March 14, 2006

Athletic supporters

Let’s play word association. What are the first three words that come to mind when I say Arizona? Cactus? Hot? Desert?

How about 2 words. Torrential downpour?
Yeah, didn’t think so.

My sister (Sister) and I went to Arizona last weekend to watch some of the Oakland Athletics’ spring training baseball games. Saturday we had tickets to our first game, and sure, there was rain in the forecast. But this was Arizona. It hadn’t rained for nearly one-hundred-forty-five days. Besides, when it rains there, I was told it’s just for a little while. Not like here, where it pours for weeks and you start gathering the animals 2 by 2. I pushed the impending forecast into the lobe of my brain where math skills go to die.

I did inform Sister of the “chance of rain.” I left off the 80% part. Numbers, schnumbers.

Then, in the wee hours of the morning, it came. The Spring Training Fan’s worst enemy. Rain. Rain is water. Water is wet. Baseball players don’t play in wet. Because it messes up the field, I’m told. Pussy field. Besides I think a little shower would add a whole new dimension to the game. Wet baseball players. Fun! Sliding into home, splashing mud on the catcher. Fun! The challenge of catching a pop fly when your eyeballs are poked by rain drops. Fun! Sitting, watching the game in the rain for 3 hours…oh…yeah. OK, now I see.

I called the ballpark at around 9:30 a.m. to see if the game was still on. Whew! It was. (And I mean “whew!” in the thank-goodness-I-wouldn’t-have-to-endure-the-pissed-offed-Sister sense.) We decked ourselves in yellow and green, and made our way to the park, driving through the rain. So we would replace sunscreen with hoodies, and tank tops for layered tees. We could handle a little chill. It would have been nice to have some sun though, in the 41-degree weather.

It rained nearly the whole way there, but we were going to be arriving super early to get autographs and take pictures. Hopes were high that the rain would stop before tip-off or kick-off, or whatever starts a baseball game. Sister sang in the car “Rain, rain, go away. Come again some other day,” adding, “but not tomorrow or the next day either, bastards.”

Oh, and did I mention this game was against the San Francisco Giants? Yes. A’s vs. Giants. I know, right? Can you imagine the onslaught of Bay Areans (Bay Areites?) that would have converged on the Phoenix Municipal Stadium? So what if we traveled all the way to the desert state, just to spend the day with people we could see at the mall or riding on BART? The same people we yell at on the freeway for cutting in front of us without signalling. It’d be like a family reunion of sorts, complete with rivalry, swearing, and drunken outbursts between clans. Giants fans and A’s fans in the same place. Imagine the deafening noise level! The overexaggerated loyalty for one’s team! The palpable hatred for the opposing team! Yea, a spectacle to behold!

Only one thing could bring the orange-and-black and yellow-and-green together.

Only one thing would make us all play nice-nice and set aside our differences.

Only one thing would make us forget how much we hate each other’s team. And your team’s Halloweenesque colors. And the stupid G on your stupid hats. And that dang Barry Bonds.

One thing.

Having the game called due to rain.

Now, I was not horribly devastated with the game cancellation itself. Sure I took time off work. Sure I wanted to watch some cute boys running around in tight white pants. But I didn’t have much emotion invested, I was there for Sister, whose dejected look made me laugh my ass off. No really. I felt for her, but her various hilarious expletives were cracking me up. You have to understand just how much she loves A’s baseball to fully appreciate her angered tourettes-like outbursts. Saturday she wouldn’t take any photos with her favorite players. There would be no autographs on her trading cards or on her naked baseball that awaited Eric Chavez’ scribble in ballpoint pen. No drooling over Barry Zito.

And there was no one to blame.

So we blamed George Bush.


one person has roominated about “Athletic supporters”

roominate on this yourself