by Ken Carman
Listen to The Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima weekday mornings from 6 am-10 am on 92.3 The Fan
I’ve never understood until I actually moved to Cleveland, and even now, I don’t fully understand. The people of Canada seem to be nice and hospitable. In fact, it’s a stereotype of their culture, and there are far worse stereotypes than that.
Put a Blue Jays jersey on them though, and all of a sudden they become drunken fight crazed maniacs?
I never really heard anything about them while I grew up in Canton. I had even been to two Indians vs. Blue Jays games in my life and have left without witnessing an incident.
Then I moved into the city and met more folks who lived downtown.
“They invade. You’ll see.” A friend told me.
Lord did they ever.
In the August series it was reported by WKYC that as many as eight thousand came down from Toronto to watch the Blue Jays. A nice weekend getaway from the stresses of everyday life, as well as manners?
Being downtown during that weekend, I saw cursing, pushing and shoving, with plenty of light blue hats.
It’s almost as if these folks from Canada were trying to start something around almost every corner.
I don’t understand why they seem to start it up. I know that fan-on-fan arguments happen everywhere.
Detroit, Chicago, and Pittsburgh fans come to town, and there might be a word or two exchanged. Maybe a couple one-off examples happen of guys who’ve had a few too many and want to try each other out. But why is it that this stuff seems to happen with Toronto Blue Jays fans?
Cleveland fans have a reputation, and have had a couple bad outings, we get that. But is it really indeed a vacation from manners for Toronto folks? Is it us?
Again, I don’t see or hear this happening with many other fan bases? Or is it that when those fans from Canada go home, they want to tell their friends that they mixed it up with a real-life Cleveland fan?
Whatever it is, it’s getting annoying. On the show Friday morning, I had to make it known that we’ve received multiple requests from writers, and hosts, to give interviews and go on shows for “trash talk banter.” Bad comedians are trying to send Trevor Bauer messages in an effort to rattle his cage and score some publicity for themselves. Whatever it is, enough is enough.
The country saw this week that the fan base has changed. TBS’s attempt at a meme to poke fun was widely panned in poor taste. The depiction in the photo wasn’t even accurate.
I think this might be another example of a played out joke being beaten down. The Cavs’ championship has focused the fan base on enjoying another playoff run, and trying to win. Sure, Jose Bautista will be a villain by the end of the night Friday, but there’s a clear difference between player hate and real hate.
Simply: What might have worked for Blue Jays fans in the past, just isn’t anymore. Times have changed, and so have Cleveland sports. It wasn’t a Cleveland fan that tossed beer onto the field last series.
Canada is a great place. Vast and fun, with hospitable people. We all need to blow off steam, and maybe that’s what a certain portion of Blue Jays fans are doing when they get a little too surly with our folks down here. I get that. I might even get that considering our sports frustration for a long time.
But as we learned watching our team win a championship, what worked in the past might not work in the future.
It’s getting to be time that other fan bases and pundits learn that as well. Game One on Friday would be a great start.