Yesterday was Father's Day and the boys wanted to do something special with their Dad to celebrate. We had access to free tickets to a G-Braves games so despite my mixed emotions we made our plans. For those of you questioning my loyalty to baseball let me tell you - I love baseball and I love watching it both on TV and live. I also love the fact my twenty-something sons wanted to spend an afternoon with mom and pop. However, what I don't love is sitting outside on a hot summer afternoon. It's one thing if you're beside a pool and have a way to quickly refresh yourself, but sitting in a baseball stadium in the blistering heat provides no such relief. Therefore I hate afternoon-live-summer games and it's needless to say there was a part of me that dreaded our afternoon plans.
But, it was Father's Day. How could I say no?
So, after church and a quick bite at KFC/Taco Bell we were off to our appointment with the Gwinnett Braves and the Columbus Clippers. Ian had picked up our tickets the day before so all we had to do was park and walk right into the stadium.
Score one for the boy - he managed to get pretty good seats. They were down the first baseline which meant sitting behind the visitors dugout BUT they also faced east so it meant the sun was moving behind us, thus no direct sun beating down on our heads. Momma was even more happy to discover that even sitting just seven rows back from the field we were, within 30 minutes of arrival, actually sitting in the shadows. Yay!
I did have some reservations that our seats might make us susceptible to foul balls. Reading this on the back of our tickets didn't help.
Apparently if the batter lets go of his bat and flings it into the seats (this actually did happen yesterday, fortunately no one was hit), or if a foul ball zips down the baseline and bops people in the head you're just out of luck. Not only is the team/stadium NOT going to take care of your medical needs, they won't even comp your tickets or give you a refund if you have to leave the game. Bummer. Obviously this doesn't deter the fans because they keep coming to games and sitting along the "line of fire." I just wished my boys had brought gloves like they did when they were younger so they could protect their mom in case something came our way. One foul ball did actually make pretty close and Andrew was inches from catching it. Of course I didn't see it 'cause I was cowering under the seats. Way to go son, protect your mom!
After settling in our seats I pulled out my phone and started taking photos.
As usual I am taking photos and not paying attention to what is actually happening. They were introducing some guys here - I have no idea who they are. See those seats in the background? Those are the poor suckers who had to face the sun all afternoon. Notice how empty it is!
Here's my crew.
They figured it would be easier to go ahead and let mom take photos early and get it out of her system. Don't they look happy to be here? It's because the seats behind them are empty. Too bad THAT didn't last.
The most annoying extended family crashed our happy outing. I swear I'm a magnet for loud and obnoxious people. This group had two women that fell into that category. One was around my age and her voice was deep and booming. She talked throughout the entire game, barely taking a breath of air. The other female was her daughter-in-law and her voice was equally loud but more whiney and shrill. She too talked almost the whole game. They often talked at the same time. At one point I announced (rather loudly) to my family, "I think my ears are starting to bleed!" Andrew was horrified. Though he agreed these were the most obnoxious people ever, he hates it when I say anything that might be overheard. I figured what the heck, if they want to talk loud enough for everyone within 100 feet to hear their conversation then they shouldn't object to me putting in my two-cents. Sadly I'm pretty sure I wasn't even a blip on their radar.
Then there was this kid who was sitting down at the very front. He looked to be about six or seven and was dressed in a Braves jersey and cap. That's what he looked like on the outside but I'm pretty sure underneath that jersey and cap was a pink bunny costume.
This kid was really the Energizer Bunny in disguise.
He was into the game.
He was into inciting the crowd.
He was into driving me crazy.
It started innocently enough. "Let's go Braves, let's go." and the crowd would respond - clap, clap. I know you know the scenario. He was cute and everyone enjoyed his enthusiasm. But once or twice or even 100 times wasn't enough. He did it CONTINUOUSLY for NINE innings. At one point I wanted to stand up and yell, "people, STOP encouraging him. IF you will only STOP clapping maybe HE will shut up!" But once again Andrew held me in check and no one else had the guts to put an end to the incessant chanting.
By the last couple of innings there were only a handful of people who would respond to his chant but he didn't seem to care. He did not stop .... He was accompanied by a man and a woman who I assume were his parents. The dad clapped each. and. every. time and I wondered if this is what life is like at home, little Johnny running rings around doting parents, relishing in the spot light. Or perhaps it's like Ian suggested, they were hoping he'd wear himself out at the game and they'd get an evening of peace and quiet at home. I can't lie, secretly I was hoping he was hopped up on caffeine and they'd have to listen to it non-stop into the wee hours of the night.
The last example of loud and obnoxious for the day is a guy I will call Boozer Boomer. As his name suggests, I'm pretty sure he was several sheets to the wind (drunk, if you don't know what that means) and around the sixth inning or so he started yelling out "encouragement" to the players. He was actually pretty funny but I'm sure if I had been sitting a little closer to him I might not have quite so amused. His female companion didn't look too fazed so I have to assume she was equally liquored up, deaf, or simply resigned to his antics. Like I said, he was pretty funny but he was definitely not what I would consider "family-friendly." Several times an usher came and sat on the railing in front of him in an effort to get him to take it down a notch. It worked just great until the usher left and BB would start up again. I 'm willing to bet he woke up this morning with a fairly good headache and more than likely was hoarse from all the yelling. Hmmmmm, laryngitis - maybe that's why she kept letting him yell?
In case you were wondering, there was an actual game going on. Here's proof of some of the action .
During the game Dale got a lesson from Ian in using Instagram resulting in this photo of his first born. (yes Mother, it is in black and white, there's nothing wrong with your computer).
He also took a photo of yours truly
as actual proof that I was really there and not making all this up.
If you'll look closely in the background you can see the Energizer Bunny,
bless his little heart.
Sadly the Braves blew up in the final inning and ended up losing 6-2. But, despite all the distractions around us, we enjoyed our family outing. In fact, we might even go back again before Andrew heads back to school and Ian does whatever it is he's gonna do. Until then I'm gonna stick to watching baseball live from the comforts of home.
One last thing - Happy Father's Day to a wonderful, caring, loving, inspiring man; our children are so blessed to have you as their Dad. I love you, Chipmunk and you still make my heart go pitter-patter!