Rules of Starting the Wave
Diehard fans hate the wave. Casual fans love it. Remember Mets fans, if you want the Mets to take back New York, we’re going to have to deal with the casual fan.
Personally, the wave is annoying. I like to keep score, and I always have a soda. I have to drop everything to do the wave. With that said, the reason I participate is for little kids. Since the wave is annoying, but I see its merit, I think there should be some groundrules.
RULE 1: The Wave is Always Acceptable on Camp Days
You see, little kids love the wave. They watch for it to come. They clap and cheer for it to make it. When the wave reaches its destination, everyone cheers. When it doesn’t get there, everyone boos. You won’t admit this, but at times, even the wave can be fun.
Keep that in mind for those few 12:00 day games in the weekday in the summer. Those games are for the kids. If they want to do the wave, let them do it. The idea is to let kids have fun and want them to want to come back to more games. Let them have their wave.
By extension, also allow the wave on Family Sunday or any game with a kids giveaway. However, these two days, unlike the camp games, are subject to Rules 8 & 9.
Rule 2: If There is a Kid Near You at Least Fake It
If there’s a kid near you at any game, please give the minimal effort. It doesn’t hurt you to stay in your seat and throw your hands up. At least you won’t be the jerk who killed the wave and let a kid cry. A corollary to this is if you helped kill the wave, and there is an upset kid near you, you can’t complain about the kid. You helped create the situation.
Rule 3: You Are Never Obligated to Help Start a Wave
Personally, I do not think this conflicts with the second rule. There, I only ask for minimal effort. To start the wave, you actually have to stand up and get loud. You’re not disappointing a child because the wave didn’t exist yet. If a child is upset at that, their parent either needs to try to start one, or if they are trying themself, they need to do a better job.
Rule 4: You Only Get Three Chances to Start the Wave
When you do a wave, you’re irritating a lot of people. The most annoyed people are the ones in your section. They constantly hear some idiot screaming to the top of their lungs “1! 2! 3! Ahhhh!” If it fizzles, let it die. It was never meant to be.
My suggestion is if you really want to do the wave politely go around the section and try to spread the word BETWEEN INNINGS. Tell them you’re doing it for your kid. I’m sure most people would oblige. If you try that and the wave still isn’t going, move on. These people aren’t doing it. Don’t annoy them and waste your time. Just sit back and enjoy the game.
Rule 5: You Must Be Sober When You Start the Wave
First, you have to be coherent if you want people to listen to you. Two, you don’t want to be belligerent when people don’t acquiesce. Three, if you fail and if you’re annoying people, don’t give them an excuse to get security to remove you. If you’re a jerk trying to get a wave started, security may talk to you. If security hears you’re drunk and screaming, they’ll remove you from the game. Be smart here.
Rule 6: You Must Be in LF or RF to Start the Wave
This isn’t a Choose Your Own Adventure book. The wave must only head in one direction and one direction only.
Rule 7: There Must Be a Sellout
Lets face it you’re not going to sit in the far wings of the Upper a Deck by yourself if you are, there’s no way the wave gets started. You and five friends can all stand up and hoot and holler, but the people 10 sections over won’t hear you or care.
As a corollary to this rule, you need to start the wave in the Upper Deck. I know it’s the Primenade now, but it’ll always be the Upper a Deck to me. The reason for the corollary is the Field Level costs way too much, so they’re doing what they want. The other tiers are partially obstructed views and don’t have the same effect. Keep in mind if you do your job well enough, they may join in anyway.
Rule 8: No Waves in Close Games
We’re all there to have fun, but mostly we’re there to enjoy a baseball game. If there’s a close game, chances are it’s a good one. When you stand up, it should be to cheer; not do the wave.
By extension, the earlier in the game the better . . . like the first three innings. In fact, if done properly the wave can bring some energy into the stadium. Surprisingly, the wave then might actually be a benefit by getting the crowd pumped and building some electricity for the team to feed upon.
Rule 9: No Waves in October
Ultimately, you’re there to enjoy the games. Your time to bring your kids for fun was the Spring and Summer. That’s also the time for the casual fan. October (and really September) is for the die hards. If you bring your kid to the game (I know I will), explain there is a time and place, and this is not the time and place for booing.
The die hard Mets fan has been waiting for this day for 10 years now. They’ve been desperately waiting for a Workd Series for 30 years. They’re dying for this moment. The casual fan, who so happened to get a ticket,and wants to start a wave doesn’t get a right to ruin anything for the diehard fan.
Rule 10: If Someone Ignores These Rules, You May Boo Them
Someone won’t do the wave when kids are around, boo them. Someone won’t stop trying to set up the wave, boo them. Someone tries to do a wave in October, boo them until you crush their soul.
Keep in mind, I’m only advocating booing. Never resort to insults, profanity, or name calling. Like Rule 5, don’t give someone an excuse to get you removed from a game.
Overall, let’s make it a fun environment for everyone. I know I personally treat it like life and death, but it’s only a game. It’s supposed to be fun. The next time a way comes around just go with it. Maybe letting go a little will make you feel more relaxed and enjoy the game more.