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The Social Utility of Blue Jay Fandom


I'd really like to construct a graph that illustrates the massive amount of fun I've accrued in relation to the amount of baseball games I've gone to and live blogged. Alas I have the same chance of understanding statistics and making that graph as you do of teaching your cat how to drive.

Instead I bring you the story of a doomed friendship rekindled by Blue Jay fandom.

I once had a close friend in high school that due to his curious nature, size and intelligence we all referred to him as "The Bear". Now The Bear was a good friend except for the fact that he had a major tendency to screw things up and get himself in trouble. Looking back it's actually a miracle he survived his youth and avoided serious jail time.

The Bear and I lost touch with each other over time but when Facebook rose it's ugly head and instantaneously reunited my entire High School, contact with the Bear was now just a click away. Bear had one attractive feature going for him that appealed to me -he was a major Blue Jays fan. Seeing as I had no Blue Jays fans in my family or close circle of friends I agreed to rekindle my friendship with The Bear.

Things were good for a while as we had lots to talk about and this being about 2007 there was excitement around the team. Things didn't stay good for long after we went to our first game together against the Red Sox. I met Bear outside Gate 5, he was hard to miss having put on more weight since High School he was a large target dressed up in an original Jays cap and (at the time) current black jersey. He was sitting on a ledge talking to a young couple when I walked up. He proceeded to hand me a giant sign made out of a large flattened cardboard box. Hastily painted in blue on one side were the words "GO JAYS GO!" and on the back in red was scrawled: "RED SUX".

We made it to our seats with little trouble but as Bear stashed his sign between me and the seat in front of me, he noticed the seat contained a 13 year old wearing a Red Sox hat. Bear leaned towards the kid and asked rudely, "why you wearing that hat?" The kid looked as startled and uneasy as I felt but before either of us could respond Bear loudly added, "WHAT are ya GAY?"

The Bear abandoned his child-bullying for the moment and turned his attention to the game. He asked me to pass him his sign and as I did so found that my jeans were now smeared with red paint from his still-wet sign.

I vowed never to go to another game with the Bear. And I didn't, until...

About 3 months later, Bear bribed me with great infield seats to see the Jays play the Dodgers. Against all better judgment and for the love of the Jays I agreed to go.

It was a rainy night and the traffic was intense. When I arrived late, Bear was waiting anxiously in front of the stadium. He handed me my ticket which seated me somewhere in Right Field. I thought it was odd but not as odd as how Bear was acting. Eager to not miss any more of the game, I put it out of my mind and we hurried inside. We did not get far before a security guard pointed us out and hurriedly radioed for back-up. Bear pushed me into the bathroom and excitedly explained what had happened.

Apparently Bear had arrived two hours before the Dome opened and to escape from the rain he had snuck in through an open door. The Security Guard caught him and asked him to leave. Bear blamed the security guard but I'm pretty sure he had been the one to became belligerent and after some words back and forth, Bear was forcibly removed with his original tickets confiscated and replaced with a lifetime ban from Rogers Center.

Bear had bought new tickets from a scalper so as not to disappoint me.

When we emerged from the John 6 cops, 1 ETF officer and a gaggle of security guards were waiting. The ETF officer took Bear by the arm and pushed him up against the wall, that's when Bear did something you should never do when a cop has hold of you -he tried to pull away. Bear ended up pinned face down under the knees of 5 cops. He was handcuffed and dragged away. As he was taken away, the Sergeant turned to me, pointed a finger in my face and asked "are you WITH this guy?" I looked at him and thought about it. Was I? My answer -Ahh, let me get back to you on that.

The Dodgers and Brad Penny beat RUN DMc and the Blue Jays 11-1