Fall. It’s the best of the four seasons we get to experience in our wonderful city. The ability to wear hoodies and pants comfortably, football season kicking off, and the occasional few weeks of playoff baseball help bring the city alive.
But for the people who aren’t baseball crazy or are not from the city, going to a playoff game or even a watch party of Jays fans can be overwhelming. So this post is written to provide some insight into what your about to encounter in October.
The Original Fans
The Original Fans, are men or women who are about 50 or older. They are straight up just a delight to be around. The Original Fans tend to be usually be very polite and sweet to you in either a stadium or watch party setting. They often will provide some quick stories or history behind the team since they have seen it from its inception. Quietly they are super excited that people younger than them share a common interest with them, and are often quick to seize on this. Listening to the days of the outdoor exhibition stadium or hearing about the roar of the crowd in 1992 usually provide either a soothing or calming feeling to the simpler Toronto times. If the stories don’t bring enough of a sense of nostalgia, clothing always does. These veteran fans always have the trendiest of Jays gear. Which somehow still looks brand new even though they have been through the battlefields of washing machines and countless games. They also provide all the fashionistas, and hipsters, with lessons on how to properly rock these vintage threads.
However, there are still some things you must be aware of when being around the Original Fans. The first being, NEVER PULL OUT OR LOOK AT YOUR PHONE. The Original Fans absolutely hate and despise today’s generations constantly looking or experiencing everything through their phones. They will bring this to your attention often and early. It will be done in either a sweet backhand compliment, or in a straight up old-fashioned blunt way. As stated above, the stories the Original Fans provide can be wonderful. However, it must be a line you carefully tread. The reason being, these stories soon can turn into innings and innings about their own children and their own life stories where you have to seem interested in. This results in missing a lot of the game itself, or even just missing out on the ups and downs of playoff baseball while your hearing about how their grandchild is going to be a journalist after shes done at Western.
The Hipster is a staple at Jays games, and game-day bars. The Hipster is a good baseball fan who actually enjoys the game, and wants everyone in their vicinity to have a great time. The Hipster is easy to identify by his beard, skinny jeans and of course vintage Blue Jays threads from Queen St or Leslieville. In recent seasons, The Hipster has started to move away from the “vintage” look, and now has actually taken the step of purchasing a current replica or authentic Jays uniform. No need to fear not identifying The Hipster. They still make it rather obvious in public with these new jersey’s, because they only attach themselves to R.A. Dickey, Josh Donaldson, or Russel Martin.
Although The Hipster’s intentions are good and well-mannered, they tend to scare people off with their certain mannerisms. The first being that they discovered the Blue Jays in a town that they deem “obsessed” with hockey. They will constantly bring this up as they engage in twitter fights with local fans and bloggers during the game. If they don’t have tickets to the game, The Hipster will head to the bar. But it won’t be a sports bar since it is deemed “too corporate”, and it won’t be the local bar either since it’s “too local”. Instead the hipster will bring you to a random spot somewhere either on Ossington or Parkdale which is named after an old battleship or poet, with half of the bar becoming a disco midway throughout the 7th inning. Don’t expect to know or understand the beer selection where The Hipster takes you. The reason being it will be exclusively craft and local beers. These beers of course you will have never heard of, and most likely taste as if they were left out in the sun for a week before being brought in. In this situation it is best to go with the liqueurs and mixed drinks since you know what you’re getting. On a positive note, the bar will probably put these drinks into unique glass that is aesthetically pleasing.
The Calculator is easy to understand and somewhat despise. The Calculator is a simple fan, he is straight up just a numbers guy. There is an aura of negativity around these fans, since they are usually tweeting and arguing about the validity of numbers in every single aspect of the game at any beat writer or blogger they can find. These fans constantly will question and scream about any decision John Gibbons makes citing the numbers over gut, strategy, or just so they can hear themselves talk. Do not engage in questioning The Calculator, because soon you’ll have a smart phone or laptop right in your grill with him screaming about the WAR or xFIP.
I am going to try and be as clear as possible when writing this. STAY AWAY FROM THE PURISTS.
