Monday, April 10, 2017

Stay Home

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.  Today, thirteen years later, one can barely hear oneself think for all the booming rock music, flashing scoreboards, on field mascot antics and squeals from mini theme parks.  There are fewer vendors in the stands and most of those are only selling beer. If a patron wants food, he or she must go get it or, less common, 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.

I attended my first games in an era during which the only sounds at the stadium were the PA announcer, the crack of the bat, the call of the vendors, and, of course, the buzz and cheers of the crowd.

The game, or at least its live presentation, has passed me by.  Granted, the majority of fans in attendance actually like all of these raucous goings on.  The players don't mind either; after all, they grew up with it, too.  Indeed, each of them has a pre-selected introductory musical theme to announce his AB or appearance in relief.  The whole scene reminds me of most restaurants today.  Noisy. Filled with loud music.  Frenzied activity.  The young folks like things so lively while us senior citizens book a reservation before 6PM hoping to finish and get out before the younger crowds pour in.  You cannot do that at a ballpark. The start time is the same for young and old alike.  Leaving early is the only elective.

I'll stay home next time...and the time after that and watch an occasional inning or two 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.  That says a lot about where the Phillies are in their rebuilding effort.  It also says a lot about the bottom line in marketing income!