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Do Clippers have right to demand control of message, revenue cut if Darrell is profiting from being fan of team?

When people learned the Clippers had asked their most notable fan, Darrell Bailey, to drop “Clipper” from his nickname, there was a great deal of outrage. We felt the Clippers were cutting down one of their greatest supporters because now that they’re winning and successful, they feel they can speak out. The Clippers issued a statement accusing Darrell of not actually being a fan of the the team, “but a fan of what he can make off of the Clippers.” Their position was defended much better in an LA Times piece by Bill Plaschke.

Plaschke depicts Darrell as a guy trying to profit off the Clippers and says the team offered him a chance to be paid and treated like an official team cheerleader. The team wants to control what he gets paid, the appearances he makes, and what he says about the team, because they feel he is profiting off of them.

There is some merit to their argument, and they have a right to ask him to go by Darrell Bailey rather than “Clipper Darrell.” But I don’t believe they have a right to control his messages about the team and the money he makes.

Darrell has become well known because he is a great hype guy. Whether he was a fan of the Clippers, Lakers, Bucks, or Celtics is inconsequential — people love him because he makes games exciting. He acquired the “Clipper Darrell” name out of association. You need a nickname for “the guy at the Clippers games with the funny suit who’s always yelling,” so he became Clipper Darrell.

If people want him to attend their wedding, Bar Mitzvah, or game, it’s because he makes events exciting. He became known through the Clippers, but not because of them.

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Do fans take winning and losing harder than the players?

I am going to be honest for a moment, which, given my track record, is almost impossible. When I sat down to write this article, I had absolutely no idea about what I was going to write. Think about it. The NFL is in the midst of its three-week offseason. The NBA’s jam-packed schedule has turned games into a display of S&M — shabby and mistake-prone. Speaking of which, it might be a good idea to add the Bobcats and Hornets along with the Raptors to the list of extinct species. Of course, I could write about soccer, my de facto area of expertise, but then I would run the risk of alienating the three law-abiding readers I have left.

Then, it hit me: A picture frame fell off my shelf. Instead of wasting valuable column space dancing around the fact that I have writer’s block, I could always write about you, the often-underappreciated fan (and the other two reading this, of course).

Shortly after the Super Bowl ended, there was a great deal made about Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski dancing shirtless after his team lost the game. Normally dancing shirtless doesn’t have the disgust-factor of, say, a middle-aged sportswriter gyrating sans button-down in the middle of a crowded room. The response stood in direct contrast to that of Wes Welker, whose dropped pass was repeatedly blamed for the defeat, the receiver beside himself afterwards. The philosopher in me — the one that usually wonders why flammable and inflammable mean the same thing — naturally wondered: Do the fans take winning and losing harder than the players do?

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Fan Complains that Home Team Had Unfair Advantage Because of Crowd Noise

Old Dominion beat Norfolk State 35-18 Saturday in the first round of the FCS playoffs. One Norfolk State fan is upset with the loss and actually complained that ODU had an unfair advantage because of their crowd noise.

Here is the letter to the editor published in The Virginian-Pilot this week:

What went into the record books as a win was really a sham and a disgrace to competitive college sports. This game was equivalent to two boxers competing in the ring with one of them blindfolded. On nearly every offensive play by Norfolk State, the crowd noise was so high that it drowned out the play-calling. The team simply couldn’t hear the plays. This was not the case when Old Dominion had the ball. You could hear a pin drop when they were on offense. This partisan behavior by ODU fans was reprehensible by design and should be considered a shameful act to control the outcome. The results should be thrown out due to unsportsmanlike conduct by the fans.

Gary Anthony
Chesapeake

Bro, you must be new to football. I don’t even know where to begin with this. How do you even broach the subject with someone who doesn’t understand the role of the fans in games? I think Mr. Anthony just got a first-hand lesson of what a good homefield advantage is. Let’s hope he never ends up at the Superdome for a Saints game, or in Seattle for a Seahawks game.

Thanks to SI Hot Clicks for the fantastic link.

LA Bar Banning Raiders Games Because Raiders Fans Are Causing Problems

A Venice, Ca. sports bar has decided to stop showing Raiders games on TV because Raiders fans were causing too many problems at the venue.

