Sunday was a beautiful early spring day in Philadelphia. A clear, deep blue sky, light breeze and temperatures in the '60's. On the spur of the moment I attended my first live game in several years.
I won't do that again.
Years ago, when the "Bank" opened, I lamented the assault of its deafening sound system and multimedia displays on this aging fan. That was 2004. I grew up when the only sounds at the stadium were the PA announcer, crack of the bat, call of the vendors, and, of course, the crowd.
Today one can barely hear oneself think for all the booming rock music, flashing scoreboards, onfield mascot antics and mini theme parks. There are fewer vendors in the stands and those are only selling beer. If a patron wants food, he or she must go get it or, more rare, have it delivered via an App. Consequently, the crowd is up and down without a break in a flurry of activity that swells around the more sedentary visitor. Fully half the patrons in attendance are standing in line, climbing over other patrons to reach their seats, or milling about on the various promenades. An acrid smell of burning meat also permeates the atmosphere.
The game, or at least its presentation, has passed me by. The majority of fans actually like all of these raucous goings on. The players don't mind either. They grew up with it, too. Indeed, each has a pre-selected introductory musical theme to announce their AB or appearance in relief. The whole scene reminds me of restaurants today. Noisy. Filled with loud music. The young folks like that while us senior citizens book a reservation for 6PM hoping to finish and get out before the younger crowds pour in.
I'll stay home next time...and the time after that and watch the games on TV.
I also noticed hundreds of fans dressed in their favorite player's unis. Halladay. Schmidt. Utley. Lee. Victorino. There wasn't one uniform derived from a current player on the roster. Says a lot about where the team is in its rebuilding. It also says a lot about the bottom line in marketing income!