The sun is shining hot and bright on this Southern California day, the sky is a cloudless pale blue. Dodger Stadium is filled to the pavilions with fans. A beach ball bounces lazily around the stadium. If I’m lucky it’ll bop someone in the face who’s on the phone instead of watching the game. That pleases me.
As we roll into the seventh inning stretch, the Dodgers are winning, of course – when suddenly it happens. IT happens. A man across the stadium stands up. I swear he’s looking right at me. My already sun red face feels even hotter. He’s going to do it. OhMyGod there he goes…
This man, this instigator, throws his hands in the air and yells, “WOOOO!” I scream, “Noooooooooo!” But, it’s too late.
The section next to him has already stood up and they too throw their hands in the air and yell, “WOOOO!”
It’s begun – The Wave is rolling towards me like a desperate Giants fan trying to show me pictures of their World Series rings to prove they were once good. I’m helpless to stop it.
The people around me shift in their seats excitedly waiting their turn to jump up and yell WOO. At this moment, I hate them all. The Wave is one section away and coming at me fast. From across the stadium, I see the Wave Starter sneer at me. He holds up his beer as if to toast my hate. He might be laughing, but I’m not sure because The Wave has come and I must stand up, throw my hands in the air and yell, “WOOOO!”
I truly hate myself.
The Wave, what’s to hate? Do you hate fun? For the record, I do not hate fun. I love fun! The truth of the matter is I’m at a baseball game. I love baseball just about more than anything else in life. I’ve got a cold beer, a Dodger Dog (or two!) and my glove. All of these things are very important to me. And then, here comes The Wave. The chance of dropping my food and spilling my beer rises exponentially.
Now if a dinger comes towards me I throw the stuff aside, because dingers are awesome and fun and worthy of losing food and beer over. But, standing up and yelling WOO is not worthy. There it is. That’s my beef with the wave. I like beer and food. Even if we don’t agree on the merits of The Wave can we at least agree beer and food are great and dropping them not great?
I’ve done extensive research on The Wave’s origin…
(Narrator: it wasn’t extensive, she Googled it and went with the first answer.)
And this is what I’ve found.
As the story goes the first recorded Wave occurred in Oakland at an Athletics’ playoff game against the New York Yankees on Oct. 15, 1981. It was organized and led by professional cheerleader Krazy George Henderson and was seen by a national TV audience and captured on film. ~ESPN.COM Doug Williams, 2013
Come on, 1981 people! That’s 36 years ago! Do you still wear fingerless, lacy gloves like Madonna? Moonwalk? And style your hair into a skyscraper held in place with AquaNet? Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Cody Bellinger won’t get that reference, but he’s a baseball God, so I’ll forgive him.
Twitter pal Mike shared this great Stop the Wave campaign photo and I like the way Arlington thinks on this.
Because I’m curious by nature, I wanted to hear the fans view on The Wave. So I went to the foremost expert on everything – Twitter and asked the greatest fans on earth what they thought. This highly scientific Twitter poll shows Haters of Fun rule when it comes to the Wave. But, Bored Indifference is a close second. Indifference is almost hate so I’m putting them in the hate column. As for the Love It crowd, well that doesn’t fit my narrative so I’m calling #FakeNews and moving on to the results of my making – Retire the Wave everyone hates it.
Ok kids, I'm writing a story on The Wave I need your input. Comments too please. RETWEET for big sample size. Thanks! ???
— Jody Wahl with an A (@JodyWHL) June 30, 2017
Dodger Fans Chime In
Smiles on my kids faces when the wave starts says it all. It's part of appeal of live games(hot dogs, cheering etc). Helps create new fans.
— GilbertAF (@5dodgerfans) June 30, 2017
In elimination game 4 of the '16 NLDS with Kersh on the mound the fans behind me were trying to start the wave. I actually stopped them. ?
— DontLookAtAngie (@4Ev3rblue) June 30, 2017
I for one love the wave. Beach balls aren't bad too sometimes. *ducks*
— joseph ???? ???? españa ??? (@josephespana) June 30, 2017
?The devil invented the wave and beach balls. The devil is from San Francisco.
— Josh M. (@BigDaddyChops78) June 30, 2017
I'm at the point where I casually wave my arms while sitting, doing a mere facsimile of the wave
— Greg Prescott (@prescott_greg) June 30, 2017
In conclusion my friends, this was all in good fun and I thank you for playing along. You gave my Twitter timeline a fun and robust debate. Although I confess, I remain firmly in the #RetireTheWave camp. However, so many of you responded with how happy it makes your kids, and like Vin Scully, I have a soft spot for the wee little Dodger fans. So, do the Wave if you must, but I’m going to stay seated while clutching my beer, Dodger Dogs and glove… until a dinger comes my way then LOOK OUT!
You can Follow me on Twitter @JodyWHL
*A very special shout out and THANK YOU to Philbert for the wonderful header illustration. Follow him on Twitter @DodgersBluePen and to see more of his awesome drawings, opinions and essays visit him at DodgersBluePen.com