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Bronx Cheer: The Fan's Guide to Intelligent Booing

Lou CappettaAnalyst IIFebruary 9, 2009

Booing is defined as the act of showing displeasure for someone or something by loudly yelling "boo" (and holding the "oo" sound) or making other noises of disparagement.

To read the definition of booing, one may not fully understand the importance it has in a sports fan's existence. Booing, as well as cheering, are the only two inalienable rights a sports fan has. Booing is the only direct communication a fan has with teams and players.

Before there was Bleacher Report, before there was sports talk radio, before there were blogs, fans went to a ballpark or arena and showed their displeasure by booing.

The players can hear it, the management can hear it, even the ones who say they block it out—they hear it. It is a barometer of a player's performance that can't be matched, not even by statistics.

It seems that booing has been around as long as even the oldest forms of entertainment. With that said, it seems that in today's sports world booing is becoming a lost art. Indeed, it may be time to draw up some guidelines to booing, so that fans of all sports can boo efficiently, effectively, but most importantly—intelligently.

Do boo the opposing team and its players when they come to your hometown team's building. This not only shows an allegiance to your team, but also shows your disdain for your opponent.

Do not boo the opposing team if your team is the away team. Root for your team all the way, but do not disrespect the home team or their fans. Sometimes this is for your own safety. This is especially true for New York fans visiting Boston and Philadelphia.

Do boo your team if they are stinking up the joint. It is OK to boo if your team is getting blown out, making mistakes that aren't even seen at the little league level.

It’s also OK or if any of your favorite teams are the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Detroit Lions, Washington Nationals, New York Islanders, or New York Knicks. 

If you are a fan of all those teams, you should probably stop watching sports.

Do not boo your team while cheering on an opposing player who is single handily destroying your team.

Do boo Paul Pierce if you are not a fan of the Boston Celtics.

Do not ask, no matter how politely, for somebody to stab Paul Pierce if you are not a fan of the Boston Celtics.

Do boo any obnoxiously drunk visiting fan who is cursing your team in your building.

Do not boo and curse children who are rooting for the visiting team in your building. This does not apply to children who are Philadelphia Eagles fans, because chances are they are tougher than you anyway.

Do boo a high-priced free agent who is continually underperforming for your team. For a perfect example, read up on New York Yankees fans who booed Carl Pavano during four injury plagued seasons.

Do not boo your team’s future Hall of Famers after a small slump or one bad outing. An example are Yankees fans booing Mariano Rivera for blowing one midseason save to the Red Sox.

Do boo Ron Artest if you are a Pistons fan.

Do not throw beer on him unless you are Mike Tyson.

Do boo Alex Rodriguez, Terrell Owens, Sean Avery, and Stephon Marbury.

Do not boo Ken Griffey, Jr., Hines Ward, Sidney Crosby, or Kevin Garnett.

Do boo Bud Selig.

Do not boo Roger Goodell.

Do boo a player who is on your team, is going to become a free agent, and makes it known that he wants to leave town. For example: Boston Red Sox fans booing Manny Ramirez in 2008.

Do not boo a player on your team who is going to become a free agent if your team desperately needs him to resign. For example: New York Mets fans booing Mike Piazza in 1998.

Following these few guidelines for booing should once again restore the act to its proper place in the sports world.

This list is always up for interpretation and can be amended at any time. Here's to responsible and intelligent booing. Now get out there and get your "boo" on.

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