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Louis, where Kyle Hendricks had a no-hitter going, and we all wanted one another to know that we knew what was happening. None of us, however, wanted to jinx the game. If there were any doubt about our motives, the string of curses that came across my phone when Hendricks gave up a home run in the 9th dispelled it.

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This is a manifestation of community. The people I was texting with were people I would have been sitting with in the bleachers of Wrigley Field had the Cubs been home. On a night when it looked like there would be a little Cubs history made, we reached out to each other from our living rooms to virtually recreate our center field crew.


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On facebook, a few minutes after the home run, dozens of other ballpark friends began posting, making visible both their previous superstitious silence and their connection to one another. I have written elsewhere about the bleacher regulars of Wrigley Field and their strongly felt community Swyers In , as the Cubs put together a dominant season, I am not surprised that people keep asking me about how the community is reacting. This surprising response from the regulars offers an opportunity to examine how community builds on superstition and ritual and suggests ways of teaching undergraduates new ways of engaging with difference.

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Community is one of those words that students use unproblematically and seems to defy definition in formal terms. Clearly the idea of a community has emotional weight, and one way to help students get toward a more analytical approach to community is to open a discussion about the things that produce emotional connection in community. The classic angle, and one I have used myself, is to turn toward Durkheim and collective effervescence. The problem with such effervescence is that while it is easy for students to identify moments when they felt swept away by a crowd, it is a leap from the excitement of a music festival or a sporting event to the idea that lasting ties are created by that energy.

He ties his stories to the theories of magic and religion developed by Bronislaw Malinowski in the s during his fieldwork among the Trobriand Islanders. In other words, for the Trobrianders, magic was about controlling luck, or weather, or any other part of making a livelihood was outside of their control as good gardeners, navigators, and fisherfolk. Students understand this easily. Ask them about their rituals on test days, or on their own sports teams, or witness their own self-imposed seating patterns in any given classroom.

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To grasp this we need to look back to the bleacher regulars, their non-discussion of the no-hitter, and their ongoing caution in talking about the postseason. If they want the Cubs to win, they need to come up with their own rituals to try to influence what is happening on the field.

The long-held superstition in baseball that mentioning a no-hitter in progress will immediately result in the opposing team getting a hit is a good example.


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This is not something that is discussed or planned; it just happens. As superstitions and rituals go, though, the way regulars behave around no-hitters is pretty transparent to baseball fans. Any semi-serious fan of any baseball team could figure out what was going on and participate if they chose. It is the smaller, highly localized rituals that separate communities from one another. The message was a reference to the playoffs, where the Cubs were five outs away from the World Series in a game against the Marlins.

The very local ritual produced the excuse to start a conversation that by superstition could not have started otherwise, even if the resulting conversation had to be about anything other than the game in progress.

Wrigley Regulars: Finding Community in the Bleachers

Once again, everyone involved understood this without anything being said about it. It is in what was not said that we see the community. The shared history, experience, and values of the centerfield regulars meant that they could share a moment that only people who were part of the community could really understand. So it is with the Cubs season.

Bleacher | definition of bleacher by Medical dictionary

For those with longer tenure in the community, still tastes bitter — it is possible to get so close, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. For a regular, who should know better, to do so would invite disaster. References in periodicals archive?


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Bleacher Report was launched in in San Francisco. When he recognized the bleachers , which had been cut up, he checked out the vehicle they were driving and found it matched information Spencer police had provided. Swyers, an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Lake Forest College, suggests that the longtime fans in the centerfield bleachers at Wrigley Field are not a random group, but a structured community. Wrigley Regulars: Finding Community in the Bleachers. The skin bleacher is seen as having an artificial and not a natural skin.

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Shona proverbial implications on skin bleaching: some philosophical insights. Mr Bleacher has staged 'ice-cream wrestling' for stag and hen parties in that dying resort and would no doubt like to bring that to Southport. Swingers are a show too far for Southport. Of the number injured in bleacher accidents each year, 11, are hurt by falls through those floorboard gaps, and 82 percent of those injured are under age

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