Sat, Aug 13, 2011 - Page 18 News List

US clubs attempts to stop ‘distracting’ Mexican wavers

THE GUARDIAN

For a quarter of a century it’s been a staple ingredient of any well-attended sporting fixture, bringing fans to their feet during everything from soccer World Cup finals to rain delays at Wimbledon.

Now a professional baseball team in the US wants to bid farewell to the ubiquitous Mexican wave.

PROBLEM

The problem, insist the Texas Rangers, is not that thousands of spectators leap from their seats, throwing their arms into the air and often showering those around them with a hailstorm of peanut shells and beer. It’s just that they’re doing it at the wrong time.

Rangers players are concerned that waves often start at crucial moments in a game, which can distract them.

Chuck Morgan, the club’s announcer, plays video messages during games and has posted signs around the ballpark in Arlington asking fans to restrain themselves.

“Any children doing the wave will be sold to the circus,” the signs warn, adding that waves should be restricted to “football games and Miley Cyrus concerts.”

NO WAVE POLICE

The Rangers have no plans to employ wave police and Morgan admits the club is “having a little fun with it.”

But behind the humor lies a serious push from some fans to eliminate Mexican waves, so named because they came to prominence during the 1986 soccer World Cup there.

A Web site, stopthewave.net, has been campaigning for two years to bring the practice at baseball fields to an end, and the anti-wave movement has enjoyed success elsewhere.

In 2007, Cricket Australia announced it was employing plainclothes officers to eject fans breaching a ban on Mexican waves at grounds countrywide.

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