As we near the fourth anniversary (Saturday) of the marriage between the Rays and cowbells, somebody wrote a letter to the St. Pete Times complaining about the use of cowbells at the Trop. And now Tom Jones wonders if this is another reas0n people aren’t going to watch the Rays play…

This letter isn’t an isolated one and far from the only complaint we’ve heard about the cowbells. The tradition started when owner Stu Sternberg saw a Saturday Night Live clip about a rock band using “more cowbell” for one of their hits. The tradition took off during the Rays’ 2008 World Series run, but lately there has been a backlash … at least from some corners. Seeing as how area fans have found enough excuses to not attend Rays games, you would hate to think that some have found another reason not to go.

The cowbells are annoying. We all know this. But this is par for the course at sporting events nowadays. It is hard to find an arena or a stadium where they don’t have loud music or noise makers in the crowd or some dancing team during timeouts or an annoying monkey dancing on the scoreboard. But if this is why you are not attending games, then we are not sure live professional sporting events are for you in the first place.



  1. Joel says:

    If annoying sounds were a reason to avoid baseball, I'm pretty sure TV ratings for the games wouldn't be seeing a steep increase from last year. Cowbell would be a suitable - and equally insightful - substitute for Kevin Kennedy.

    • LOL @ Cowbell being suitable replacement for Kennedy. I just sat through the YES feed of the Yankees/Angels on MLB network. I literally wanted to barf listening to those guys drone on and on about how intimidating all the championship banners are to opposing players. Barf.

  2. Alex says:

    As much as I hate the cowbells and Kevin Kennedy it would never stop me from going to or watching a game.

  3. ali420 says:

    Sound like a Yankees fan got annoyed by the cowbells and decided to write a letter. God forbid we make the Trop a hostile environment for opposing fans. It's been three years the cowbells have been in use, I'd say most Rays fans are used to it by now. Definitely a Yankees fan who got an earful at the game. I say good riddance to you good sir.

    • CR90 says:


    • JoeA. says:

      Exactly what I thought. I guess we're supposed to be "nice" guests. Maybe we should chant "let' go Yankees" while we're at it.

    • Cowbell Kid says:

      Considering our fanbase was typically made up of only those old enough to drink ensure, wear depends and collect social security, I'd say the Rays front office has done a great job getting the younger demographic of Tampa Bay involved in Rays baseball. I love the gerital taking, knitting needle carrying "blue hairs" but they are never gonna stand up to all those Yankee/Pink Sawks that have been invading the Trop, treating it with blatent disrespect & disregard for anyone or anything but their greasy sausage & chowda eating selves!

      I have worked very hard to change thew mentality of Rays fans in rightfield...... "If you come to the Trop as a fan of the visiting team & the game, let's enjoy a baseball game together........BUT if you come to disrespect the Trop and get attention I have all the attention you can handle! And you don't want 100% of my attention"

  4. Joe D. says:

    Just another excuse, cannons at Raymond James aren't a problem but bells are... Two words, ear plugs, I've used them at concerts are where I do want to hear the sound, just not as loud, Garza uses them when in the playoffs.

  5. Sarah says:

    I'd tolerate an additional 10,000 cowbells if they'd turn down the between inning and between at-bat "music" and other sound effects. I used to go to games, as a young adult, to relax and enjoy the company of friends. Now I leave with a sore throat and a headache.

    Yeah, I still go, and I still enjoy it, but at some point baseball management (not just the Rays) seemed to decide that a boring old baseball game wasn't entertainment enough, and we needed additioinal stimulation in the form of loud music and sound effects. What's next, cheerleaders?

    • Sarah, I think they like to drum up the interest in between innings for the casual baseball fans sitting around. When I go to a game, I pretty much am stuck in my seat the entire game without moving.

      However, my wife and kids aren't the same. They get kinda bored because they're just not into baseball as much as I am. They like a good play, but for the rest of the 3 or so hours they're kinda of bored. The in-between innings antics help keep them a little interested for the full game.

  6. Ryan says:

    My favorite comment from the Times article is this one:

    "speaking as a rays employee i hate the bells as well walking around the stadium with all the fans makin all that damn noise makes me want to snap lol we dont need the bells so hopefully stu will get rid of the crap or maybe we can misplace them when they get delivered ha"

    and by "favorite" I really mean "shittiest." I wonder if this stooge is the same security guard that Prof caught rooting for the Yankees last year?

    • Sarah says:

      Yeah, I can relate to that Rays employee -- I teach kindergarten and it would be a great job if only there weren't so many damned 5 year olds around all the time.

  7. jdupree says:

    Personally the dead cow sounding horns annoy me 100 times more than the cowbells ever will.

  8. Ryan says:

    In case you have no idea what I was talking about, here is the link to the security guard story

  9. Dustin says:

    though i'd probably never ring one myself, i kinda like the cowbells. when the rays start drawing 25k fans-per-game, it'll get annoying, but in the meantime it's nice to have some real fan-generated noise in the trop. more cowbell, less pa system.

  10. I really dislike the Cowbells and will move anytime there are more than a couple in the vicinity of my seat. Having said that they have never kept me from going to a game, and I know they annoy the NY/BOS fans a hell of a lot more than me, so it is worth putting up with.

