Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Locked out or locked in?

Sometimes during sporting events you can see team owners and other VIPs watching the game from glass-enclosed corporate boxes. I envy them the soft chairs, good food, and close friends until I remember the time I sat in the stands of an American baseball World Series game.

A friend and I had won an opportunity to purchase tickets for game six of the seven-game series. Our team, which had started the series as the underdog, was now miraculously only one game behind. Game six, a home game, was “do or die” for our team, and “series fever” was high throughout the state. We counted ourselves among the anointed to be able to attend the game.

In anticipation of the big event, we followed that latest sports news on TV, purchased fan paraphernalia bearing the team logo, and made a bed sheet banner to bring with us. On game day, we arrived early like everyone else to a crowded stadium buzzing with fans and every kind of vendor imaginable. Our team had played in the World Series only once before, so more than anything, people were simply overjoyed that our team had made it this far. The atmosphere was electric.

The game began. Not being a baseball addict, I don’t remember the details except that it was a cliff-hanger. We hooted and cheered nonstop, and camaraderie was indivisible – complete strangers chatted and laughed, and hugged and kissed, each team our team scored. My friend and I were engaged in some serious flirting with two men in the row behind us when one of them leaned down and asked us to rub his head – it was the era of Kirby Puckett. We all snapped photos of each other and promised to share copies. But in the general chaos, we never did exchange names or addresses!

When our team hit the winning homerun, the stadium exploded. Hoarse cheering became wild screaming, followed by jumping, dancing, and more hugging and kissing! I found out later that early in the game, the din had broken the stadium's noise meter so no one really knows how loud it got in there that day. But it does explain why my hearing was muffled for three days. Our team went on to win the series and the celebratory parade, attended by thousands, was equally wonderful.

So now when I watch sporting events, I actually feel a little sorry for the people in the corporate boxes because I don’t believe they experience the same exhilaration and camaraderie you get while seated hip-to-hip with thousands of other devoted fans.

It’s also how I feel about country clubs and gated communities. Make no mistake: I, too, value cleanliness, comfort, and safety. But no glass walls or fences for me, please. I don’t want to miss life along the way.


  1. I love this, and I'm not even a sports fan!

  2. I was there - what a great day and a fantastic memory - thanks for bringing it all back, Michele!


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