“Peanuts! Come get your peanuts!” is music to my ears as I sit at the baseball stadium on a warm summer’s night.
The smell of popcorn and hot dogs fill the air while I hear the crack of the bat as it hits the ball down the third baseline. I’m surrounded by friends and family who have the vocabulary that comes with the sport, and there is the occasional crazy drunk man who sits a few rows in front of us and entertains us with his outrageous comments.
I would be more than happy to spend the rest of my life at the ball field. Some may say the sport can be slow, but the environment itself is worth the attendance. I have two brothers and a father who have all played the game since I could remember. I could even consider myself being raised behind the diamond, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
All right, enough of my blabber jabber about the “feel” of baseball. The thing I don’t understand is how people can call it a “slow” game.
You tell me the next time you’re up to the plate, and you hit a 100 mph fast ball over the left field fence.
Yeah, right. If that ain’t fast, I don’t know what is. The talent and skill needed to play the game is at a level not many can handle.
On the defensive end, imagine being in the outfield and the ball comes soaring through the air in your general area. You have to time the ball and estimate where it could land and then sprint as fast as you can to get to that exact spot. If your timing isn’t on, you lay out and slide on the ground with your arm stretched to its full length and grass fills your mouth.
Amazing, I say. Amazing.
Another sport I could consider amazing is one most people look down upon: soccer. That sport takes some major skill.
Playing basketball, you run and use your hands to control the ball. Playing volleyball, you can squat, dive and jump, but you use your arms to dig, pancake and spike the ball. Players are obviously not able to use their hands in soccer, and that is incredibly hard. Let’s go outside and run, kick and control the ball while the other team trips, kicks and tackles us to the ground.
Holy cow. I get exhausted just thinking about it.
A lot of fan conflict in this sport comes from the lack of goals and the low-scoring games. Considering what I said before, it’s understandable why it is so difficult to do so.
When you think about sports like football, you see higher scoring games. If you really think about it, each team only crosses the goal line a few times a game—the touchdowns are just worth more. So if football’s touchdowns only valued one point, people wouldn’t like it just like they don’t like soccer?
NASCAR is another sport where the environment has a big play in the fan base.
When I hear about being at a NASCAR race, I always hear about how people camped out in the parking lot for days watching every race. People are having barbecues and sitting in their lawn chairs enjoying the sound of the cars wizzing by. You can’t tell me that doesn’t sound nice.
There are many movies that have fast cars supplying the entertainment: “The Fast and the Furious,” there’s six of those with a seventh on its way; “Cars,” which is a 117-minute movie about cartoon cars and NASCAR races; and “Gone in 60 Seconds.” If the human race can sit in a theater for hours and watch films on fast cars, why can’t we go out and enjoy the real thing?
Summer is a time to enjoy these things. Now stop fussing, pull up a chair, relax and watch the game.