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Mr. Rush, like many of us, watched as the traveling Dodgers fan group, Pantone 294, unfurled their trademark giant “LA” flag in Anaheim’s outfield bleachers during last night’s contest between the Dodgers and Angels. However, Trent, unlike many who are familiar with the Dodgers, ESPN, or other national sports affiliates, had no idea who Pantone 294 is, or that they are a fun-loving bunch of loyal and loud, yet peaceful, fans of the boys in blue.
Pantone 294 has been around for a few years, and recently their visibility has grown through local and national stories covering their spirited “takeovers” of opposing team’s stadiums, including San Francisco, Chicago and New York’s storied Yankee Stadium. How Rush, as a media professional specializing in baseball, missed the coverage surprises me. But what really registered on my sports Richter scale was his over the top reaction to Pantone 294’s presence and his resulting tweet.
I can’t show you the original, because it’s no longer on Rush’s Twitter timeline. I suppose he deleted it. Here’s what he had to say:
This is what Angels fans are fired up about. As they should!! This is outrageous! Angels fans DO NOT ENGAGE. Let them be classless. Be smart. – Trent Rush via Twitter
Fans were cheering for their team to get a hit and win the game, and good ol’ Trent had the audacity to call them “outrageous” and “classless”.
Needless to say, Rush’s Twitter feed was immediately bombarded with folks responding to his panic. Some replies were angry, others sarcastic, and more than a few used their time and limited Twitter characters to educate him on just who and what Pantone is.
That’s actually the traveling Dodger fan group Pantone 294. Good people and a great fan group. Should be lauded for bringing fans
— Chris Hargraves (@coffeeblack44) June 29, 2017
After what must have seemed like thousands of similar Tweets, Rush calmed down, took a step back, and tweeted this in a reply to a Tweet from Pantone 294:
Hadn’t heard of you guys before tonight. Have learned a little bit about you. Now that I know what you are all about all respect. https://t.co/OT8xnW1XZn
— Trent Rush (@TrentRushSports) June 29, 2017
I’m glad that Mr. Rush was able to eventually ease off the fire alarm, but my question is, why would that be the first reaction from a professional team representative? Did the fans in blue really look like threatening, potentially violent, soccer hooligans? Did he see scuffles and shoving matches breaking out?
I doubt Rush was anywhere near the group. All he could see was a large blue flag and all he could hear were loud cheers. Ten seconds with a pair of binoculars would have confirmed what many already knew. It was a boisterous bunch cheering for their team. Rush would have benefited from a bit more observation and a lot less frantic thumb-typing.
Last night’s attendance (44,669) in Anaheim was the second-largest since 1998. The Angels are averaging 36,661 customers per game this season. Pantone 294 and plenty of other Dodger fans sprinkled throughout the stadium helped pad the Angel’s nightly attendance by just over 8,000. That’s a lot of extra peanuts and hot dogs ringing up on Anaheim’s cash registers.
I wonder if Mr. Rush will take a second to tweet a “thank you” to the Dodgers fans who filled those seats and helped set that record – peacefully.