University of York Graduate, aspiring to be a journalist with dreams of one day publishing my own novel.
Published work can be seen at www.theyorker.co.uk and www.yorkvision.co.uk
Published December 30th 2012
Take me out to the ball game
American sports and mid-twenties English females are not a happy marriage. One is a loud and over-competitive catalyst for fighting between drunken males; the other is an excuse to sell over-priced hot dogs. Alas, in July I found myself the spectator of an American sport, in this instance, a baseball game between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. I think.
I can only describe this friendly game of baseball as an enlightening experience. Quite apart from the plethora of rules I learned about baseball, (it is not, in fact, just an American rip off of rounders, as I once thought) I also learned a little more about human nature.
For starters, the game was delayed by a total of two hours due to rain. I therefore learned a little more about my patience, or indeed lack thereof, as I watched tediously whilst the tiny little men in the Yankee Stadium ran on and off the pitch with a large blanket of plastic, tirelessly smoothing down the sand only to cover it all up again at the slightest hint of precipitation. I'd been getting ready to put my coat on (and regretting buying Ray Bans sunglasses) about fifty times before the game finally went ahead, but, courtesy of the young sympathetic couple next to me who lent me a coat, my patience remained intact.
What ensued was possibly the most eye-opening experience of my life. Perhaps it was the twelve year old ex-rounders player screaming inside of me, but, I, a twenty-something female at a baseball game was actually finding it exciting. When balls were hit far it was enough to make me roar with the rest of the crowd; when home runs were hit I found myself chortling at the hoards of drunk men behind me screaming with delight.
Perhaps what was most entertaining, however, was the crowd interaction. Not with the players on the pitch however, but indeed, with each other. After two hours of delays it was inevitable that there would be drink flowing – just a case of how much. I was soon witness to a Boston Red Sox fan trading insults with a Yankees fan from across the stalls, and soon after found myself giggling my head off to the Boston fan's subsequent arrest for being drunk and disorderly.
Amidst the annoying commercials on the big screen and the stopping every five minutes to pay yet another patriotic tribute to the land of the free, I'm ashamed to admit I did quite enjoy myself. I sought solace in the twenty-something (American) female next to me who had too clearly been dragged along by her boyfriend, but we both seemed to silently agree that the atmosphere was more fun than the sport itself. In the end, the game overran by close to three hours, and the Yankees lost, but the resounding atmosphere was not one of a stadium full of losers, but rather, a load of patriotic sports fans out to have fun.
Thus, if any ladies out there, twenty-something, English or otherwise, find themselves being witness to a live American sport, I would advise that they go with an open mind. I learned a bit about baseball and a lot about what makes men tick, and can just about boast that I now know all the words to the Star Spangled Banner.