Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Goat Riders of the Debateacolypse, Round 5


Kurt: Welcome to another round of the Goat Riders of the Debateacolypse. Joining me today is Goat Writer Kyle, who in his spare time is best known getting drunk and falling off cinder blocks. How he got that reputation is beyond me, but he is a graduate student at the University of Illinois, and I hear that members of his university once drank beer from a cadaver skull.

Today's topic is one that is near and dear to my enlarged heart. As I have been criticizing Cub fandom as of late, mostly because we treat a pennant race the way a teenage boy would treat his quest to end his virginity,* I thought I'd take a consilatory step toward making things better with Cub Fan Nation. That's right, we're going to talk about fandom today, and more directly, a certain type of fan behavior: Cubs fans who paint their bodies and parade around at games.

(*We are prone to flail about helplessly in a sheer panic, mostly because we've never been there before and we just don't now what to do)


Image to be replaced upon finding a more suitable example

Fine, so some fans are so crazy for their team that they choose to demonstrate their passion and insanity by stripping half naked and going to games painted Cubbie red, white, and blue. What's so bad about that? We're fans, dammit! We spend thousands of dollars and thousands of hours every single year being fans. If we can't express ourselves by modestly slabbing on a 10 pound tube of body paint with our team's logo prominently rubbed into our chest, then what's the point of being a fan?

Besides, Kyle, I ask you this: have you considered that on days in early April, maybe that extra layer of paint helps keep our bodies warmed up a little? More to the point, have you considered that on those days, maybe we're just shirtless and cold to the point where our arms have turned blue? Who can be opposed to that?

Kyle: There is a clear hierarchical structure to the annoying Cubs fan habitat. It goes as such (and no you cannot disagree with me on the order…because if you do then I will chant “USA! USA!” in your face until you stop):

1. Girls (and some guys...but mostly girls) who won't get off their cell phones
2. Shirtless, painted fans
3. Idiots who wear "Horry Kow" shirts
4. People who taunt umpires and call each of them "Blue"
5. People who like the Cubs only because they love Wrigley

You see that Kurt? You and you shirtless friends are just barely better than the cell phone gangs that raid Wrigley on a daily basis. Not only do I not want your nipples and/or chest hair anywhere near my bodily openings, I don't want you to think that having paint on your body means that you have the right to stand up all game and yell like a moron.

Having a painted body doesn't make you anymore of a fan than they guy sitting quietly filling out his scorecard. I know you love the Cubs and I know you want them to win, but have a little respect for the people around you. It’s called decency and hygiene.

Buying a ticket gives the fan a right to the seat they purchased and the entertainment provided by the game, but it doesn’t allow you to make an ass out of yourself and thus disturb the others around you.

Besides it looks stupid anyways. By the end of the day, most of the paint is covered in so much beer and/or sweat that your body looks like a Salvador Dali painting.

Not to mention someone always gets stuck being the “!” and then you look like an outcast who your friends never planned on bringing to the game anyway.

Go back to college football if you want to take off your shirt. Maybe afterwards you can go to the Delta house and hit up the beer bong.

Kurt: You assume I have chest hair! For that reason, you fail!

Hey, when I buy a ticket to a seat at Wrigley Field, I buy that space for a day. As long as I'm not rubbing my blue-and-red painted manboobs in your face while screaming beligerently, I shouldn't be a distraction to you. More to the point, the action's on the green, my friend. Consider the first rule of going to a baseball game:

1. Load up on beer before the 7th, because they'll cut you off

No, sorry, I meant this first rule:

1. Always keep your eye on the ball

If you're watching the action, you don't need to worry about whether or not I'm dying of hypothermia, right up until the point where I go into convulsions and have a seizure on your lap. Besides, I'm not out there for you, sir. I'm there for the team. I'm done up like a blue Cubbie bear (with painted-on-whiskers and all) in order to attract the attention of the players. They are the ones who I want to see me. Them, and maybe the odd chick who will be impressed by both my bravery and my physique. (She would have to be very drunk.)

