Sunday, May 01, 2005

For Love of the Game...

So my wife and I went to a Sky Sox game this Sunday. We usually get free tickets to go see them from my work, so it’s a decent deal. The seats are literally right behind the Sky Sox dugout along first base. Sweet seats except for one problem: kids.

Sox the Fox (the team’s mascot) dances in front of us. Now that’s not a problem. Jen and I enjoy his antics and he includes us in his witty shenanigans... ah, that wacky Fox. What the problem is are the kids who come down to see Sox the Fox, stand right next to us and yell to get his attention.

Well, on Sunday I wish those particular kids were there. Unfortunately the day was cold and the stands were not too occupied where we were and some kids came down to ask some of the team players for a ball. It was cute… for the first three times they asked… then a choice few started hounding these poor minor league players (who were losing the game and weren't in the best of spirits) for a ball. Then (worst of all) their drunk parents started egging them on.

It got so bad that the parents started telling the kids to curse at the players. Then the parents themselves started cursing at the players. “Hey! Give the kid the ball!” “They’re just kids, gawd-da**it! Give em’ a friggin' ball!” “HEY! First base! You’re a PU**Y! Give my kid a ball”. I went to talk to a staff member when it got bad (actually, during this time I went twice to ask them to tell the kids to get to their designated seats) and he told me (and I quote) “I already went down there once, what do you want me to do?”.

Now, obviously since nobody else is doing anything, 'I' have to be the grown-up. So I go down and tell the kids who are yelling and taunting the players to go to their designated seats. They look at me like they were just scolded by Bozo the clown and sit down in the chairs near them with a "you're not the boss of me" look. “No, go sit with your parents. Unless you paid for these seats, you need to sit up there!” pointing to the seats where the drunk parents were still begging baseballs for their kids. So the kids go up, and the parents yell down to us (from about 8 rows up) that we suck, and then comes the barrage of cursing at us. I yell back that they didn’t pay for the seats and that they shouldn’t be bugging the players for a baseball while a game is going on. I turn back to try to watch the game when the ringleader of the “Drunken Idiots of Colorado Kids” club starts berating us even more. Over the whole game you can hear this jerk yelling at us asking us that if ‘we were so tough to come up there’ and many other choice names... none clever... and none threatening to me. Trust me, I've heard them all.

Then one of them comes down to where Jen and I are sitting (obviously drunk off his keister and holding a beer) and says… “Hey, they’re only kids… let them have fun.”

Me: “I don’t want to sit through the rest of the game hearing these kids beg for baseballs.”

Him: “But they’re just kids, they’re just having fun.”

Me: “Well, they can have fun. I don’t mind these kids here (pointing to some of the more polite children who are just rooting for the team), they’re not berating the players. They’re having fun without being obnoxious.”

Him: “Hey, they’re kids… let them have fun” (he really liked saying that) It’s just like when you were a kid chasing baseballs and getting autographs…” (urp)

Me: “I never did. I didn’t do that.”

Him: “Of course you didn’t. You’re not athletic.”

Me: “No, I’m not.”

Him: “See? You’re just a piece of s*$t… you can’t appreciate this. Piece of s*$t. You're not athletic.” and he walks away muttering to himself... beer filling his beer-belly.

Come to find out that when he got back to his seat they then got kicked out of the field by security.

(sigh) I thought that I would get away from these guys when I graduated High-School. Sorry to say, folks... they're still among us even in our adult years.

And I can’t even be mad at 'athletes' or 'jocks'… because I have several friends who are ‘jocks’ who do not act like this guy and probably never have. It's like getting upset at Arabian-Americans for 9-11. You shouldn't do that. But that took the cake. I can’t enjoy a baseball game because ‘I’ am not an ‘athlete’? F^%k you!

There’s a reason I hate certain athletes, and this ‘berating people not as athletic as you’ is one of them. I was in drama club. Guilty. I was in choir. Guilty. I played D&D openly in the cafeteria. Guilty!

There’s a reason I didn’t try out for sports and it was that I didn’t want to be associated with a$$-hole$ like him!

The worst part is this: I took name-calling a lot in grade school… a LOT! I was the runt of the school in Junior High. RUNT OF THE SCHOOL! I gained a pretty hard shell for names and cursing at me from that. But my wife didn’t get that shell and him calling her a ‘piece of s*$t’ really hurt her. A lot. Thing is, I don’t know what to do. I really don't.

I really like baseball. I got that from 'Maime' (my grandmother). 'Maime' always watched the World Series and always rooted for both teams. She didn’t care who heard her either… she wanted a good game. And I was taught to support your team, but not to be rude. Yell to 'rally the boys', but don’t be obnoxious. Simpler times I guess.

Jen and I decided that the best way to enjoy the game now is to get tickets in the family section. Not because we're scared that they'll come back (my wife'd kick their @$$! Seriously, it took all her self-control not to jump the jerk when he began insulting her...) but because we're tired of the distractions that DO occur. They took away my childhood when I was in grade-school and now those f*%kers took my free seats. Bullies fu*%ing suck!

I really hate that there are people like that out there. Thing I hate even more is that the two boys who were begging for balls have him as a role-model and they’re gonna taunt my children someday.