It is always fun to visit other stadiums and see how visitors are treated. The Seattle Mariners are not exactly a franchise that inspires disdain and loathing around the league, but divisional rivalries can always lead to a certain amount of conflict.
Wardrobe is always an interesting decision-making process. There are certain stadiums where putting on a rival jersey is tantamount to writing “Do what you will” across your chest. Going to an Oakland Raiders game in a Kansas City Chiefs or San Diego Chargers jersey comes to mind.
In theory, a fan should be able to visit any stadium and feel safe in their team colors, but sadly we live in a world where people take sports a little too seriously. With that in mind, I entered Angel Stadium wearing Mariners gear.
For those of you who are hoping for a dramatic story of conflict, I hate to disappoint you. Why?
I was ignored.
Frankly, that was just fine. I wore Mariners gear to support the team, not to get into an argument with other fans. That is what fans should be able to do when they visit opposing stadiums, assuming they behave themselves.
For the most part, I expected this. There is great fan loyalty in Orange County, as people there love their Angels. Despite the loyalty, they are fairly relaxed when it comes to being sports fans. Angel fans don’t spend a lot of energy getting into it with opposing teams. Besides, Southern California is filled with transplants from other parts of the country.
Had I looked hard enough, I probably could have found some knuckleheads in the stadium, but I just wanted to enjoy the game. Unfortunately, Fernando Rodney blew the save and the Mariners lost a winnable game. Life goes on.
So, if you are a Mariners fan and want to visit Angels Stadium, go ahead. Just be nice, behave yourself and respect the hometown fans. Safety is never guaranteed in a “hostile” stadium, but Angel Stadium is a fairly friendly place to go.