The madness stops now.
If you've been in tune with what's going on with the Reds during the last homestand, you know what I'm talking about. Even if you haven't, you've likely seen a wide shot of the ballpark on TV and thought, "man, there's a lot of empty seats there".
Justifiably so. Attendance this week has not been what you'd expect to see against the team's biggest rival and another division winner in September. And you know what? I'm not going to make excuses for that. Excuses are useless. Facts are that attendance is just fine, as evidenced by the fact Reds fans are coming out in record numbers as they're on pace to break GABP's attendance record.
The problem here is that this breeds a superiority complex for some fans of the team. The arguments coming from these fans is that they're "better fans", chastising those who aren't at the ballpark. Even further, we're starting to see this from misguided media members and celebrity "fans" of the team. Example:
"Great home atmosphere"? Something tells me ol' Herbie is just as guilty of not going as anyone else.
Nobody's a "better fan" than anyone else. You aren't at the ballpark to prove that you're a bigger Reds fan than the guy sitting next to you. You're at the ballpark to support the team in person, just like the people at home watching on TV are supporting the team from their couch.
Maybe they have other commitments that evening. Maybe money's tight. Maybe they have to mow the lawn before it gets dark. Who knows, who cares?
Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to justify the lower attendance numbers. Just like everyone else, I'd like to see that number up. Bitching at the fans who aren't there isn't going to do anything to fix that number, though. Unhappy about the attendance numbers? Do something about it. Arguing with your fellow Reds fans about it does nothing to accomplish anything there. Neither does writing clueless editorial pieces. It's easy to sit in the press box and pass judgements on a fan base, but what does it accomplish?
Arguing that you're a better fan because you go to more games is like St. Louis fans arguing that they're the "best fans in baseball". "Fan titles" mean nothing. Support means everything. Period.
Let's remember that we have one common goal as a fan base, and that's to support the team. Do that however you can. If that means going to the ballpark to cheer your ass off the next time they're in town, fantastic. If that means getting some friends to go with you, even better. If that means watching the game on TV, that works too. Do what you can, and let's not let egos get in the way of what's really important.