Feb 26, 2007

Not all fans are created equal

As a resident of New England, I dread the start of each spring. It's not because of the lovely weather that's sure to arrive shortly, but because it's the start of the worst season of all: baseball season.

I know many genial, intelligent people who happen to be baseball fans. They tend to be swell people. Nevertheless, I can't imagine that there's a mass spectator sport with less ambience in the stadium. Basically, if you like stuffing your face with hot dogs and Budweiser for four hours (yes, it can take that long to play a baseball game), this is your sport.

So I couldn't help but enjoy seeing this photo taken from an Arizona Diamondbacks (baseball) game last season (from Deadspin). It's pretty much the epitome of the dorky, middle-class American sports fan (note the grown man on the right who wears his own baseball glove in the stands):

Now compare that picture with this one taken from the French soccer club OGC Nice's stadium. Which fan base looks more passionate and intense to you?

To give you a bit more context, here are some more shots of baseball fans:

Yankees fans (Are they watching the game? Are they even awake?)
Washington Nationals fans (Notice the complete lack of flags, banners, or even anyone standing)
An unidentified big league ballpark (Crowd is extremely relaxed. With convenient cup holders!)
Baseball "fans" actually knitting inside the stadium (The game is less exciting than knitting?)
Another die-hard fan playing Tetris during the game (Tetris is pretty great, though)
And here are some shots of soccer/football/futbol/calcio fans:
Bayern Munich fans (Could they be more focused on the action?)
Inter Milan fans (Is there a single fan sitting down?)
Polish football fans (This is as close to hell for visiting teams as you can get.)
Argentine fans get a little crazy (A real fan is willing to climb a 20-foot fence for his team.)
Olympique Marseille fans (The best possible use of highway flares.)


Baseball God said...

Soccer sux.

probek said...

Don't think so, baseball god. Do baseball fans stand up during the whole ballgame? Don't think so. Do they sing all the time? Don't think so. You should go and visit a first league football game in Europe or South America and make up your mind, even if you happen to be a monotheistic god. And by the way: Thanks Joel, for using my picture as an example. Here's another shot during a recent Bayern Munich game: Chant for Mehmet Scholl's Farewell.