Don't get me wrong, I like pirates as well as the next guy.
Still, there's a time and a place for everything.
Saturday evening, I was listening to the Brewers game on the radio and simultaneously watching it on television with the sound turned down (the absolute best way to take in a Brewers game if you can't attend in person). At one point in the game, I saw a Fox Sports Net reporter interviewing a couple of people in the stands who were dressed as pirates. They appeared to be surrounded by a larger group of people who were also dressed as pirates.
I didn't know anything about this group but I remember thinking, "Boy, I'm glad I'm not sitting around them"! Little did I know.
Yesterday, I received an e-mail from a listener who was sitting immediately behind this group. Here's his story:
I know in the past you have talked about bad behavior on the part of fans.
I want to tell you about an incident that happened at the Brewer game Saturday, August 9.
My wife and I have a ticket package so we don't usually sit in the bleachers, but we went with a group of about 50 friends from Kenosha. We were in section 234 and we had a block of tickets for row 13 and up.
Just as the game is starting, a group of adults dressed in pirate garb and badges with "Kap & Keg" comes in. They were in the same section as us. They had rows 1-12 it looked like. The game is on and all these people who are already very drunk and loud are now standing in front of us shuffling around looking for their friends to sit next to.
This went on through the entire first inning.
They finally all got sat down by the second inning, except for one guy. He was probably the leader of the group. He was the best dressed pirate, but was always standing up, pointing at his friends and yelling in very vulgar language.
About the fifth inning or so, several of them in the row right in front of us started fighting with each other. One lady in our group received a hard hit on her knee from someone in this group. She wasn't the target, but these drunks were just all over. A person from our group went up to find security because no one came to break it up. The fighting went on for maybe 10 minutes. Security did take 2 or 3 away. The lady in our group that got wacked on her knee, was there with her daughter for her first ever Brewer game. They ended up leaving right after that.
The drunken party below us continued for the rest of the game. Many of them were standing and singing pirate drinking songs. I bet they had maybe 100 in their group and not one could have ever told you what the score of the game was.
About the eighth inning, my wife went to the restroom. Soon, a young man and woman squeezed into the spot my wife was sitting. I told them that they were in her seat, but they said that they were with the pirate group and had the right to sit anywhere they wanted to.
I had had enough. Even though this punk/thug was 40 years younger than I am, I stood up and in so many words, suggested to him that he leave my wife's seat before I play hide the hot dog he holding in one of his body cavities.
They did get up and leave, but not until he swore at me. We then left to go home before the ninth inning. That was the first time in 50 years that I ever left a ball game early.
I'm still researching this Kap & Keg group, but we have written to the Journal/Sentinal and the Brewers president.
I sorry for the rant, but it was a very bad experience for us. I'm not a prude, but this drunken behavior at Miller Park needs to stopped.
Now, I wasn't there so I don't know how accurate this account is. I have however heard from several listeners who were seated in the same general area who pretty much say the same thing that Bruce does.
The real question to me is why do the Brewers put up with this kind of stuff? To be sure, there were times at old County Stadium when the team was bad and they couldn't give away tickets (kind of like the Bucks last season) - so it was perhaps understandable that the organization would cut the old "two-fisted sloppers" some slack. Those days are long gone though.
This year, the NFL has instituted a new code of conduct
for fans. I'm legitimately curious to see how vigorously it will be enforced?
I don't know whether baseball needs to go this far. I do know though that a group of drunken louts can quickly spoil the enjoyment of everyone around them - and that shouldn't be allowed to happen!
Sometimes, it tough for security to know in advance who will be causing problems. However when a group of drunks stumble in dressed like pirates (or Cubs fans), the call becomes easier.
As the Brewers get more popular, my guess is that more and more non-baseball fans will be attending games simply to be at the "in" event. That's great. At the same time, it's no justification for excusing bad behavior.
In the future, if people must dress in costume, how about wearing a baseball outfit? And how about stopping after 2 or 3 rum and Cokes instead of 8 or 9?