The Purists are the worst of the Blue Jay fans you encounter, just because they are impossible to please. These are baseball fans who take pride in “sticking with the team during the down years”. Yet during those same down years, they bitched and moaned that people weren’t coming to the games. But then when the team started to make a run, they bitched and moaned about the bandwagoners. You can’t EVER please these guys. They also have an unsual amount of hate for the wave. Almost as if the wave was a father who went for a pack a cigarettes when they were an infant and never came back. The Purists are easy to identify online too. Usually with “Jaysfan” in their twitter handle, or with the public shaming they do at games towards the wave as mentioned above. “SIT DOWN THIS IS AN IMPORTANT AT BAT!” is a staple of the Purist. The purist will ignore that the higher attendance numbers that bandwagons bring directly results in a more healthy revenue stream for the club. This is because they feel that the Rogers Centre is an extension of their own home and it’s for the “true fans”. Again, simply put. There is no pleasing these attention craving lunatics.
The FAN590 Caller
This guy right here is something else. These fans are so easy to spot, they stick out like a sore thumb. The 590er is incredibly emotionally invested in this team. Throughout his workday whether it be in office cube or out on the job site, the 590er is blasting sports radio. Every hot-take that comes out of those speakers creates an instant reaction to this fan. In simple terms its like vinegar and baking soda. This type of reaction doesn’t just adhere to the workday, it continues well after it an during the game. Throughout the game they will pace, jump, stand, profusely sweat, and curse like a sailor, at every call or event that doesn’t go their way. They live and die by one simple rule.
NEVER TURN ON THE JAYS
No form of objectivity or criticism can be heard or explained to the 590er. He will sit on hold all day to get 30 seconds of on air radio time to attack and defend the Jays from any and all type of media. They believe in every Anti-Canadian conspiracy theory pertaining to the MLB, with someone like Andrew Stoeten acting as their own Alex Jones. Do not troll these fans. Because if you even create some form of wit in a joke against their beloved Jays, they will take it as a personal slight to their grave. Catholics have the Pope as their leader, the 590ers hang on to every word that Greg Zaun provides them nightly.
The Bro Jay
The Bro Jay is the most common fan you’ll see on this list. The Bro Jay is exclusively a bandwagon fan who commands his presence at every game or watch party. Big fans of Marcus Stroman or Aaron Sanchez (especially their instagram pages). The Bro Jay probably lives around the Rogers Centre, most likely City Place. Usually works in the financial field where he believes his suit job has some sort clout within the downtown core. But the Bro Jay can also be from the 905 and 519 regions, flying in on the GO Trains preparing themselves for battle by downing Coors Light and Belmonts.
The Bro Jay will usually wear a jersey, backwards cap, sunglasses inside, and be loud and obnoxious to assert his fandom and dominance over anyone in his section. No language is off-limits, no hand gestures are either. The more crass it is, the funnier it is to the Bro Jay. Context never matters either. Fueled by booze and Pizza Nova, the Bro Jay will become louder and angrier as each inning progresses looking for anyone wearing either Boston or New York gear. Once finding his target the Bro Jay will use his Canadian inferiority complex to make sure that his section know that these people are traitors. It does not matter if these include women or children, they are traitors to the Bro Jay. And they must be dealt with.
The Bro Jay however is not like the 590er, he will turn on his team. The past home openers and playoff games have seen what happens when the Bro Jay decides to show his displeasure. At a certain point during each of these games, booing is not enough. The Bro Jay somehow morphs or transforms into a Canadian version of a Philly fan and begins to throw and litter the field with anything they can find. It takes a good 20 minute game delay and a suddenly attentive police presence to calm the Bro Jays down, and get back to playing the game. The best advice for casual fans and non fans who encounter the Bro Jay, is just simply pretend he does not exist. For years this has been the staple and easiest way to deal with these creatures.
The Pilot Fish
The Pilot Fish are the most elusive of Jays fans. If you pay attention you can spot these type of fans, but you have to look very very hard. They are usually “friends of friends” who somehow score tickets in a suite or group box. Devouring everything free. It doesn’t matter if its booze, food, or merch. The Pilot Fish tend to document everything on social media before ghosting out into the downtown core faster than the traffic beaters.
So there you have it. A comprehensive guide and summary of what to expect and encounter this October when playoff fever takes over the city.