On Monday we all enjoyed the scene in which a Dodgers fan at a Diamondbacks game was, apparently, asked to change out of his Dodgers gear and into Diamondbacks gear behind home plate.
That day I got a statement from the Diamondbacks that did not address this specific instance but did address their rule. The statement: “At the time of purchase, we ask that those fans sitting in the home plate box, which is visible on TV, wear either neutral colors or D-backs attire which the team will provide.”
Ken Rosenthal got further comment from the team last night. Under the headline “Diamondbacks had nothing to do with fan covering up Dodger blue,” the spokesman said:
“At the time of purchase, fans who are looking to buy those seats are informed that we prefer that they wear D-backs or neutral attire. We offer them alternative locations or even provide them with team gear.
“However, should they purchase them and choose to wear opposing team gear, they are permitted to do so. That was also the case this past Sunday when a fan made his way into the box to say hello to a friend. In that instance, they joked around with their usher before another fan sitting in those seats gave him her jersey in jest.”
Well, it’s certainly the case that the Dbacks aren’t sending shock troops down to the box seats to enforce their home team gear preferences. But is it really truthful to say that their preference “had nothing to do” with the visuals we saw from Sunday’s game?
What’s the nature of the “jest” here? Some “ooooh, you’re gonna get in trouble!” joke among Dbacks fans, which leads them to give the Dodgers fan the jersey? Heck, that’s the BEST scenario. That the fans are mocking their own club’s dumb rule.
Another possible scenario: some of those fans legitimately felt pressured, however mildly, to have their Dodgers fan friend who came down and sit with them for a minute change into Dbacks gear while he did so. A “well, I suppose we won’t get in real trouble here, but better safe than sorry” gesture. Which is most definitely an effect of the dumb rule.
Either way, whether the club’s dumb rule is being openly mocked by fans or being complied with out of mild unease, it is still causing fans of opposing teams to do dumb things. And, of course, it is still the Dbacks’ dumb rule.
Oh, I’m sorry. Preference.