November 19, 2000
I have to admit, I am not a big fan of the wave. I remember the first time I was at a game when the fans did the wave. It was in 1980 in Seattle Washington. I was at a North American Soccer League game watching the Seattle Sounders play. It was the first professional soccer game I had ever seen. I was amazed that so many people would go to a game where there was relatively little scoring. About midway through the first half, the fans began to wave their arms. I looked around at my fellow spectators not really grasping what was going on. This phenomenon continued in other sports as well. I remember seeing the wave rear its ugly head during BYU football games accompanied by the BYU band playing the theme song to The Empire Strikes Back. In baseball, I have seen my share of waves at Bank One Ballpark. I have come to the conclusion that fans just don’t get it. I can remember countless times when the fans have attempted to do the wave while the Diamondbacks are up to bat. That is a definite faux pas. You never disrupt the home team with the wave. I learned in my life that there are other times that you do not do the wave. For example, at the dinner table in our house, it is inappropriate to begin the wave after blessing the food. Attempting this will cause bodily injury specifically a sore neck after sleeping on the couch for a few nights. Secondly, during church. Regardless of how this act of enthusiasm may invigorate the speaker, doing the wave in the back of the chapel is looked upon in horror will again result in a few nights sleeping on the couch. Hospital waiting rooms are another area where the wave is not welcome. It seems people with loved ones in surgery are not interested in standing up and waving their arms with complete strangers. Finally, there are funerals. I have yet to find an appropriate time to institute the wave at a funeral. During the eulogy would have seemed the right moment but I could not get anyone involved. Neither would they participate during the viewing of the body before the funeral nor at the dedication of the grave. Perhaps the wave is best left to cremations. I’m not sure, I have never attended one of those. So as you can see, there is a definite etiquette as to when one should participate in the wave. I for one plan to continue to define wave boundaries.