Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Steve Tadusiek gets the crowd going at Anaheim Stadium

By Mark Ufkes & Orash Eftekhari - Angelswin.com contributors

An army at Angel Stadium of Anaheim? Those rumors you heard about a roving band of rabid Angel fans on the View Level are true. And the group known as the '"Halo Troops" are led by the founder and lead man on the drumsticks: Steve Tadusiek.

Since 2003, the man known to Angels fans as “Tadeus" (or "that guy with the drumsticks"), has commanded the Halo Troops as they've become recognized as the some of the most loyal Angels fans you will see when you find yourself on the View Level to watch the Angels. And we haven't even gotten into the Championship belt.

Season ticket holders and frequent visitors to the View Level know them. They are the kids who walk back and forth on the View Level walkway, pounding on drumsticks to the beat of "Let's Go Angels." Their efforts are often rewarded by the quiet crowds, with cheers and chanting. It's not a surprise that Steve credits Rex "The Wonder Dog" Hudler as an inspiration.

Although considered by many to be a refreshing and entertaining bunch of die-hards, they aren't without controversy. There have been rumblings that the ushers simply tolerate them, and that some in the crowd ask "why can't they just sit and enjoy the game?" But the Halo Troops will tell you: They're just having fun.

So who is this band of rabid Angel fans? Well, there's Steve, of course, or the "Tuz" as I like to call him. There's Megan, Steve's #1 partner in cheering and "Monkey Girl". And on many nights the army of Halo Troops often grows with a parade of young fans joining in the fun.

Well good for them right? Sounds like good, clean, safe fun right? Well, not really, if you're an Angels usher. It seems that on a night that Tuz and the bunch were not around, an imposter attempted to use the Halo Troops tactics and get the crowd going. Unfortunately, according to the reports from the ushers, a drumstick broke and may have hit someone. No injuries were reported. But, apparently the powers that be got together and implemented a new rule: No drumsticks. And the Troops were silenced. Kinda.

Now, we can ignore the fact that red Angel drumsticks were once sold in the Stadium store. And we can ignore that the miniature toy bats still sold are nothing more than glorified drumsticks. But seriously, the Troops have been doing their thing since '03 without an incident. One isolated incident, which didn't involve them, and the Troops signature instrument is banned?

So, at the most recent games the Troops turned to Thuderstix as their noise makers. The results were satisfactory, but Thunderstix aren't really re-usable and the Troops supply is dwindling.

Even if the ushers don't re-examine and reverse the decision to ban the drumsticks, don't worry about losing Steve and the Troops. "I’m still going to be out there cheering at the Angel games I go to in some form or manner, whether it be Thunderstix, clapping hands, etc. There is nothing that will stop the Halo Troops from doing what we do best, and that is cheer and get the crowd pumped up." Good news.

So the next time you find yourself on the View Level and you see the man in the red bandanna, WWE style Angels championship belt and his crew behind him, don't be shy, put your hands together and give a few shouts. Because regardless of your opinion on the drumsticks, one thing is undeniable: A little more noise at the Stadium isn't going to hurt anyone.
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