I think that people who have issues with body paint are short-sighted, and suffer from questions about their own sexuality and, even more important, their fandomality.

Kyle: It’s hard to pay attention to the action on the field when you’re stomach is flailing around like some sort of Cubbie-blue amoeba every time Carlos Zambrano throws a strike. How am I, or any person for that matter, supposed to concentrate under those conditions. Maybe I should come your place of work half naked with a big “K” painted on my chest and yell, “Yeah Kurt! You do whatever it is you do!” Woo! I need beer! Beer me!” Do you or your coworkers think they can handle that? Do you think they could concentrate on the real reason they are working with a rambling drunk idiot in their face?

Let’s not forget about the players either. You might distract an opposing team member, but if Aramis is at the dish trying to get a clutch hit, the last thing I want him to see is your man boobs flapping around. You might take your shirt off to support the team, but I support them by leaving it on.

As for your ticket-seat theory, sure you have the rights to your “space”, but that doesn’t give you permission to attack the airspace above everyone else’s heads. You see, your seat is like your home. You can do whatever you want there and I won’t judge you, but the second you impose your insane glue-sniffing habits…which some call “fandomality”…upon everyone else then you open yourself up for a world or ridicule, trash being thrown at you and eventual deportation to Guantanamo Bay.

Kurt: Here's the thing - what you seem to have issue with is whether or not fans act responsibly. I can go to the game, my body coated in paint, and act with gentle encouragement whenever a Cub steps to the plate or the mound. Oh no, sir, my time to shine is in the moments when the Cubs need me, like when Carlos Lee is standing at the on-deck circle. It is then, between pitches, that I stand up and gyrate suggestively while loudly yelling "hey Carlos, whaddya think about this!!" And then, at that moment, as Carlos Lee stares at me with his mouth agape, that's when the foul ball would collide with his hand and break a small bone, incapacitating him for the remainder of the season.

It's all about acting responsibly, and freedom. Sweet, precious, American freedom. What are you, a Communist? A Red? If you're a Red and are over the age of 30, then Dusty Baker may have a place for your grit and inclination to play baseball the right way, but I'll take a pass on your brand of insanity. Oh no, thanks anyway mister.

Besides, Kyle. If you're opposed to body paint, then that means you're opposed to this:

Body Painted

Game, set, and match. But thanks for playing.

Kyle: If someone actually "wore" that to a Cubs game, then it would be 40,000 fans and a bunch of players watching one person. I hardly call that baseball...but me likey.

And even though the above photo is one example of the beauties of body paint, for every super model you show me painted naked with a Cubs logo, I'll show you five fat polish guys with their last name ending with "ski" that have a big red "C" slobbered all over themselves. If you're going to open up the door for one beauty, then you are going to open it up for hundreds of beats.

Regardless, Kurt, you have never worn body paint to a game and probably never will. Your lack of experience in this field makes you unqualified to speak on behalf of shirtless, painted people everywhere. As far as I'm concerned, you're really just one of us.

I call for your resignation and an end to your anti-shirt, pro-paint agenda...or we can just agree that only smoking hotties should wear body paint and leave it at that.

Kurt: Shh!  I'm arguing a contradictory point, here!  You're not supposed to point out reality to people!

Although, just for spite, I may have to slap on some paint and go to a Jay's game sometime soon.  Granted, my fiancee will leave me and I will live a life of shame, but it's all I'd deserve for putting people through the humiliation of watching me wear body paint to a sporting event. 

Ahem.  And, with that, we conclude another Debateacolypse.  In my defense, I crunched some math and I have a phenomenal amount of caffeine flowing through my body right now.  In Kyle's defense, he makes a lot of good points.  But we'll let you be the final judge.  Body paint: for hot models only, or for fat polish guys, too? 

Chicago Tribune's Chicago's Best Blogs award