Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Plight of the Fan

I am a baseball fan. I can admit it. In fact, I can admit I'm a huge baseball fan. That, more often than not, labels me a dork.1

I've already been to a game this year, will be going to two more this month, one next, and hopefully a few more before the year is out.2 With the affordability and availability of the tickets, it really does make it the most easily accessible professional sport in Ontario. And, as Victoria Day shows, a baseball game is an excellent thing to do on short notice.

But, unfortunately, I'm still a dork. Because, you see, baseball doesn't have the appeal that many other sports have. Being a baseball fan doesn't have the pretentions of being a soccer fan. It doesn't have the rah-rah nationalism of being a hockey fan. Basketball has that machismo factor, and football has a day all its own to suck the testosterone out of the mall and onto the couch.3

Baseball, on the other hand4, has an unbelievably long season - at maximum, a baseball team could play 182 games - and stats. Lots and lots of stats. I can see, from here, four books I own on baseball statistics.

Baseball doesn't have a clock.

Baseball managers and coaches don't draw up plays, and there are very few moments of instant gratification like the alley-oop, one-timer, Hail Mary pass, or penalty kick.

And baseball is the only sport with anything remotely close to "home field advantage" - no other sport gives its teams more leeway with the design of sporting grounds.

However, again, all of these things conspire to make even the casual baseball fan seem painfully dorky. But, of course, when one fan finds another fan, it's a wonderful thing. A wonderful, dorky thing.

1 - Rightfully so
2 - Thank you, dear!
3 - I'm a fan of just about everything, so it's not because I dislike any of these sports. I'll gladly watch, listen, read and write about, discuss, and debate anything from hockey to soccer, football to cricket
4 - Yes, this is a five-handed person

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