The louder he talked of his honor the faster we counted our spoons.
- Emerson, American Poet and Essayist (1803-1882)
To all my friends that I was texting last night saying, “Turn on the freakin’ game, I’m on TV!” I should say, well . . . it felt like we were close enough to be on TV! In the third inning though, I went up to get some pizza for my wife and in the concession line I saw the actual broadcast of the game and that’s when I realized we were just a few rows above where the camera was framing the batter at the plate. Doh! Oh well, you might have seen us on a couple of the pop-ups behind home plate.
I just like going to the game – I’ve been next to broke for most my life, so my attitude has always been, the cheaper the seats, the more times I can afford to go to the game. This time, I wanted to see what it was like to see the game from the VIP seats. (That’s what the section is actually called.) We were in Section 1. Section one, baby! That’s the spot right behind home plate where all the numbering for the rest of the sections begins. What a view! It was the closest to home plate I’ve ever been at a baseball game.
I’m used to a bit of a rowdier crowd out in the bleachers, but here in the VIP seats, we were surrounded by nice families and well-behaved fans. I was proud of myself the way I adapted to my surroundings and kept myself in check and didn’t drop a swear word the entire night.
You know how you could tell we were in the nicer part of the neighborhood at the ballpark? Because it wasn’t until Brandon League gave up the game-winning home run in the top of the ninth that I heard the first f-bombs being hurled by some drunken fans (probably sneaking down from the cheaper seats.) That’s pretty standard language out in the bleachers, but down in the VIP seats, I actually cringed thinking of the innocent ears of the kids around me.
This one Hispanic family in front of us was particularly charming. In the fifth inning, Josh Beckett gave up a single that put the Diamondbacks on top, 3 – 2 and as the hitter smacked the ball and it landed out in the outfield, all of a sudden, the eight-year-old girl in front of us shouted out, “YOU SUCK!” to Beckett for serving up that big meatball of a pitch.
My wife and I were cracking up, but I’m watching the mom, and this woman was so embarrassed by her daughter’s outburst that it seemed like she was horrified and just wanted to disappear. The girl’s dad, though not overly stern, made it clear that was not the way their family behaved at a baseball game. I was so impressed by the mom’s embarrassment and the dad’s gentle reprimand that I felt like I had just been time warped to the 1950s, like this was how Ward and June Cleaver would have reacted to The Beaver breaking out with something slightly vulgar.
Maybe I was a bit overly impressed by this family’s decorum and maybe that kind of politeness is not all that uncommon, but then again, I’ve seen way too many families in action at Walmart not to imagine that this family wasn’t a little bit special.
As far as my Dodgers go?
As great as the view from the VIP seats was, next time I go to see my Dodgers doing their best to extend a five-game losing streak to six, let it be from the cheap seats.