Sunday media: The book on heckling, and what the heck we aim to gain from it

A fan with a Dodgers jersey and the name "Problems" wearing No. 99, took advantage of the Dodgers' 2014 expansion of the areas behind the bullpens during a Dodgers-Angels Freeway Series.

A fan with a Dodgers jersey and the name “Problems” wearing No. 99, took advantage of the Dodgers’ 2014 expansion of the areas behind the bullpens during a Dodgers-Angels Freeway Series. And we were there to capture it.

Dodger Stadium was recently renovated to allow fans better access around the entire park — which included putting tables and chairs beyond the bullpen back walls, and planting a full bar nearby.
It seems to be all but asking patrons to have a drink and start heckling the relief pitchers as they warm up – home or visiting team.
9781493024513With the Dodgers this year, it does work both ways.
“I think teams are responding more to people who want to interact more with players and not feel so detached,” said Kevin Nelson, author of the book, “The Official Heckler Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Offending and Irritating the Enemy.”
“And that’s what a heckler can do – knock down that invisible wall between them and the field. And it’s mostly for the good.”
Mostly.
If done correctly. And with the proper intention.
One of the greatest heckles we ever heard at a game: The 2003 Orange Bowl in Miami between USC and Iowa. The Hawkeyes took the lead by running back the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Eventually, the Trojans broke open a 10-10 halftime tie with four consecutive touchdowns in the third and fourth quarter. The game was effectively done and the crowd was just quietly waiting for the scoreboard to click off the remaining time when a fan stood up and yelled: “Attention: There is a tractor in the parking lot with its lights on. Iowa license plate: E-I-E-I-O.”
It worked on many levels, enough to where the Iowa fans in the area could have a laugh as well about it.
What made that particular one work, and one remembered all these years later?
We get more into that aspect, and why it seems Los Angeles lacks a signature sports heckler in these times of YouTube stardom, with this week’s media column effort. Hopefully, you’ll find it at this link. If not you have every reason to start berating our professionalism.

Another form of heckling -- stitched into a scarf -- was on display during the U.S.-Argentina Copa America soccer game in Houston this week. What's the point again?

Another form of heckling — stitched into a scarf — was on display during the U.S.-Argentina Copa America soccer game in Houston this week. What’s the point again?

 

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