First, let me start off by saying that I was just going to ignore this thunder stick topic completely. It was handled and done with and even after the loss, we had a great time with our crew of die hards. Once false info started spreading around, I wanted to at least try to put a few misconceptions to rest. We don't want to ever give ourselves or Mets fans in general a bad name. We have a great thing going here, and have visited parks all across the country without a hitch. Some that we haven't visited yet, have even contacted us to inquire about when we're finally going to visit them. We're not a troublemaking crew. We love baseball. We love fun. We love being united. From my first hand point of view, this is what went down on Saturday night at Turner Field. -Darren Meenan
"Turner Field security confiscated The 7 Line Army's thunder sticks!" - This never happened. We were unaware that thunder sticks were against their ballpark policy. They do not allow noise makers. I can take the blame for this one. I didn't read their ballpark restrictions list prior to planning this outing. Just because we've used them at all of our previous outings, it was foolish to just assume they'd be ok at Turner Field. The Mets don't mind them, and are even giving their own away to the whole ballpark on September 19th. Coincidence or not, we actually have an outing that day. Should be LOUD, and will be cool to have the whole place in on what we feel is a fun style of cheering. The Braves security was respectful. Nothing was confiscated. Nobody was ejected.
"Turner Field security said The 7 Line Army was too loud!"- This never happened either. Before our away games start I introduce myself to the security and ushers. I explain to them that if any problems happen to arise, to come talk to me first, and I'd try to handle it internally. Not trying to do their jobs, but coming from one of us involved, it may go over a little smoother. Up until this past Saturday night, I've never actually had to do anything, but I like to at least put the offer out there. NEVER did they say to me that we were too loud. One guard said to me "cheer, yell, wave your flag, do your thing, have fun… the sticks are just against our rules". The security just explained their policy, and I told them it was an honest mistake. It is never my intention to make anyones job harder. I personally went up to each of our 5 sections and explained the deal. Our fans stopped using them, and instead they started a "WE DON'T NEED THEM!" chant.
"The 7 Line Army complained after being told to not use their thunder sticks!" - As far as I'm concerned, this didn't happen either. We don't need the sticks to be loud. Sure, some fans may have been disappointed, but nobody to my knowledge complained about this. I certainly didn't. The ballpark has a policy, and the security was just doing their job. We complied and it was over.
"The 7 Line Army taunted the Braves fans with their own chop chant!"- Yes, this did happen. Going back and forth with the home fans is something we've been doing since our very first outing at Wrigley Field back in 2013. None of our chants were obscene, and we certainly didn't purposely try to ruin anyones fun time. Sure, some fans were irritated by our presence. That's expected when 750 fans of the opposing team invade your park. Our hope is that they get loud and cheer against us, as we cheer back against them. The funny part about most of these away outings is that when the home team scores a run, instead of cheering their team, they turn and mock us. After d'Arnaud's home run, we just gave them a little taste of their own chopping medicine. In this case dozens of Braves fans came up to us after the game to give us "props". The same fans who were mocking us an inning earlier. At the end of the game we all high fived each other. It's all in good fun.
SOME BRAVES FANS TWITTER FEEDBACK:
AND THIS ONE:
AND THIS WAS JUST FUNNY:
Bottom line, not everyone likes our style of fandom. Heck, some of our fellow Mets fans don't like it either. We've never claimed to be "the best fans", nor do we think we are. Are we the largest group of traveling baseball fans? Absolutely, but that in no way means we think we are "better" than the next guy. Everyone has their own way they like to express their love of their team. This is ours and we only represent ourselves and the thousands of fans who have at some point joined our "Army".
Some Mets fans would rather stay home and listen to the commentary of Gary, Keith, Ron, Josh and Howie. Some would rather go to a game while sitting quietly, and keep score. Some fans don't stand or cheer at all. Everyone is different, and that's fine. If you like our atmosphere, come to a game. We welcome everyone. If not, that's cool too. This is a judge free zone. Some don't like us, but we don't dislike you. Cheer, don't cheer… whatever.
We'd love if all baseball teams had a die hard group of fans who took their passion on the road. It would be great for baseball, and the atmosphere at the games would be intense. The SF Giants have a local NY group consisting of transplanted Californians. They travel by bus loads from Finnerty's in NYC to all the games at Citi Field when their team is in town. I think thats incredibly cool. Sure, it sucked that we were no hit a couple weeks ago at Citi Field, but I'm sure they had a great time. Baseball is entertainment and they're having a blast. As long as the visitors aren't looking for trouble while cheering on their guys, ya really can't knock that.
If you're a fan of another ball team and you're reading this. Go out and start a supporters group. It's a ton of work to pull off an outing, but if you keep it fun, the fans will keep joining you. Let us know when you're coming to NY. We'll have a beer together before the game in McFadden's.
From reading the comments on our Facebook page post, our crew had an amazing time.
This is just a very small sample of the great feedback: