#32 – MODERN DAY GLADIATOR
The Adventure – Touchdown at the Baseball Game
I am reminded of that Sex & the City episode where the girls put on their fur jackets to go get down with beer and dogs while watching a baseball game filled with men in snug fitting uniforms running around, chasing their balls.
A day well spent.
So when one of my dearest friends flies into town, off we went to have our very own Sex & the City moment, albeit, slightly less glamourous…and, uh..sadly with no age appropriate men to gawk at.
However, seeing as it was my first ever somewhat professional sporting event, I put on my game and off we went to see some baseball!
Modern Day Gladiator…
I am reminded of an era long ago.
The time of the gladiator.
A time of debauchery, of bloodthirst. A time when gluttonous spectators would sit in the amphitheatre, swilling spirits and greedily consuming decadent treats – all the while watching a battle to the death being played out before their very eyes.
The bloodier the better, I might add.
It has been suggested to me that today’s professional sports players are distant relatives of the original gladiator.
Hockey, baseball, football, rugby, soccer – all warriors in disguise – each wearing a different sort of armour as they fight for supremacy.
Of course, I have NEVER been to a professional sporting event in my entire life.
Quite frankly, I’ve never had any interest in watching grown men play games.
So when I discovered Vancouver had a baseball team, for whatever reason, I felt a strong compulsion to see what the fuss was all about in order to broaden my sporting horizons and perhaps learn about what it means to be a spectator in this arena of life.
That, and the tickets were really cheap.
I’ve always wondered what it is about sports that draws in thousands upon thousands of people.
The fans, they spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars each year, taking precious time out of their busy schedules just to sit in a seat and watch a game that really has no bearing whatsoever on their life.
What is it that make people want to do that?
I’ve been thinking about this and am curious if it is just an excuse to behave differently.
To behave like heathens.
Is it inappropriate for me to suggest that perhaps spectators are excused from polite society – sort of like they’ve been given a permission slip to behave like a bunch of primitive boors the second one foot steps into the arena?
And am I wrong in suggesting that sports appeal to our more ‘base’ nature? That we live out our most primitive desires while watching two teams battle to the bitter end…just for our amusement?
Maybe you can tell me.
When in Rome…
Once I passed through threshold of the arena, like any other good heathen, I swilled beer and ate dogs.
Of course it was probably more along the lines of me petting the eye-seeing DOG situated beside me while I choked back a rootBEER.
It’s all a matter of semantics, really. 🙂
I had my permission slip to behave badly, so I screamed and cheered along with everyone else…even though I wasn’t quite sure what all the ruckus was about most of the time.
One interesting little factoid I discovered about being a heathen was an incredible sense of camaraderie with the other people in the stands. I knew absolutely no one, but together, we were all brethren. We sang, we danced, we screamed – we were as one.
Who would have thunk it?
Giggling like a little school girl…
Weirdly enough, my favourite things about this whole experience had nothing to do with the actual game itself. No, it was the things that made me giggle like a little school girl.
1. Without a doubt, we all loved the bat boy. He caught more balls than anyone else on the field – and we all screamed with delight every time he caught the ball.
2. The Goose Cam. There was a goose that hung out for over half an hour in right field. It would waddle about, checking things out while all the action took place around it.
3. The mascots dressed as Sushi. Made me kind of hungry for something that wasn’t deep-fried.
4. The fireworks at the end of the game. Surprisingly awesome!
5. The fact that everyone in the stands won a prize when the home team got a home run. Who doesn’t like an unexpected gift?
Check out the wee video I made showing some of the highlights of the evening:
After this adventure, I decided it would be a good idea to ‘branch out’ and experience other types of sports – to hang out with different sorts of heathens.
Rugby, for instance.
I was shown footage of the New Zealand ‘All Blacks’ who do the Haka, a Māori challenge performed before each game they play.
The men’s nostrils flare as they beat their hands against their chests, against their powerful thighs. With heads rolled back, their fierce eyes focus intently on their enemies – all the while screaming, sticking out their tongues, and chanting their war song as they intimidate the crap out of other team.
It’s so delicious.
Barbaric, really. 🙂
I can’t help myself, I love them. They bring out my primitive, uncivilized nature. Not that I’ve ever seen a rugby game played before…but really, all in good time. One day I will watch these fabulous gladiators fight to the bitter end.
And I’m looking forward to it.
But then again, perhaps I just like the idea of wearing a white toga lined with gold thread as I consume decadent foods and spirits while hooting and a-hollering with the rest of you heathens beside me.
Who’s in?© Monthly Adventure, Patricia Taylor, August 2010