Wednesday, July 9, 2008

When Phanatics Attack

While minding our own business at the Phillies vs. Cardinals game last night, Adam and I were accosted by none other than the Phillie Phanatic. He came into our section doing that thrusting dance that pretty much all mascots do and got the crowd to clap along. It was quite amusing. But, after the clapping was done, my adorable husband politely clapped when some Phillie got out at first, revealing himself as the enemy. Big mistake. Just seconds later, Adam had a furry and very smelly Phanatic on this lap and only seconds after that the mascot shoved his oversized jersey over my husband's head and torso. Ewwww. After the Phanatic was done with Adam he scooted over, stepped on my foot - hard, and sat on my lap for awhile and proceeded to scratch his green ass in my face.

That bump in the Phanatic's shirt is Adam's head.

Last week we attended a Cardinals game in St. Louis and while it is of course more enjoyable to watch your team play at home, St. Louis fans tend to be a little more forgiving of rival fans in the home stand, even when they are Mets fans. Cardinals’ fans will applaud a great play by the opposing team, they'll cheer for their boys even after the 3rd out for a job well done, they're just nicer and the game is more enjoyable for everyone. Phillies fans heckle their own players as well as the visitors. Booing and groaning seems to just ease out of their mouths like "begel" instead of "bagel" and adding that "eee" sound after the "t" in the word beautiful. At the same time the whole stadium did the wave last night at the top of the ninth. Sure the upper and lower sections couldn't quite get synchronized resulting in multiple completely unrelated waves and at one point Phillies closer Lidge was so distracted by said wave he balked. But they were really doing all they could to help their boys get back in the game. For that, you have to admire this town.

Bottom of the ninth and the Phillies had two men on. I squeezed Adam's knee unable to handle the stress. The thought of walking through throngs of Phillies fans was completely frightening. It wasn't so much that I care that much about the Cardinals loosing one game; I just didn't want to give the other 41,517 people the satisfaction. (Of course, it's actually more like 40,000 as we saw quite a few St. Louis jerseys dispersed throughout the park.) The walk up from the 4th row in left field, the walk down the street to the packed subway cars, the subway ride - I was dreading it all should the Cards blow it. Adam just sat back and enjoyed his last swig of Lager. "Why are you so stressed out, it's not like Izzy is pitching." He was right; they had a decent closer out there. I knew that. I knew something specific about a specific team. At that moment I realized I know most of the first names of the Cardinals. I know the coaches' names. I know what it means when Tony LaRussa takes off his trademark sunglasses. Sure, I don't know what a lot of the numbers on the scoreboard really mean, but I'm getting there. I am almost an actual baseball fan.

My excitement got the better of me as we made our way out of the stadium. I gave unsolicited "whoo-hoos" to any and all Cardinal fans we passed. Most did not respond as they were trying not to draw attention to themselves. Adam was convinced I would start a fight as people passed us yelling, "Cardinals suck!" In my head I was all, "Um that's not really an accurate burn at this very moment in time. Perhaps you should go back inside and look at the scoreboard that indicates that your team in fact sucks on this very evening." I love being a sore winner, especially when I don't have to do anything except sit in a seat, cheer at the appropriate times, show polite disappointment at any mistakes made by my team or achievements by the other team all while drinking beer.

I just want to take this moment to say to baseball, "I love you, man."

July 8, 2008

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis
0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0
2 5 1
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 6 0

p.s. Last night's scoreboard. By me posting it here I'm almost guaranteeing that the Cards will loose tonight. As I am not yet a true baseball fan, I still have the audacity to tempt fate.

(Update July 10, 2008: The Cards failed to pull it out in the 9th and lost 2-4. I accept full responsibility.)