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The 'fans cheering for food' thing has gone too far

Feb 10, 2010, 8:47 PM EDT

This must stop. Somewhere, we must draw the line on providing food rewards for team performance that warp decent fan behavior. The tacos at Staples are the most egregious example, as the die-hard fans since 2008 who showed up in the late 2nd start chanting for tacos while gathering their things with time left. It’s spread to other arenas, including Toronto. And while the event should be fun for everyone, it may have spread too far. To the D-League. From the Des Moines Register:

The Iowa Energy were playing for something more than wins or NBA callups in the final  minutes of Saturday’s 102-78 victory over Erie.

The announced crowd of 8,368 at Wells Fargo Arena stood with one purpose: hamburgers.

Energy guard Mark Tyndale went to the free-throw line for two shots. The scoreboard read 98-76 with 5.1 seconds remaining. The crowd noise? You’d have thought you were at today’s football game in Miami.
Burger King offered fans free Whopper vouchers if the NBA Development League home team scored 100 points, the first time the fast-food chain had sponsored such a contest for the Energy.

Tyndale wound up clanging the free throws, and in the midst of a blowout, you know what the fans did? They booed! And there was no sarcasm in it! (There was totally a lot of sarcasm.) Fans are not taking these games seriously enough (It was a regular season D-League game in Des Moines)! Something must be done! (Nothing must be done.)

It’s just bizarre that there’s become this factor that fans seem to care about more than the result of the game. It certainly doesn’t help that perception that the league’s regular season games are meaningless.

Plus, they’re not very good tacos.

  1. jay - Feb 11, 2010 at 12:27 AM

    Are these stories real?! No way, this is right out of Semi-pro, “Corn dog, Corn dogs, Corn dogs!”.

  2. Bizzle - Feb 11, 2010 at 2:40 AM

    Good luck with that, Matt.
    This is never going to change because there’s money involved. The fans don’t just come up with these chants out of nowhere, they get flashed on the jumbotron and are on the screens throughout the arena. Fast-food chains sponsor it for a reason.
    You’ll have better luck changing the BCS

  3. dkatz - Feb 11, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    i loveee the free tacos at staples center. it just gives the fans something extra to cheer for when the game is out of reach

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