Are Fans Better Behaved at Games Now Than They Used to Be?

Are Fans Better Behaved at Games Now Than They Used to Be? Red Sox fans are famous for traveling to road games.

The venue could be Camden Yards in Baltimore, Yankee Stadium in the Bronx or even a Midwest ballpark. No matter what, when the Sox are on the road, Red Sox Nation always comes along for the ride.

Last weekend at Fenway Park, Boston fans got a little taste of their own medicine, as droves of Philadelphia fans flooded the stadium for the three-game set between the Red Sox and Phillies.

It wouldn’t be farfetched to say that nearly half the crowd at each game was cheering for the road Phillies. Surprisingly, though, things did not get out of hand at Fenway.

Boston fans and Philadelphia fans are widely known as two of the most passionate, often overly rowdy fan bases in the country, but last weekend they coexisted as one pleasant group.

There were no major incidents, no brawls that found their way onto YouTube and no fans arrested for vomiting on children.

With all the animosity between Boston and Philadelphia sports lately (Bruins-Flyers), it’s a little surprising that there were no negative headlines about fan behavior.

Which begs the question: Do fans behave better or worse at games now?

Yes, there have been negative incidents at baseball games this year, including a toddler caught on camera drinking a beer in Philadelphia.

There also was a huge brawl on April 12 in the right-field stands during a Marlins-Dodgers game at Sun Life Stadium, where drunken fans were beating down on each other.

But 2010 has been somewhat tamer than years past.

Remember 2002, when Royals first base coach Tom Gamboa was attacked by a father and his teenage son for no apparent reason, other than the fact that both had reportedly drunk massive amounts of beer?

Then, there was the 1999 incident in Milwaukee, when a 23-year-old fan attacked Houston right fielder Bill Spiers, leaving Spiers with a bloody nose, a welt under his left eye and whiplash.

Or how about 1995 at Wrigley Field, when a fan jumped out of the stands to attack Cubs reliever Randy Myers, and Myers knocked the guy down with his forearm?

A few years later, Cubs fans and Dodgers players fought in the stands at Wrigley.

These days, fans — aside from a few unruly troublemakers — seem to be more civilized.

But is that really the case? Are fans behaving better this year than in recent memory? Have fans become  more respectful?

Share your thoughts below. The best comments will be read on NESN’s Red Sox GameDay Live or Red Sox Final.

June 12: How far can this Red Sox team go?

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