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COLUMN: No whistling in sports

by CHUCK BANDEL
Valley Press | November 9, 2022 12:00 AM

You know who you are.

So do a lot of other folks, many of whom evidently think you are a vital part of the game.

And to make it clear, no, you are not the exuberant fan who supports his or her son or daughter throughout the game. From opening whistling to closing horn, by golly, my kid is going to know I’m there for them.

You’re the guy or gal with the bright red face, eyes bulging from non-stop screaming, be it advice on how to play or indignancy at a ref who dared call a foul on your offspring.

You are part of the game.

And while you may slip in an expletive word or phrase now and then, you generally add to the atmosphere.

That’s partly why, I’m guessing, you were blessed with a very distinctive voice, one sure to be heard and savored above the din.

And, bless your heart, you are frequently wrong in your assessment of the situation on the court or field, but most fans get a chuckle out or your effort if nothing else.

No, exuberance is not a crime, sin or unsportsmanlike transgression.

Just ask. You paid for your ticket and you therefore have the right to voice your opinion.

But just like the metal signs hanging from the light posts all around the field of play, there is an understood limit. A fan “speed limit” if you will. You know, 186,000 miles per second, it’s not just a good idea, it’s the law.

A line where support collides with decency. Where cheering ventures into the realm of torture.

You are the whistler.

You are so loud, fans don’t even have to be at the game to feel you worm your way under their skin. It happens over the airwaves and online broadcasts.

First, congratulations. In my humble opinion, you have taken one of the most annoying aspects of European “sports” and injected it into the relatively organized world of sports here in “Merica”.

We don’t, your many detractors will argue, whistle in the USA. We clap, applaud, sing, dance, hug strangers in the grandstands and stomp up and down on wooden seats and flooring, but we DO NOT whistle.

For years now, spring training baseball broadcast from Arizona and other warm winter climes, has been a pleasant, re-assuring way to dream of and even usher in the change a planet titling on its axis can bring ... AKA spring.

But then, several years ago, some misguided [expletive] decided it would be a good idea to bring a trumpet to the games, making sure to sit right under the broadcast booth so all of us could hear the shrill horn tones that prove you are not a trumpet player even in the sanctity or our homes.

So you can imagine my delight while watching this past week’s volleyball tournament games on-line, how thrilled I was to hear you confirm your presence non-stop.

Good gravy where’s the mute switch? There you were, even though I could not see you, whistling your disgust at officiating calls, delays in anything and just generally raising the old blood pressure...tick, tick, tick.

Whistler’s Brother. The European nightmare. Loose Lips and sunken ships all in one shrill package.

Give it a break Jake!! Take a rest, Pest. Leave the Gym, Jim.

Or for Pete’s sake, learn more than one tune!

Bring a bag of crackers with you to the next game, make sure no one is sitting in front of you then start eating the crackers (popcorn may work too?).

Go ahead, whistle your brains out.

You won’t be anything but funny, or gross.

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