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game day fansLiving here in Des Moines, I am able to attend many events. Jazz concerts, comedy shows, and sports. We have the Des Moines Buccaneers and Iowa Wild hockey teams, Iowa Energy basketball, and Iowa Cubs baseball. I’ve attended all but the Bucs. I would like to point out a few things about the games, the arenas, and the other fans.

I thought about discussing just baseball, but realized the points I make, might be relevant to all.

  1. Watch the game. This is the biggest area of amazement. Okay, you’ve paid anywhere from $14.00 on up per ticket. For some, especially families, that’s goanna cost. This does not include the food and souvenirs should you want any. Sorry to use the same word twice so soon, but I’m amazed at how many people are NOT watching the game for which they paid to see. I understand letting the little ones blow off some steam on the play equipment (at the baseball stadium), but at any given time, there are scores of people walking around in the vending area, outside the arena.

At one basketball game I saw: a birthday party group who showed up late in the first quarter. About ten kids in all. Two adults went for food and didn’t get seated until almost halftime. Then in the middle of the third quarter, everybody stood and left. I assume they went to the birthday party area, but did anybody watch the game? I mean, even with discounts, that’s an expensive birthday.

I come to watch the game. Sure, I may get up for food or to answer the call of nature, but I’m there to see some competition, not wander around. Do that before the game. If I want to play, I could save myself the money and just go outside at home.

  1. Speaking of children… I’m not a parent, so I may be off the mark a bit, but what harm is it in keeping the children in line, disciplined, and courteous?

A few weeks ago a friend and I attended a Cubs game. I had won general admission tickets. We sat a couple seats from the end of a row. During the first part of the game, we had to listen to three loudmouth children who had no supervision. They moved but were replaced by a family with three children 5 years old and younger. For the remainder of our stay, they proceeded to kick and bump our chairs, edge out into the stair/walk way impeding traffic, and yelling. Now, I don’t mind a bit of yelling at a ballgame. I mean, you’re outside, the game is going great, you’re cheering on your team. However, cheering for your team, does not mean screaming into the ears of the people in front of you.

Oh, and the father kept spilling beer on my friend’s purse. She told me later that the next day, it failed the Breathalyzer.

I’m sorry, but these places (and this goes for any county/state fair) are not for babies. First off, they can’t enjoy the game. Second, they’re babies. They need constant attention and don’t understand the thousands of people around them and why there is so much noise. There are these people called babysitters. Hire one of them.

I think this section also applies to the adults who act like children. Loud, discourteous to those around them. I remember a time I attended a bull fight in Mexico (okay, this doesn’t qualify as a sport in any sense of the word and won’t go to another one. I thought the event cruel and stupid and kept hoping the bull would win). While trying to find some enjoyment out of the event, I had to endure two drunk New Yorkers who kept shouting “Ole!” every minute or two. Sheesh, give me a break.

  1. Seating. Okay, I understand that arenas and stadiums want to cram as many people in as possible. Money. But could it hurt to make the seats a bit more comfortable? As in a little bigger? With a tad more leg room? When I attended the Cubs game on the 4th of July, I bought a ticket the day of the game and wound up in a last row seat in one of grandstand sections. Now, there really isn’t a bad seat at this park. Well, maybe if you’re in the right field end seats or up at the tables with the beer tables. But, hey, if you’re up there, you’re not really caring about the game, right? You’ve found an outside bar with a game that’s live in front of you instead of on the big screen.

No, I didn’t mind the location, I just hadn’t realized that the last row was built for people who aren’t 6’2”. I tolerated two innings crammed in there with my legs tucked under the seat, people on either side of me (including one guy on my left who kept telling his wife the stats of the players as they came to the plate, as if she couldn’t read the scoreboard herself). Then I moved. I had to pee and I thought if I couldn’t find another seat within the grandstand area (heaven forbid you should try to sit in another area that has empty seats) I’d stand. The couple to my right also decided they weren’t going to stay, either. Surprisingly, we all found seats lower down in the same section.

 I’ll always remember the time some friends and I attended a pro wrestling event in Cedar Rapids. There were about nine of us and just as the event began I felt something drip on my shoulder. I thought it was somebody throwing food. I realized it was some icky substance dripping from the ceiling. I mentioned it to a staff worker and after a short wait, we were all moved…to a VIP section with free drinks and t-shirts. I think the coolest part, though, was near the end of the evening, one of the top wrestlers made an appearance right behind us (the storyline was he was haunting the bad guys by showing up in different parts of whatever arena they happened to be in.) I thought we did all right with those seats.

Anyway, let’s have fun out there at the game. Watch out for those around you. Be aware of your surroundings. I hope you chose a good seat.

Play ball!

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