are not very good!
.
The Giants are not very good!
.
The Giants are not very good!
.
I do feel better...

Very clever, Steve. ;)
Each morning you take a look at your five or six comments smattered around your blog posts. At night, you go home and mull the myriad ways to increase traffic here. You flip on sports talk radio and...AHA....an epiphany. You realize that the reason there are two hosts on these inane shows are not for a second more reasoned opinion, but simply as a mouth piece for the puerile, opposing flip side of the coin, even when it stoops to absurdity. Real discourse diminshes callers. Ludicrous views, shouted rather than spoken, agitate listeners and provoke fight or flight responses, even when you yourself do not belive it one whit. This is solid PR. This is Steve Dilbeck with gloves off. So far 45 comments, and counting. Jon Weisman, watch out. Good for you, Steve.

Here is the issue that I have with this, I went to PetCo Stadium last year on the 4th of July to see the Dodgers play, the stadium was giving out beach towels that said "Beat LA". So saying that certian fans need to "grow up" is not an intelligent choice of words. This kind of behaivor is encouraged by the sport. The best thing about that game is that there were more Dodger fans than Padres fans at PetCo Park that day.

Are you kidding me? Did you dig this up from years passed? Exclaiming that a team sucks is hardly a black eye. You writing this is a black eye on the L.A. Times Blog and if you are going to continue to write something like this then I will be happy not to read your posts. L.A. Dodgers fans are not the only fans to start a chant of this nature, it can be heard from California to Boston. There is no problem with chanting that a team or player sucks. The problem lies when people start throwing food and beverages on fans, and picking fights with opposing teams' fans, not chanting 'Giants suck!' I Love Baseball, and the Dodgers, and don't mind a little razzing of opposing players. Just stop with the violence at the ballpark!

It's still better than "beat l.a.-beat l.a.....!

You can't ban the chant, but you could take the drumbeat that starts it off the loudspeaker.

"Giants Suck" is just dumb and crass. The proof of this is when every other team's name gets plugged into that phrase; it shows that some people don't hate the Giants, they just LOVE the word. Buy it a Valentine!

If shouting Suck! is your joy and cherished right in going to the stadium, then... you're dumb and crass and a smudge on the team and the city. I like to think we've got it going on here in SoCal, but obviously, some folks aren't part of what's happening. Didn't your mother teach you how to act in public?

 
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