Today’s theme is brought to you by LilmissKaty (who is very right, it does sound like we’re in Sesame Street when we say that) who chose ‘Match of the Day’ in honour of Wales’ current victory in the Rugby World Cup. Unfortunately for Wales, they have since lost their match.
I’m not a big fan of sports myself. I’ve been to the odd football match as a child with my dad and for a time I really liked Manchester City football club. But as I got older (and perhaps more cynical) I’ve come to see football more as a source of frustration in this world. The game itself I still find mildly interesting. I wouldn’t have enjoyed cheering on the smaller clubs in the football World Cup last year, nor would I have enjoyed watching celebrities play football to raise money for charity, if I didn’t like the sport itself. My issue is the money that clubs make from ticket sale and the like and of course the wages.
But I don’t really want to get into that because it’s not of interest to me to write a blog complaining about such a thing.
I want to tell you about baseball. As a child I grew up watching films like the Little Giants, the Mighty Ducks and A League of Their Own. Sports in the USA aren’t the same as sports at home. I guess there was always some sort of air of mystery about them and of course the amazing achievements in those films always made me smile. There’s something so wonderful about watching the underdogs come out of nowhere and win.
It’s this very love of US sports films that made me desire to watch a game of baseball, football or ice hockey in the time I spent over there in 2009. Luckily enough, I got to go see the Washington Nationals play baseball.
As we walked along the street towards the stadium it wasn’t far different from a similar walk to a football game in the UK. The street was lined with supporters, fans on their way to the game. There were people selling merchandise and a lot of people interested in buying it.
When we got to the stadium itself and lined up to buy tickets (something I doubt you can do in most football games in the UK, especially not league matches for Premiership clubs, though it’s probably the same with more important games in baseball, I’ve no idea if the Washington Nationals were of any standing or not) which were surprisingly cheap. That’s something I really liked about baseball. They have a variety of tickets which cater for different price ranges. It allows the ‘average man’ to go and watch their favourite team play.
My favourite moment of the whole game was walking into the stadium and seeing just how open it all was. In the UK the second you walk into a football stadium you’re stuck in this concrete jungle where the only place you can see the sky is when you’re sat in a seat. Even then it’s through this relatively small open space above. The baseball stadium was so open that it made me feel like I was in the greatest place on Earth.
The light was magnificent, being able to see the sky and parts of Washington DC made me smile. I tend to feel a bit hemmed in at a football stadium. But not there. I enjoyed being there not just because of the game, but because of that.
I didn’t get to see all of the game because the group I was with was full of selfish people who wanted to “go out tonight”, despite the fact that when we got back to camp they didn’t go anywhere which pissed me off.
I could have watched the game for hours and from what I understand, baseball games sometimes do go on for hours. They’re not as fast paced as the children’s films of the eighties and nineties suggested. That didn’t matter though, I was happy there, sat up in the stands, looking out across this brightly lit area and the sun setting in the distance.
I loved it and my only regret it not being able to stay until the final moment. One day I will go back and watch about baseball game, one day I will go and watch a football game and a hockey game. But for now I will relish in the memories of that wonderful evening in August two years ago.
If you’d like to read the other blogs from today’s theme, visit the Twitter Blogathon blog or the links on the right.