Game On…with Rob Kriete! – MAY 12

The most genuine form of cheering in sports occurs when a player on an opposing team receives the accolades of the crowd. You read that correctly, and I stand by it. When fans shower a visiting team’s player with love, it must come from a place of respect, admiration, and thanks.

Matt Harvey, starting pitcher of the Baltimore Orioles and former New York Mets ace, went out to the mound at Citi Field this week, the Metropolitan’s fans went bananas. There were signs of support, loud cheers, and a raucous standing ovation for the pitcher formerly known as the Dark Knight in New York. Harvey, according to his accord, fought back tears while receiving respect from the fans that appreciated what he did and accomplished in his time with the Mets.

I recall being at Tropicana Field for the last game that Ichiro Suzuki would play in St. Petersburg, and the fans there, too, offered the great hitter a standing ovation in deference to a great career. It is, as I stated, an honest, refreshing way to honor visiting players. Ichiro accumulated hits at a ridiculous pace, slapping the ball down the line or even hitting home runs when the team needed it, leading to a future Hall-of-Fame career. The Rays fans respected it and showed it in that game.

Conversely, some opposing players elicit jeers instead of cheers wherever they go. James Harden, Roger Clemens, Colin Montgomery, Bryce Harper, and, hey, even Tom Brady either get or have gotten the “raspberries” from the fans. Once, when Colin Montgomery was teeing up his golf ball at the Players Championship in Ponte Verda, he accidentally had the ball fall off the tee before hitting it. “That’s one!” was shouted from the crowd, and the remaining gallery laughed until Monty finally hit and moved on. Perhaps not the respect desired from these guys, but genuine feelings nonetheless.

Which current opposing players, in any sport, would prompt you to stand up and show your appreciation?  Maybe Drew Brees who is the featured photo?

Better yet, who would you stand up and jeer?

Be safe, everyone!