Friday, July 24, 2009

I Am the Realest Fan in the World

Since other baseball teams can't stop the Yanks lately, ole Mama Nature tried her best. Last night's game was delayed two hours and forty minutes before the Bombers waged waged merciless warfare on their west coast brethren, finally triumphing 6-3 sometime past midnight. Rain be damned, y'all.

(Lowlight of my blog so far? You could make a strong case...)

My pal Emily and I arrived around 6:40, and saw on the jumbotron that the game was delayed. We checked out Monument Park, two Yankee Stores, and the Hall of Champions. My usual trick when going to the Stadium is to buy a cheap ticket, then find an empty seat in a nice section. On the field level, attendants check everyone who enters in a concerted effort to keep the rabble away from the high muckety-mucks. They even built a sort of moat structure, minus the water and alligators, to protect the really, really expensive area.

But there's ways around these barricades for folks in the know. My usual trick is to hold my crappy ticket in the air, look in the attendant's eye, and say "hey, I was just here." Often, they'll just nod and wave you through, and if they prove assiduous and check your ticket, you can just feign confusion and move to the next section. It never takes long to beat the system.

Classy, right? Even more classy is realizing that a female companion is a specific advantage, and having zero qualms about using her for your own benefit. I thought Emily would be the perfect weapon to score really, really good seats, so around 7, before we knew the extent of the delay, I led her to the field level in right, where we could be front and center for Swisher's antics. I schooled her in the tactics of the seat jumper, told her to smile, and assured her it would be easy.

It was not. Emily got really, really nervous. Inordinately nervous. The kind of nervous that a political prisoner trying to escape a dictatorship might feel, where he knows certain death accompanies failure. At the first section we tried, the attendant waved us down without checking the tickets. I call this "the perfect scenario," and when it happens you quickly jettison the rest of your strategy and stroll gratefully to the seats.

But Emily was so tense that she stopped in her tracks, stuck doggedly to the plan, and said "we were just here." The words sounded like they were spoken by an amateur commercial actor reading a teleprompter. Again, this happened after we'd been waved down. She also ceased her progress entirely, a cardinal sin of the trade. Rule number 1 is to always, always keep moving unless someone specifically directs you to halt. Act like you've been there. Faced with a girl holding out her ticket, the attendant had no choice but to check, see that we owned nosebleed seats, and send us packing.

I tried my best at consolation, and assured her it would go easier in the next section. But when we got ready to make our approach, I could actually feel the fear emanating from her general vicinity. It's a bit like standing too close to a downed power line. She turned to me with a sort of strained look and tried hard to smile. I felt like an overbearing father who kept trying to make his kid hit a baseball, and the kid wants really badly to succeed and earn your approval, but when you're not looking he hums show tunes and uses the bat as a theatrical cane. A combination of resignation and guilt ran through me. "You don't have to do it," I said, and I may as well have been a stern traffic court judge letting her off with a warning. I think she skipped. Then we learned the delay might be as long as two hours, so we toured the stadium.

Eventually we went to our upper deck seats, because I'd never been there and wanted to see what things looked like from on high. Answer: pretty cool. Not a great place to watch a game, but the combined view of the Stadium, field, and city is a sight to behold. We hung out until a mentally disabled man began to leer a little too specifically at Emily, then moved on. At 9, they announced the game would start in forty minutes, the remaining fans cheered, and I used my skills to secure us close seats between home and first.

So if anyone wants to question my fanhood ever again, remember this: I waited without complaint through a two and a half hour rain delay, enduring wet clothes and an uncertain future, and stayed well past midnight to watch every single pitch.

And I did it with a girl. Who chose to wear flip flops, for some reason, and kept complaining about the cold.

Actually, Emily was a sport. And so was Teixeira. He hit a no-doubt home run and an RBI double, made a couple nice defensive plays, and was the beneficiary of Emily's first Yankee crush.

That's seven in a row for the Bombers. Have a great weekend, keep safe.

1 comment:

  1. kind of obvious but needs to be stated nonetheless: that girl is either blood related or wants to sleep with you. she might play the 'we are just good friends' game with you, but deep down she wants to sleep with you.
    i hate the yankees and i read your blog almost every day. kudos to your writing ability. it is more enjoyable when to read when they lose though. yet another reason to root against them.