I decided to go to Safeco Field for Opening Night, hoping it would trigger something in me the way it used to.
I thought I had a few years left before I reached this point. I thought it wouldn’t happen so fast, but last night it did.
I have reached the point in my life where, maybe, perhaps, attending major sporting events just isn’t for me.
It seems like a crazy conclusion for me to draw. I love sports, I breathe sports, I don’t know what I’d do with my time if it wasn’t for sports. And baseball? Baseball is my soul.
The whole experience of attending a baseball game is a tonic. Drinking a beer (if it’s a night game, my day drinking days have long been over), chatting with the person next to me, soaking in the soothing pace and frenzied bursts of action.
Last night, Safeco Field felt more like a nightclub than a baseball game to me.
I get that the Mariners need to attract fans that want more than baseball and this is no knock on that. It’s just not for me. I don’t like loud, pounding, popular music being blasted into my eardrums and vibrating my skull with the force of their booming bass. I don’t want to feel like I need to be drunk to enjoy my time at a game, which the frat party atmosphere seems to require. It seems that those are the things (arguably) that attract an audience to the games. I get it, I really do. It’s just not for me.
I like to read about baseball in the early 20th Century. The players were paid peanuts in the pros and amateurs were everywhere. Towns put together their own teams and played other towns in front of enthusiastic local fans.
My Dad was always a big fan of reverting back to this system for baseball entertainment. I was horrified; I wouldn’t be able to watch games on tv! But, now I get it.
The whole set up sounds amazing. I’d love to cheer on my Hometime Nine in a stadium lacking the frills and popular music of the Major Leagues. A bunch of rabble scrabble players, shucking off the work day. Fans cheering away their life stress. A fight for bragging rights against the next town over.
It sounds like baseball.
It sounds like nostalgia.
And I should probably be careful with it because this sort of baseball just doesn’t exist anymore.