I received an e-mail the other day from my Season Ticket Representative announcing the unveiling of a text-messaging service that will allow fans in the stands to alert the Cubs' stadium personnel of inappropriate fan behavior. Below is the text of the e-mail:
"Today, with the assistance of Major League Baseball Advanced Media, the Cubs have unveiled a new Fan Behavior Text Message service to our season ticket holders. This service will allow you to directly text our Event Operations department when you witness a fan behavior incident while attending the game.
This system will provide instant two-way, text messaging communication between you and the event staff allowing for improved guest services. It allows you to alert us on all issues in the stands without you having to leave your seat to find an usher or security employee. It also will allow you to stay anonymous while reporting a problem in the stands without the fear of reprisal from the offender, in the case of an intoxicated or obnoxious fan.
To send a text message to us you will need to text “CUBS” & your Message & your Location to 78247.
CUBS FAN SMOKING IN AISLE 224 ROW 5
CUBS FAN USING INAPPRORIATE LANGUAGE IN AISLE 425 ROW 7
CUBS INAPPRORIATE BEHAVIOR BETWEEN FANS IN AISLE 112 ROW 8
Once we have received your message we will have a member of our event operations staff handle and respond to the incoming request. The staff member can send reply messages directly to your phone to help answer questions or obtain more information. If necessary the staff will be able to quickly dispatch safety/security, medical or event operations staff."
I can't tell you how many times I have seen a fight percolating near me where I've had to wonder where the hell security could possibly be.
I e-mailed my representative back and asked him if this service was restricted for use by season ticket holders (as the language in the e-mail suggests), but he assured me that the service is for all fans.
This is such a fantastic idea. Finally, fans can easily notify the Cubs when something is amiss without having to miss part of the game they paid a crapload of money to watch, and without fearing an ass-kicking for reporting the bad behavior of someone who can't watch a baseball game without a certain measure of civility.
On the flipside, I'm hoping that our more tight-assed fans aren't going to overuse this system to the point where the Cubs have too much trouble filtering out the real reports from the reports of people who want the sit-on-your-hands mentality of a mezzanine suite while only paying for Upper Deck Reserved seats.
Folks, please don't text the Cubs complaining that the guy next to you keeps shuffling past you to get more beer. If he's doing it courteously and without vomiting on your shoes, thats part of going to a game.
Don't text the Cubs to notify them that the kids in the Wood and DeRosa jerseys in front of you keep standing up whenever Carlos Zambrano gets two strikes on a batter. Yes, I agree that is annoying as hell to get up and down for every little thing that happens on the field, but unless they are standing up and yelling racial epithets at the umpire, you should probably let it go.
Other things that probably don't warrant a text to the Cubs:
- Peanut shells accidentally getting in your beer
- Old men behind you loudly discussing their health issues
- Frat boys wearing "Horry Cow" and "Shut up and drink your beer" t-shirts
- Someone in the condiment line putting ketchup on a hotdog
You get my point. We don't need a stadium full of people crying wolf so that when the inevitable drunken moron starts hurling f-bombs and beer at a family of four, the Cubs staff will actually respond quickly enough to prevent anything from getting violent.
The Cubs are trying to do their part. We need to do ours as fans.