Saturday, May 27, 2006

Searching for Sports Passion

As I sat in the crowd at the Nats-Dodgers game last night, I realized that I had never felt really passionate about any professional sport. I pretty much know the rules for most of them and can follow the game, but I never feel that primal urge to scream for one side or the other. I take my cues from those around me and fake it, but the natural passion just isn’t there.

My friend Kate offered me a FREE ticket to last night’s game. Never having been to a Nats game, I was excited to go. Four of us met up and went to the game, buying disgusting Italian sausages loaded with wonderfully smelling onions and peppers on the way in, and of course, a large cup of draft beer.

Our seats were not in the peanut gallery, but rather they were 10 rows up from the field. Corporate America doesn’t fool around with seats in the heights. We must have missed the National Anthem, because the two teams just came on the field and started playing with absolutely no fanfare. There was an occasional burst of hockey-style organ music and signs sometimes flashed telling people when to clap or shout.

People kept marveling that this was one of the more exciting games. Granted, the Nats won handily and they seemed to hit a lot more than they struck out, but baseball is still pretty much one person at a time doing his thing. It’s certainly not the crush of a football pile-on.

We did the 7th inning stretch, where everyone stands up and sings “Take me out to the ball game...” Then we sat down and they played some more.

We actually snuck out a little early, with the intention of going to get margaritas, that were definitely not for sale at RFK. As we reached our car, the crowd roared. Maybe the Nats had saved the best for last.

As I got home, my husband who had listened to the game, went through inning by inning, “Did you see that? Did you see the home run in the 8th inning?” Hmmm... No we were on our way to get margaritas when the crowd roared; must have been that home run.

As with many things, really enjoying baseball might just take practice. I am determined to have a really COOL Nats cap by the time I go to my next game. I will appeal to my husband to choose a game that is important to him. Living in a city with a baseball team and not supporting the home team just seems unpatriotic, so I am going to try to become a baseball fan. Maybe there is some sports passion in my being somewhere, just maybe...


Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Even though it was my idea to leave early, after I saw the article in the WaPo, I wish we'd stayed to the end of the game. I am such a par-tay pooper.

10:48 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

B - just as being a good pitcher takes practice, so does being a great fan. You have the spirit, so it will come easier to you than to so many others! Give it another game or two, you'll be on your feet and cheering (and not leaving early, even though I still sometimes do!) before you know it! :)

10:20 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Reya -- Next time we may just have to sneak our own margaritas in with us. Yes, we will stay till the end!

Kris -- I think what will help is to learn something about the players so it will be like cheering for family instead of just names without faces. My husband absolutely adores baseball (although he would rather be rooting for the 1st place Detroit Tigers). His enthusiasm at the next game will be infectious I am sure.

10:50 PM  

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