It’s opening day for Americas past time. 2430 games on tap this season. Sure the NFL is now America’s game, at least on TV. Even with an annoying Collinsworth on NBC it is hard to beat Sunday Night in America. But there are a lot of baseball fans out there. Games are on almost every night on ESPN and a bevy of local sports networks throughout the land.
But before I get much further I must admit I am a diehard hockey fan first, a football fan second and a baseball fan a distant third, ranking somewhere close to my infatuation with the Olympics. How can you be a hard core fan of the Olympics anyway–they only come on every two years (winter and summer).
Well, except for beach volleyball…
Being up in Alaska everyone roots for the Mariners. They haven’t had a good season since Ken Griffey Jr. back in the day. But without a home team that’s what we get on the radio. That’s a story for another day.
Think about it– Is there any way better to spend a warm summer’s night than at the ballpark? Coors Field (home of the Colorado Rockies) is one of the best parks ever to watch a game in. I love sitting in the nose-bleed 300 section seats right behind home plate, watching the sunset and the mountains to the west. Drinking a beer and a brat with my sweetie on my side and my iPhone’s twitter app flowing like a mountain stream.
But wait a second. I am a Braves fan! I have been since Uncle Ted bought the Superstation and they played every night on TBS. I cut my teeth on that station in the days before multi-ESPNs and 100 dollar game packages on Direct TV. I rushed home from school to catch Leave it to Beaver and Little Rascals before the game.
I watched Chipper and Smoltz and Andruw. I watched the greatest manager the game has ever seen: Bobby Cox–as he stormed the field and cussed like Popeye to the umpires. On more occasions than I can count ole’ Bobby walked out to the mound and nonchalantly put out his hand to countless struggling pitchers as they handed him the ball…
This is Chipper’s last year. He’s had a good run. I will still be a fan. Even if it’s not always fair weather.
Who are you rootin’ for this year? Who is your team?
Who will be the The Cards without Albert, the Miami Marlins with their fish tank stadium or the old stand-by Yanks?
Even with (near) billion dollar payrolls of the Yanks, our Prez P-BO sportin’ a White Sox cap, star spangled banners, 7th inning stretches, Boy Scouts, funky mascots, game day schwag, and fireworks–all of us grew up with with a pack of Big League Chew and fantasies of home runs.
This is why we love baseball. This is why when everything else in the world seems to be in near chaos a three hour escape at the ball park is all we need.