If you've been around here for a while, you know how I feel about the wave. The most charitable thing I can say about it is that it's dumb. It says to the players on the field, "You are not the most important thing here, I am!" It says to fans who want to actually watch the game, "You mean nothing. I am going stand up, wave my arms like an idiot, make a stupid whooping noise, and get in your way."
Wrigley Field was one of the last bastions against this stupidity, but for the last few years, dumb people who had nothing better to do have made several attempts to start one. It has occasionally succeeded, unfortunately.
This scourge of sports stadiums has gotten the attention of Texas Rangers management, who are using creative ways to try to stop the wave:
Chuck Morgan, executive vice president of ballpark entertainment and productions, came up with the idea of posting a fun "warning" to fans as they started the wave. It read: "The Republic of Texas Constitution written in 1836 states: a facility has the right, when playing a team from Miami, to turn off the air conditioning in the facility. If the wave continues, the AC will be turned off here tonight." The sign, which included a picture of Heat players carrying James off the court during Game 1 of the NBA Finals, drew some chuckles from fans on Wednesday and momentarily stopped the wave on a 90-plus degree night in Arlington. But the crowd ended up restarting it shortly thereafter. "We've done this for four or five years," Morgan said. "I get hundreds of tweets from fans to stop the wave. I'm a guy that says that anyone can come to the ballpark and do whatever he wants, as long as he doesn't offend anyone around him. But there's some feedback I've gotten from players that there are better times to do it. You can't stop it, but we can have some fun with it."
"Hundreds of tweets from fans to stop the wave." That's the spirit! Obviously, Morgan's "warning" was all in fun -- GlobeLife Stadium in Texas doesn't have air conditioning, of course. And it's a good thing that this stopped the wave, even temporarily.
The wave, according to this ESPN.com article, has several "origin" stories, but reports this as the first "official" wave:
The first recorded Wave occurred in Oakland at an Athletics' playoff game against the New York Yankees on Oct. 15, 1981. It was organized and led by professional cheerleader Krazy George Henderson and was seen by a national TV audience and captured on film. Sixteen days later on Halloween at the University of Washington in Seattle, former UW cheerleader Robb Weller -- back for a game as guest yell leader -- led fans in a Wave at Husky Stadium during the school's 42-31 victory over Stanford.
You might recognize Weller's name. He was once a co-host of "AM Chicago," the very first show I ever worked on in my 30-year career at ABC-7. Had I known he was responsible for helping to popularize this dumb idea, I would have told him so, even back then. (Also, "wave" should never, ever be capitalized. That just gives it credibility, which it does not deserve.)
30 years ago, maybe this was a fun, clever idea to do. Once or twice, or even for a college football season. But now? It jumped the shark long ago. Time to put the wave to rest. Forever.
I'm sure you have opinions on this admittedly not-very-important topic. Have at it.