Again, my opinion..
Ivan Pavlov lived from September 14, 1849 to February 27, 1936. His legacy, or research to say, lives on…
For those who aren’t familiar with Ivan Pavlov, he was a Russian Physiologist who is famous for his work in the subject of conditional reflex. The story of how he trained his dogs with a bell, making them hungry upon a ring, can show us fans of how the sports world controls us.
Let’s look deeper…
Listen to the below clip:
So, did you find yourself clapping along and yelling out “HEY!” at the appropriate moment?
Let’s try this one:
Now myself, I don’t stand up and stomp.. but I see those that do and I see those who don’t.. but there are very few who don’t clap when the announcer yells out, “EVERYBODY CLAP YOUR HANDS!”
Yeah, just like the dog salivating over the ring of a bell. The popular show, “The Office”, also shows a character training a co-worker to ask for a mint each time he reboots his computer.
My point. Well, the PA announcer holds control over you. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sporting events are supposed to be fun and being led in cheers is a good time and leads to crowd noise (Which I highly approve of). At least we don’t have cheerleaders. Yeah I said it. I don’t like cheerleaders. At least not what cheerleading has become. How many cheerleaders lead cheers anymore? Very few. Can the voice of 15-20 young women at the sideline be heard by 60,000 people in a stadium with blaring music? Nope. That PA announcer can be heard though.
If you want a real thrill, attend an Ironpig’s Education day where the majority of the crowd are children. They jump. They dance. They yell on demand. They can sing the commercials and they can explain to you things that you wouldn’t believe. Last summer a 12 yr old explained to me what “Supermanning a Ho” meant. (Yes, this song was played regularly at the Coke) If you don’t have a child to explain it to you.. I would try google-ing it.
So with the control aspect of this it seems the fans lose creative thought. How many home made signs have you seen lately? Not as many as you saw in 2008. How many foam fingers do you see? A lot. How many jet balloons did you see released all at the same time? How many chants and cheers are started by fans? Not many.
Late in the game during the last home game of 2010 the Noise Nation attempted to get a cheer going to encourage Andy Tracy to enter the game. We placed people in every section of the park. We were the only ones cheering. Responses we got:
“He’s not in the game” (Yeah, we know.. we want him in the game)
“If they wanted us to chant it they would have it on the loudspeaker”
“Are we allowed to do our own cheers?”
Soon into our chant, the PA started off with more music and we dissolved back into the K korner in centerfield.. disappointed.
Where has the originality gone?
Where have the cheers gone?
Well, I guess we can try to overcome the Pavlov response to the PA system.. or we can just concede and become another drone.
Just my opinion… what’s yours?