The art of heckling an opposing player is about as clear as the “unwritten rules” of baseball. Should you ever feel like you need your voice heard, or the beer gives you the courage, here are some universal rules for heckling that may save you from embarrassment or a beat down.
The Rules of Heckling
1) Also the most frequently broken rule; NO OBSCENITIES. No matter how clever, no matter how witty, no matter how dead on right you are with your perfectly timed verbal assault aimed at Player X, when you lace it with foul language, you erase all chances of sounding intelligent. Unless you’re in the bleachers in extra innings, chances are there are kids in the crowd near you as well. The parents of those kids don’t appreciate four letter word speeches when they’re trying to enjoy a game with their kids. Say what you will, but stay classy and keep it PG Rated. Chances are, if you can’t abide by rule #1, you’re not heckler material anyway.
2) Being a heckler doesn’t mean running your loud, obnoxious mouth all game long after a morning full of binge drinking in Wrigleyville. That just pisses everybody off. And it makes you look like a complete jag. A good heckler picks his spot, gets in, gets out, and never interrupts the flow of the game. You might only say two or three things all game long. Don’t over saturate the fans with your heckling, make it short and sweet, and make it memorable. (I once told Andruw Jones from the bleachers that “Your rookie card is worth about 15 cents!” He turned and looked at me, hysterically laughing, which was the goal, to distract the player from the game!)
3) Know who you are heckling. Know the team. The manager and the players. Know their stats and especially their deficiencies. Use that for your ammo. If all you’ve got is “You suck!”, then you are the one who actually sucks.
4) Don’t make racial, ethnic, or sexual references, or never talk about someone’s Mother; it’s NEVER a good idea. If you’re lucky, at the LEAST you’re getting ejected from the park.
5) This is by far the most crucial rule of heckling; if you are not sitting within a distance from which the player you are referencing can actually hear you, SAVE YOUR BREATH. There’s nothing worse than a guy up in the 300′s screaming at the right fielder for 9 innings strong. HE CAN’T HEAR YOU, BRO. STOP IT.
It’s up to you how you are perceived when you heckle someone, but if you follow these five rules, you can guarantee you won’t offend anyone along the way, and you might just give some people a few laughs, and you might just break the concentration of the opposing player, which is really the ultimate goal. Happy Heckling.
For more on sports injuries, check out our friends at Sports Injury Alert.
“You like baseball? Get involved! Check out LWOS Partners Bases Loaded EU for fantastic podcasts, news and a growing message board community of baseball fans like you!”