Brohio bros vs. sassy stormtroopers vs. miniature mascot clones: How do Rays and Indians fans match up?
After the Reds and Pirates duked it out in the NL Wild Card Game on Tuesday, it's the AL's turn on Wednesday, as the Rays and Indians meet for the right to play in the ALDS. Once again, we'll leave the analysis of the two squads' baseball merits to others and focus on what we've seen from their fanbases this year.
Round 1: Fan signs
Referring to the advanced metric developed by noted analytical mind Ken Harrelson, TWTW, these Rays fans slyly imply that The Will To Win is trumped by The Wil (Myers) To Win. Meanwhile, Indians bros, inspired by Brohio's bro-in-chief Nick Swisher, exude broness in sign form.
The Brohio trend has been hilarious, but limited to only a few jokes -- the TWTW sign took more ingenuity.
Round 2: Jerseys
If you miss the (Devil) Rays' purple-and-black days, you'll like this shirsey of Wade Boggs, whose number is the only one Tampa Bay has yet retired. Not many teams can say one of the best jerseys you'll find at their park is that of a fictional player, but Rick Vaughn's No. 99 is an exception.
It's hard to argue with the sheer intimidation factor of the Wild Thing. Plus nothing says extreme like doing the 99 thing, and he was doing it long before Manny Ramirez. On film, anyway.
Round 3: Costumes
This one can be summed up in titles: "Sassy Rays Stormtrooper" vs. "Sad Indians Hot Dog."
There is artfulness in the hot dog -- note the plush of mascot Slider is hanging its head in the opposite direction from the child -- but Sassy Rays Stormtrooper is so delightfully random and self-assured.
Round 4: Weirdness
Wearing your team's jersey to the game? Cool! Painting your face with a sloppy baseball motif that looks just as much like an insane clown with face-length bloody gashes going through each eye? Cool I guess ... but extremely unsettling. Meanwhile, in Cleveland, Slider appears to have birthed three human-mascot hybrid beings.
I'm guessing the baseball-faced guy looked considerably less creepy after the photo was taken and he wasn't making that face. But I can't imagine a scenario where the ungodly Slider brood didn't look weird.
Round 5: Museums
Again, going macro: St. Petersburg is home to the Salvador Dali Museum, while Cleveland has the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
You know what they say: there's no accounting for taste. Plus, these two topics have largely overlapping fanbases. Dali actually painted a piece titled Rock 'n Roll, and also met with John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1969.