This message is actually more geared towards Mariner fans than it is to people who cheer for the Blue Jays. The reason being, I feel it’s important to explain why so many Blue Jay fans are travelling all the way to Seattle, because it seems like a good number of Mariner fans are upset and don’t understand the real reasons why so many Canadians are travelling south to watch the Blue Birds.
First off, there are plenty of times (this not being one of them) when it’s ok to be upset when far too many fans from an opposing team attend games at your home ball park. Take for example all those bandwagon fans of the Red Sox or Yankees when those teams were dominating baseball in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. Back then, whenever those two teams travelled, they drew thousands, if not tens of thousands of fans for most of their away games. Most of those people cheering for the Yankees or Red Sox weren’t even from either New York or Boston, and only cheered for them because those teams won. Understandably so, when it comes to those type of fans, it would get frustrating when they invaded your territory.
These fans from Western Canada on the other hand, want nothing more than to see their favourite ball club, the Blue Jays, play live baseball. They aren’t heading all the way down to Washington to stick-it to the Mariners and people of Seattle. These are good fans (great fans actually) who just happen to cheer for a team that’s inconveniently located over 4,000 kilometres (2,800 miles) from where many of them live. All they want to do is see the Blue Jays, nothing more, and yet a good number of Mariner fans are taking far too much offense.
These fans who are travelling south want nothing more than to enjoy some live baseball, drink a beer, eat a hot dog, and see their beloved Blue Jays. As uncomfortable as this might make a Mariner fan feel, it’s by no means a territorial thing. It’s not a you vs us, American vs Canadian, or even a Mariners vs Blue Jays kind of thing. It’s simply a group of people taking the opportunity to watch their favourite ball team. Something which for fans from Western Canada is a lot easier to do by going to nearby Seattle, instead of far-off Toronto.
Instead of getting upset about this situation, put yourselves in the shoes of these fans who are travelling hundreds, even thousands of miles to see the Blue Jays in Seattle. Canada, much like the States, is a vast country, but we on the other hand only have the one ball team to cheer for. Which means if you’re patriotic, like most people are, you might live thousands of miles from Toronto, and yet still be every bit as passionate about the Blue Jays as someone who lives in Southern Ontario.
So, rather than take offense to all these outsiders, welcome them, and enjoy the ball game together. Because this isn’t a competition between nations…it’s nothing more than a celebration of baseball and for these people to enjoy a rare glimpse of their favourite team.