Is it a bird? A plane? Well, yes it’s a plane, but it’s a plane that’s towing a message behind it. What does it say? That’s right, “Houston Asterisks.”
The message was being flown above the Oakland Coliseum prior to the A’s three-game series against the Houston Astros that began Friday night:
There’s a “Houston Asterisks” banner flying above the coliseum 🙃 pic.twitter.com/zOTNRwNT3d— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) August 8, 2020
It had originated with the idea from Jon Wilson of Brentwood, Calif. who is active on A’s Reddit and admitted he was getting worked up with how the Astros would not hear the booing from fans since patrons are not allowed to be in ballparks this season.
“As it got closer and closer to them coming here, I wanted to do something,” Wilson told NBC Sports California on Friday. “I put a post up saying ‘Hey everybody, is there anything we can do to protest?’”
The protest stems from Mike Fiers unearthing the Astros’ cheating ways when it was revealed they would steal signs electronically during their 2017 World Series run.
Wilson figured perhaps he and fans simply could show up to the stadium and yell. But one person suggested maybe a banner being towed by a plane. After thinking about it for a bit, Wilson decided to turn this idea into a reality. He started a GoFundMe to make this happen.
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“I just promoted it on Reddit and Twitter and within 24 hours we had the $1200 and we’re at $1700 now,” Wilson said.
Wilson said if they doubled that original $1200, he told followers he would do another flyover for a game. And if not, he would donate the extra money to the A’s community fund.
The viral Twitter account, 2020 Houston Astros Shame Tour, that has been trolling the Astros since the cheating scandal surfaced, reached out to Wilson and asked if he could get more behind-the-scenes footage of the actual progress of the setup. The company that was behind the aerial banners let him film everything.
“Apparently it’s gotten a lot of publicity,” Wilson said. “I just really hope this motivates other teams’ towns to do something of their own, just don’t let this go quietly by. The fans need to feel that they have some part of giving feedback to the Astros since they can’t boo them in person.”
But Wilson, who will be sitting out the Coliseum on Friday, has more in store for the Astros.
“Oh, I have a megaphone and when the Astros players come up to bat, I’m going to boo them through the megaphone,” he said. “They probably won’t hear me, but this is more symbolic than anything.”
Wilson will be following on his phone to see who’s up at bat and when to boo that player, but made sure to note he would only boo players that were on the 2017 team.
“Specifically the ones like [Alex] Bregman, [George] Springer … ” Wilson said. “They probably won’t hear me, but I’m not going to do it the whole game, not going to stand on this bridge by myself the whole game, but I’ll do it like the first inning or two, just giving my little effort to it.”