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Sep 15, 2008

Beitar Jerusalem and the Chicago Cubs

These are the types of people Tzippi Livni's top aide called "Tchach-tchachim" the other day.

They were on my train home last night from Tel Aviv. I always get to know when there is a Beitar Yerushalayim football (soccer) game, because their fans come from all over the country. They pile into the trains and buses by the hundreds and make their aliya la'regel to Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium for the game. They sing the team songs, they cheer and scream, they taunt people, and this is all before the train has even left the first station!

I had the pleasure of sitting on the train last night with my friend Shlomo. Us both being from Chicago, and being Cubs fans, it led to a humurous conversation about the Beitar fans.

We came to the conclusion that Beitar fans are similar to Cubs fans. The Cubs are unusual in the sense that they attract fans from all over the United States, especially from states that do not field their own team. Beitar jerusalem also has a tremendous fan base all over Israel, and not just limited to Jerusalem, the teams home city.

While studies have been conducted to determine why the Cubs have such appeal, I am not aware of any such studies into the makeup of the Beitar fan.

(Maybe Shlomo will comment and remind me of some of the other comparisons we came up with during our ride that are eluding me right now)

It seems though that the Cubs did much better yesterday than Beitar did. While the Cubs won their game 5-0 on the back of a Big Z no-no, Beitar played to a score of a no-no closing with a tie at 0-0.
Such a low scoring game in baseball would be sold off as a great pitching duel and still be exciting to watch. The Beitar game is being sold off as lackluster, mediocre and a disappointment.


  1. For us chutznikim can you describe what it's like sitting with these people. Are they abusive, rowdy, threatening or drunk? In the country I live, I would have feared for my safety. I assume it's not like that in Israel. Another reason to make aliya? ;-)

  2. they were not threatening, abusive or drunk. they were a bit rowdy, and on the kind of high and aggressiveness you get when you are in a group of buddies out to have a good time.

    They were nto making trouble, but they were a distrubance. Mostly singing and cheering. Sometimes you can see some of them joining in the minyan on the train. Many, if not all, come from traditional families. They are almost all sfardi (not all the fans, but all the ones that travel in these groups).

    Each individually is probably a good kid. In a group they can be intimidating. nothing to be afraid of though., This should not stop you from making aliya. Just some innocent (doubtful) kids going to watch a football (soccer) match and have a good time

  3. You misunderstood me. I meant the fact that you were not scared for your life, as you would have been where I live, THAT is another reason to make aliya ;)

  4. Unlike the Cubs, Beitar occasionally win something.

  5. but like the cubs, it is pretty rare (though they have won more recently than the cubs)...

    but this is the Cubs year!

  6. I believe Beitar fans are also notorious for jeering during moments of silence for Yitzchak Rabin, calling black players "monkeys", etc.

    Do Cubs fans do all that too? :)

  7. wow, i'm honored to be mentioned in this post. it must have been the affects of the RH l'chaim we had at work, but i was almost getting as rowdy as the beitar fans (though all i wanted to do was sleep).

    the best idea we came up with to get some peace and quiet was to have a conductor announce on the ramkol that, due to hurricane ike, the beitar game has been moved to a "neutral location", please exit at the Lod Station for your trip to Milwaukee.

    one more reference, when both teams stink, they still sell out. very dedicated fans.

  8. hubs - I did not want to mention anything about how drunk you were. people would have thought you are a bleacher bum!

  9. "but like the cubs, it is pretty rare (though they have won more recently than the cubs)..."

    I think Prussia won a war more recently than the Cubs won a World Series.


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