The New York Times is running an article on Japanese baseball fans entitled "Japanese Baseball: Root, Root, Root and Buy Me Some Eel."
It's well worth a read, especially for those that are interested in the "Japanese version" of the game. But for those that might need a little more incentive to click in, here's a short passage that might pique your interest:
As soon as the game began, so did the coordinated cheering. Led by cheer captains in the outfield bleachers, the batting teamÂ’s fans chanted, sang and rhythmically banged plastic bats for every pitch to every batter. Their deafening, synchronized roar dominated the dome. Each hit ignited a burst of still louder cheers and frantic towel waving.
"It's a manifestation of perfectionism," said Robert Whiting, the author of several books on Japanese culture and baseball. "If you are going to be a fan, then you have to go all the way."
Yet the fans of the team in the field maintained a respectful hush, interrupted only by an exuberant wave of applause after each out. Questionable calls were never booed. No jeers rang out when an error was made. These fans radiated only love for their teams.
Incidentally, what's with the sudden spate of articles on Japanese baseball? Not that there's anything wrong with that...