  11. CharlieRay says:

    If you want quiet go to the LIBRARY. This is our tradition and we love it. Yanks use vulgarity, BOS uses BULLY POWER, Atlanta uses the Chop and we use the Cow Bell. Take that away and we would have a morgue. To bad so sad for the few

  12. John Michael says:

    I like the cowbells. Each team has something unique they do at their games (Bernie Brewer on the slide, the big Mets apple, Sweet Caroline at Fenway), and I think the cowbell is growing as a tradition at the Trop. And the fact that it annoys the hell out of Red Sox and Yankee fans makes it that much better. I always bring my own cowbells to the game.

    As long as fans practice good "Cowbell Etiquette", I don't think it's a problem at all.

    • They should offer that class at the trop (re: cowbell etiquette). Too many times there are kids or even adults sitting behind me who hold it .2 inches from your head and shake it like they hate it. This on etiquette from a providence journal article
      'Before the game, there is an annoucement on the giant message board in right field concerning the proper times and uses of cow bells. Fans can shake the bells when there are two strikes on a Red Sox' (opponents) batter, to celebrate a Rays' hit or run or even when a favorite player is introduced to hit.'

      • CharlieRay says:

        Mabe they should outlaw the bleacher bums in Wrigley field from throwing all that C_ _P on the field and close the Bar

      • Mike says:

        You should sit in front of me. I have a big cow bell and a drum stick I beat it with. I sit in sec. 135, row Q. Come join me sometime....I do however beat it off to the side of the row since I sit in a aisle seat! That is cow bell etiquette. BRING ON THE NOISE....Go Rays!

  13. CharlieRay says:

    I forgot about the Indians with that ever so loud DRUM. It works for them and thats great. GO RAYS, ding, clang, gong. Music to my ears

  14. Joe D. says:

    Yeah, quit serving beer at games drunks annoy me, quit giving away kid toys on sundays, kids annoy me, quit having food and beverage venders, they block my view, i don't like standing up when people have to go to the bathroom either...

  15. McLovin says:

    I used to hand out unopened packages of disposable earplugs to the visibly annoyed, Rays fan or not, though I only brought a handful since I can't bring enough for a whole section, let alone a half full stadium. I say "used to" because too many people rejected the offer, which I never understood why, so I stopped worrying about it, but those people want everyone else to feel sorry for them when they write angry letters to newspapers?

    I guess I know who won't be watching the World Cup this year...

  16. ramedy says:

    Good call on the World Cup. I remember going to a Mutiny game once and sitting close to the contingent of Colombian fans rooting for Valderrama. It's amazing to me how those fans could maintain such a constant, steady beat and still pay attention to the play on the field. I can't imagine an entire stadium's worth of that noise, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't keep me from attending.

  17. Frank says:

    Noise is okay with me.

  18. Alex says:

    Now if only we could figure out how to get people to cheer for more than that stupid 9th inning comeback video

  19. Gus says:

    A stadium too noisy? File this under "problems you'd like to have".

    If it helps drown out the visiting Yankees/Sox fans, all the better.

  20. CR90 says:

    This excuse is a cop out. Bring the more noise. The more the better to intimidate the unintimidatable (the Yankees/Sox fans). GO RAYS!

  21. CharlieRay says:

    Thank God the real Rays have showed up. Let there be NOISE & COW BELLS and on the 3rd day let there be a BROOM

  22. I remember going to the Phillies Spring Training game against the Rays on March 3rd and a guy asked me to not talk between innings.
    Always thought baseball brought out emotion and competitive fires, and an older gentleman started his speech with "In my Days......" I thought he was ESPN Commentator Joe Morgan.
    Seriously, if anyone remembers the Trop in 2001-2006, some night when the Orioles or Royals came to play you could yell "Bless You" if someone in the Upper Deck had a cold.
    Those days are gone, and hopefully that Rays employee will get sent back to Rays University (The Rays Fan Host schooling) to get some remedial work and learn to support the Home Team no matter what!

  23. Brendan says:

    9129 at Camden last night. Was there a bridge out? Maybe they need a new stadium. Look out Carolina Orioles! or Maybe the Las Vegas Birds.

    • Don says:

      Not much on comments from our media types on Orioles attendance....
      Maybe 15-16,000 at the Trop on week nights aga Baltimore doesn't look too bad!

  24. Mike says:

    I am really sick of fans having excuses for not going to Rays games. This one takes the cake. People from Tampa feel like they are priveledged and cannot cross a bridge to go to a game. I come from Bradenton to Bucs and Lightning games. I used to drive to Orlando for Magic games (for 8 years). LAZY. They just want to complain. Support the team before they move. I go to 20 games ayear and would drive anywhere they move the stadium to.

  25. Cowbell Kid says:

    People apparently just need something to complain about. So why not complain about the Rays having the best record in baseball? You folks are the same ones that say you don't go to Rays games cuz you "don't want to drive over the bridge from Tampa," So if you move to the stadium to the Tampa side of the bay you will attend more games ,thus making the attendance go up.

    Until they move the stadium(which will never happen) and then you complainer/excuse makers will come up with some other reason why you can't attend Rays games.

    People why can't you just enjoy having the best record in baseball and stop looking for something to complain about? The Yankees are 2.5 games back and @ this point the Rays control their own destiny. barring injuries this team can go all the way!

    Enjoy it or go back to fighting for last place!


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