Among the several suggestions Cleveland officials have bandied about for solving the reported SIX THOUSAND nesting pairs of Ring-billed and Herring gulls: a Falconer. No, not Saturday Night Live's Ken Mortimer. No, not the guy who sang "Rock Me Amadeus." We're talking about an actual dude with a falcon, although a first option would apparently be broadcasting Falcon-type noises through the stadium's speakers. If that doesn't work, they could always show a video of The Dirty Bird. Or of Jamal Anderson in a bathroom. â†µ â†µ
In truth, the invading seagull problem may have been solved by a recent brainstorm: to chase the gulls away with fireworks after every half-inning. (Note: Nationals officials might not want to try that one.) And indeed, while the issue swooped into national consciousness after a wing got in the way of Coco Crisp's fielding attempt last week (losing a feather in the process and reportedly winding up stunned for several minutes), it turns out the birds have been a problem for months. The guy who was turned into a hero by last week's most famous bird -- Shin-Soo Choo -- reported having been defecated on twice by Cleveland sea gulls in this season alone. I always knew that city was a waste-land. â†µ â†µ
Anyhow, the most interesting thing that has emerged from this whole incident is the reason the sea gulls have invaded. Rumors to the contrary, the gull invasion has nothing to do with those midges from a couple season back; the birds are there to eat not insects but standard ballpark trash. From the Cleveland Plain-Dealer: â†µ â†µ
As Brandon Koehnke, Progressive Field groundskeeper said, "They've come for peanuts, popcorn and hot dogs." â†µ â†µ"It's strictly a feeding issue," said Bob DiBiasio, Indians vice president of public relations. "When the team is out of town, or there's no game at Progressive Field, the gulls are nowhere to be found."â†µ â†µ
So they poop on the home team, they can be scared off by explosions, and they show up mostly just to eat cheap and unhealthy snacks that they didn't even pay for themselves. Are we sure those seagulls didn't come from Philadelphia? â†µ â†µ
For more of Dan Steinberg, visit his blog with The Washington Post, D.C. Sports Bog.â†µ
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