A 500 Level Fan Proclamation About Opening Day

Though not from an opener, this is what Opening Day generally looks like. (image from Flickr user Chris)

This morning my fellow blogger Ian at the Blue Jay Hunter posted a nice piece about the home opener. I recommend you read it if you are attending the game tomorrow night.

In the article, he likens the home opener to Christmas for baseball fans, the most exciting day of the year after six long months with no baseball to see in person.

This is true. I am as excited as a 10-year old kid for tomorrow night. I picked up my Toronto Star pass yesterday and practically skipped all the way home, images of live baseball dancing through my head. I will be watching the game tomorrow night, beer in hand, cheering and screaming for some Opening Day heroics.

But here’s the difference: I will NOT be at the game.

While I appreciate that the atmosphere will be electric, the sold-out house will be loud, and the place will be buzzing, Opening Day is, in my opinion, THE WORST GAME OF THE YEAR TO SEE LIVE.

There, I said it.

Why?

Because of these three things:

1. Drunks

2. Idiots

3. Non-fans

Don’t get me wrong. I am a drunk, and have been known to drink way more than my fair share at the good ol’ Dome. I am also an idiot, who has many times acted out of control in the upper deck.

But here’s the difference – I am a fan. I am a hard-core, die-hard, passionate Blue Jays fan. Even more, I am a baseball fan, who has been watching and playing since I can remember.

Too many people at the opener are not fans. They see the game as a chance to get drunk and cause problems. Such behaviour makes no sense to me. If you want to get destroyed and start a fight, why not do it at a bar where beers aren’t $11 and you don’t have to buy a ticket to get in?

My mind was made up after the opener of 2009,

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after three straight years of brutal performances.

April 9, 2007 vs Kansas City

Stand in line waiting for a beer for over 45 minutes. Miss the third, fourth, and fifth innings.

April 4, 2008 vs Boston

A brawl erupts two sections away from where we sit, three or four rows of drunken buffoons throwing punches and elbows at each other. Security doesn’t arrive for several minutes. Spilled beer, peanuts, and blood is everywhere. Many older people around us frown.

April 6, 2009 vs Detroit

The game is actually going quite smoothly until the later innings, when the drunks decide to pelt the Tiger outfielders with debris. Beer cups, food, batteries,

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balls, anything they can get their hands on. Jim Leyland actually pulls Detroit from the field and a forfeit becomes a possibility. Once again, older fans around us frown.

In 2010 I watched from home, before beginning my live attendance the next day.

So good luck to those in attendance tomorrow night. I will be watching and waiting from the comfort of my own living room, and the convenience of having 36 beers at my fingertips.

I’ll see you all on Saturday at 1:07.

8 thoughts on “A 500 Level Fan Proclamation About Opening Day”

  1. Thanks for the link, sir! This will be my third straight Home Opener, and at the end of the night I say the exact same thing every year – “what a gong show”.

    Any sane person would avoid the Home Opener at all costs, but I’m not a sane person. 6 months without baseball will really make people do some crazy things.

    Enjoy the game on Saturday!

  2. Navin – you’re right, I probably should. Something about the upper deck though…I can’t bring myself to leave it very often

    Ian – no problem, always a pleasure reading your site. Enjoy the game tonight!

  3. I offer my services as a 500 LevelFan field reporter. I will report live via Twitter any and all Hooliganism I spot…..but it will be from the 100 section thanks to some free tix. And if I get hit with a battery or an idiot human being tossed from the 500 section I will tweet about that too…once I regain consciousness.

  4. Question: If one is a non-idiot and a non-drunk but is a non-fan, are they welcome at the home opener? I understand drunks and idiots ruining the game but i think there is something to be said about growing the Blue Jays fan base which will have to come from existing “non-fans”.

  5. I agree with this for the most part however had I been able to get tickets at fair market value I still would have gone. Gotta credit my wife with a comment from this morning on this one. There is just something to be said about being at the dome when it is at capacity and that only happens once a year.

  6. Right on, brother! Don’t mind the non-fans, in fact, they’re kind of fun to listen to, but I was reading this and thinking, “these are the exact reasons I chose not to go.”, with visions of the 2009 opener in my mind.

  7. Nudathan – as long as a non-fan is a non-drunk and a non-idiot, they are welcome. As kinguy says above, they are often times quite entertaining.

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