I don’t like sports. Never have. In elementary school I was the kid who tried to play outfield as far out as possible to avoid the other children. Sportsmanship and camaraderie were not my strong points. Some would claim they still aren’t.
It was this person who journeyed into the ‘old ball game’ stadium yesterday to witness the ritual which is modern baseball. Armed with a submarine sandwich and lots of beer, Big Mama and I sat down behind home-plate and tried to stir up feelings of team pride. It was the third game of the season; the first having been won, and the second lost.
First, I was disappointed that nobody was chanting “Hey, batter batter batter batter . . . ” – this is what I was most looking forward to. Response: drink beer.
Second, I noticed the storm-troopers all over the stadium; in the stands, near the refreshment areas, on the field, everywhere. I felt like I was in 1937 Berlin. These same ‘police’ were gone by the fifth inning – apparently if terrorism is going to occur at a game it’s going to occur at the start of the game. Which, of course, makes complete and utter sense. Hail Eris. Response? Drink beer.
Third, I noticed that the actual game of baseball itself is like some intricately mathematical ritualistic dance that I was only vaguely privy to the inner workings of. Much like a square dance, they dosey-doe around each other every few minutes, and all seem to know what position they should end up in, but none of them bow or curtsey. Bowing and curtseying would make the whole ritual quite charming I think. Response: drink beer.
Fourth, I noticed the heckling. From all corners of the stands would float the jeering and booing of the fans, for both the visiting team, and for certain members of the home team. Sometimes just the name of the player would be called out in mocking tones, other times the standard boo (but no hisses that I heard – quite a disappointment), and then other times actual shouts of “YOU SUCK!” or “CHECK HIS BAT FOR CORK!” or “I SLEPT WITH YOUR MOTHER!” – this was my favourite part of the entire experience, so maybe those who claim sportsmanship and camaraderie still aren’t my suit are correct. I didn’t partake in the heckling, mostly because I didn’t know any of the players, but I certainly enjoyed it. My response? Still more beer.
And fifth I noticed that beer, and all other refreshments are ridiculously overpriced. One would be lead to believe that popcorn was contraband in this country. I don’t care what kind of beer it is, twenty three dollars for a small paper cup full of suds is too much. Response: take a small sip of beer. Nurse the bitch.
Would I go again? Yes, but I would drink it up before going in the next time.
Oh, and, we won.