Deadspin brought our attention to the story when they posted the picture shown above (taken by a customer). LBS called Cabo Cantina and spoke with the bar’s manager who confirmed the story.

The bar’s manager, a man named Wayne, told LBS that there are two particular large groups of Raiders fans who were creating the problems. He says the fans began coming in last season without causing problems. There weren’t any issues for the first three or four games this year. But then the groups of fans started to bring in some friends who were causing problems.

“They were taunting, insulting, rude, loud, and making people feel uncomfortable,” Wayne told us. “People were leaving the bar, so we had to do something.”

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Rays Make Fan Take Off His ‘Yankees Suck’ Shirt

Truth be told, I have kind of forgotten that “Yankees Suck” is a somewhat inappropriate phrase. Seeing “Yankees Suck” written on a t-shirt or hearing 30,000-plus people chant it at a ballgame, parade, or even football game barely even captures my attention. What probably would cause me to do a double take is if I didn’t see half a dozen vendors outside Fenway Park selling “Yankees Suck” apparel and memorabilia. The Tampa Bay Rays, on the other hand, take the phrase a bit more seriously.

According to the Tampa Tribune, via Hardball Talk, a stadium official made a Rays season ticket holder remove his “Yankees Suck” t-shirt last week because they felt it constituted profanity.  I guess the phrase is profane depending on your standards, but really?  The fan, who happened to be a lawyer, objected and asked to talk to a team official but had no success. What’s scary is that this is not the first stadium where a fan was forced to remove a Yankees Suck shirt.

First of all, the shirt isn’t a big deal.  They tried banning them at Fenway once and realized it would be impossible so they have since let it go.  Secondly, this is Tampa Bay we’re talking about.  They don’t exactly have an easy time selling tickets down in St. Pete, so if a fan walked in with a shirt that said “F*** you” on it I’d probably turn my cheek if I worked there.  Do you want to have a G-rated environment or do you want butts in the seats?  Most often in professional sports, you can’t have both.

Brookline Considering Hiking Meter Prices to $20 for Red Sox Game Nights

Everything about going to a ballgame has become expensive.  Everything about going to a Boston Red Sox game has become even more expensive.  Want to park close to the ballpark?  That’ll be $40.  Want a beer?  $8 please.  A bottle of water?  For you, $4.50.  However, if you’re somehow lucky enough to find one of those few and far metered parking spaces in the heart of Boston, you could just save yourself a solid chunk of change.

Not anymore.  One of the sub-cities of Boston, Brookline, is considering hiking meter prices from 75 cents to $22 on Red Sox game nights.  Keep in mind the people who park in these spaces usually have quite the walk ahead of them, but they accept a mile hike for a chance to save up to $40.  This would be highway robbery at its finest.

Imagine inserting a twenty or swiping your credit card at a parking meter?  The thought is almost about as frightening as that of having to pay $5 just to be a pedestrian in a Cleveland Browns tailgate parking lot.  What will they think of next?  By the time 2050 rolls around, going to a game will probably run you anywhere from $1000 to $5,000/person.

MLB Ripping Off Fans with New Postseason Ticket Reservation System

MLB has announced that it is giving fans the chance to reserve their postseason tickets right now for a small fee. As wonderful as that may sound, you need to look at the bigger picture. The truth is only eight teams are going to make the playoffs, and everyone else is just throwing their money away.

For one, if you pay to reserve tickets to any game in the postseason and your team never makes it there, you’ll never see that money again. Or maybe your team does make it but gets annihilated, well then I hope you didn’t buy tickets to the ALCS/NLCS and the World Series too, because then you’re out of luck and money.

MLB is being sly about all this because at first glance it doesn’t look like that big of a deal. It’s only $10 to reserve tickets for the ALDS or NLDS. You want to go to the ALCS/NLCS too? Sure, why wouldn’t you? Well that’s just a small fee of $15. Well you might as well reserve tickets to the World Series too while you’re at it. I mean you’d be dummy not to right? Dude, it’s just $20 and you’re guaranteed a seat for the World Series; you’re making an investment in your sports future.

Eh, not really … you’re more than likely just giving MLB money. At the very least you gave them $35 in reservation fees alone. That doesn’t go towards the cost of your ticket — you still have to pay for that. There’s a lot of things that need to fall into place here for all of this to work out in favor of a given fan:

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