20 June 2007

Dodgers Change Mind, Now Love Canadian Flags

It's easy to think of Terrence and Phillip and Mounties when Canadians come to mind. But some Canadians have taken on the mighty Los Angeles Dodgers, and seem to have won.

The Dodgers, caving in to a bunch of Canadian expats, have agreed to review their stadium policy that bans the waving of national flags after Dodger security attempted to confiscate a Canadian flag during the June 9th battle between the Blue Jays and Dodgers.

"I think they got slammed," Pembroke's Lee Fraser, the owner of the flag and president of Canadians Abroad, said of the aftermath of the controversy. The group's website was flooded with traffic and Fraser received hundreds of angry emails after the incident was reported in the Star.
The apologetic Dodgers have offered to redeem themselves by offering to treat the Canadian Abroad members who were affected by the flag confiscation to another future Dodgers game. Once they're they'll even have the opportunity to meet catcher Russell Martin, a Canadian.

Under the current policy, only hand-held flags are permitted inside Dodger Stadium. Large flags, banners and other lettered signs are prohibited in an effort to prevent visual distractions to other fans, team spokesman Josh Rawitch said.

But you know what, despite all of the commotion this incident has provided, the policy is a good one. First off, most fan-produced signs suck. Secondly, the Dodgers are right to say that signs and banners are distractions and can potentially keep many fans from enjoying the game. It's bad enough that there's so little legroom at Dodger Stadium that you have to stand up to let someone through an aisle. But imagine if fans were constantly standing up, shrieking, hoping to get their clever signs on the air. Would you want to be seated behind that person? I don't think so. It's for the same reason that beach balls are confiscated.

And more than anything else, the policy helps avoid signs that could help instigate fans to act aggressively towards one another. While you might question this, believe me, having been to many a Dodger game, I can tell you it doesn't take much to start a fight in the stands...

The Dodgers have agreed to review their policy, but more than anything their feet are to the fire because they took away a flag from someone who made too much noise afterwards. Maybe they were too rough, and perhaps the security guards could have had a little more tact with the situation. But like the Suns leaving the bench last month, the spirit of the rule is correct, and a rule is still a rule. When I go to games I want to watch the action, not be distracted by crazed fans holding up signs, or banners, or beach balls, or girls pouring beer on themselves. Ok, maybe that last one.

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