A good column either entertains or angers its readers or makes them laugh or cry.
My Oct. 19 column on fan behavior and conditions at the Metrodome apparently struck a nerve. E-mails and in-person reaction continue to be received.
My favorite was from a gentleman at one of my favorite downtown coffee bars. I had just dumped cream into my coffee and was heading toward the door, when a gentleman walked toward me holding the paper. "Is this your story?" he asked. Expecting admonishment, I reluctantly said, "Yes." To my astonishment, he said, "Good story."
Sir, can I buy you a cup?
Reaction has been positive, except for one. Following are a few samples of reactions.
"I took my two young daughters to a game and we left in the sixth inning due to drunk fans swearing at Frank Thomas while he was up to bat. First, we were sitting along the third base line cranking our necks to see. Secondly, the fans yelling at 'The Big Hurt' were soon put in their place when he hit a three-run homer.
"This was a few years ago, but I haven't been to a Twins game since. I am a Vikings season-ticket owner and don't have much better to reveal about that.
"I believe the problem with Minnesota fans is they do not fully understand the game. They boo when a relief pitcher is pulled after striking out one batter, when coaches do not challenge calls that could potentially cost them a timeout, which could be valuable at the end of a game.
"Those strategies are not understood by a majority of fans. I witness the football idiots each home game and often wish I had stayed at home to watch the game."
Another favorable e-mail.
"I attended two of the three games of the Twins-Yankees series at the Metrodome in September and was very disgusted with the conduct of some attendees, particularly that directed at Derek Jeter. There were even people out in front of the Metrodome after the game displaying signs with vulgar pictures directed at Jeter. Anyone would have thought Jeter had just been convicted of child molestation, or something similar.
"We've all heard the expression, 'Fool's names and fool's faces always appear in public places.' Nothing brings out idiotic conduct more readily than alcohol and an audience.
"Considering what the term 'fan' means, with respect to an activity or an individual, there really should be another word to reference these people as they are certainly not a fan of the game or those who participate in the game. How about referring to them as "ventilation fans" (they blow a lot of hot, foul-smelling air).
"PS: Drinking and driving don't mix. Fools and alcohol don't mix, either."
Finally, an e-mail from a fan who must have been sitting near me.
"Your (sic) more than a restless fan, your (sic) an annoying fan.
"Don't complain about being able to see a MLB playoff game. You should be grateful that you had the opportunity to watch two great baseball teams compete in the playoffs.
"You sound like a whinny (sic) baby. Next time you receive Twins playoff tickets give them to someone who gives a damn. Please spare the rest of us your whining."
On Sept. 30, I featured Brainerd High School football fan Dick Lyscio, who passes beef jerky to fans following every Warriors touchdown.
Lyscio reports that a monster has been created.
"I ran into two different couples (Oct. 18), both of whom wanted to know if I was going to the Brainerd-Sartell game (Oct. 20). After I acknowledged, I asked why they wanted to know. Neither of these people had been to a football game all year. In both cases they are going to go to the game, out of town, so they can get some jerky!"
Lyscio e-mailed a follow-up the day after the game.
"It just doesn't cease to amaze me. Every time we scored we passed the jerky and each time we did there were a couple of gentlemen from Sartell that got in on the jerky. One of them was the mayor of Sartell. Did he realize that he was celebrating a Brainerd Warrior score? I am also positive this same gentleman was also in on the jerky pass two years ago when we played in Sartell.
"It was also great to see the cheerleaders get involved, as they too yelled 'Pass the Jerky' when we scored and shared their own bag of jerky."
Lyscio hopes he can pass the jerky for another month.
Mike Bialka, sports editor, can be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5861.
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