Going to a Game Alone

Last Wednesday, I went to the White Sox/Rockies game alone.

That’s kind of weird, right? As it turns out, not really. I actually had a pretty awesome time.

I don’t usually go to sporting events by myself, but last week, it just made sense. It was a few days before my spending fast went into effect. It was my favorite team (that doesn’t come to town often) in the world. I knew seeing the White Sox from our mediocre guys-night-out seats on Tuesday wouldn’t be enough. I was ready for a night out without the kid, and I’m more into sports than traditional girls’ night out stuff. I was more interested in seeing my team than socializing. So what the hell?

TJ Hoochmandzadeh

If all else fails, dress up like TJ Hoochmandzadeh.

The good news is that, because I was buying only one ticket, I got an awesome seat at almost the last minute, at face value. (For Rockies games, you can now see available seats when you’re buying online. There were a few great single seats left; two seats together were in less-awesome locations.)

I rolled up to the game during the first inning. I didn’t plan to be late (that’s just, apparently, how I roll) but that ended up being a good thing because I didn’t have to worry about entertaining myself before the game started (honestly, all the pre-game crap bores me). I found my super-awesome seat (Section 135, Row 15, Seat 3) and had a great time with a bunch of strangers. My team even won!

Here are my tips for solo game attendance:

  • If you’re cool, chance are other people will be cool. This applies especially if you’re like me and you come representing the visiting team. I was lucky and had a seat near other White Sox fans. (They came from New Mexico just to see the Sox!) It was like having instant game friends — we were high-fiving each other and carrying on like the big giant dorks we are as if we’d known each other for years. We all laughed when Rockies fans made fun of us and I fist bumped Rockies dude who fist bumped everybody when the Rockies did something good and even a Cubs fan on the way out (he was all, “Hey! There’s a Sox fan!”).
  • Drink beer if you want. Don’t drink beer if you don’t want. Do whatever you’d normally do but probably don’t get shitfaced.
  • Don’t count on listening to the game on headphones. I’d hoped to totally dork out by listening to the White Sox radio broadcast on the MLB app, but the broadcast lagged way behind the live action — the count would be 1 ball and 2 strikes, and the radio broadcast had the guy just coming to the plate. It was too annoying so I gave up. A local radio broadcast might be more timely.
  • If it makes you feel more comfortable, have something to do in addition to watching the game. I was too excited to worry about feeling awkward, but I also kept busy by taking tons of pictures. You could keep score (I don’t even know how to do that), try to Shazam everybody’s walk-up music, or provide witty and insightful Twitter updates.
  • My theory is that the better the seat, the less likely you are to feel weird. It’s much easier to pay close attention to the game if you have a good seat. That means you’ll be able to pay close attention to the game and so will everybody around you. In my experience, you’re less likely to be around a big group of people getting wasted when you’re in the good seats (that said, those can be fun, too — it’s just a different scene).
  • Realize you’re not the only one. I did it and had fun! And I’m not the only White Sox fan to go to the game by myself. (Another tip: If you’re looking for other fans of an out-of-market team, check message boards. I didn’t think to do this ahead of time but if I had, I could’ve met even more White Sox fans who came in just for the games.)
  • Have fun and remember nobody is as worried about how you look as you are!
Sox vs. Rockies

non-zoomed view from my seat

Rerun: I Love the White Sox

Music: We were listening to the top 25 songs on Hype Machine earlier and it was pretty sweet. I’m especially digging this Evil Woman remix right now.
I’m feeling exceptionally lazy today, so here is a post from 2009 wherein I admit something terribly embarrassing and discuss my love for the Chicago White Sox. (They’re coming to Denver this year! This means I’ll get to see them live, in person, for the first time ever! If you’re an enthusiastic White Sox fan in Denver and plan to go to one or more of the games, email me, because you’re my people and I’d like to meet you!)
I’m going to admit something right now that I should’ve admitted a long time ago and will make me lose whatever credibility I might have had with sports fans. Are you ready?

I was a bandwagon White Sox fan.

I know! You should stop reading this right now and never visit my site again. Seriously, that’s how lame this is and how bad I feel about it.

The truth is that I never liked baseball. I’ve mentioned this before, but my grandma (we called her Nana) was a Cubs fan. She always had Cubs games on TV at her house, and I thought they were the most boring thing in the world. I remember getting yelled at for changing the channel a few times.

I’ve told the story before about how basketball was my gateway drug and I started with the Boston Celtics (no idea why, and please forgive me) and the DePaul Blue Demons (when Tyrone Corbin was there). I later added football and the occasional tennis or Olympic stuff, but never, ever baseball.

Until 2005. I don’t even remember why I started watching the playoffs that year because at that point, I had probably never watched an entire baseball game in my life. Baseball was boring! But in 2005, I realized that it wasn’t boring at all.

In my defense, I’ll say that I watched and cheered for the White Sox from the beginning of the playoffs that year. I knew nothing about the sport and had no idea if they had a chance. There was just something about them that made me want to watch baseball, something that despite all my exposure to the sport had never happened before.

my boyfriend

I didn’t take this picture.

I picked up on a few things right away. I really, really like pitching. I love the pitcher/catcher dynamic and I love the mental part of the game. Baseball probably seems boring because so much of the good stuff is pretty subtle — stuff like the movement of a pitch is nothing like a good quarterback sack or big interception. It’s quiet and beautiful, really, and I never took the time to notice that before.

Oh and, of course, I really, really like Jon Garland.

So I was hooked. With each game, I got more and more into it. When the White Sox swept the defending champion Boston Red Sox (a team I knew enough to hate even then), I was thrilled. The series against the Los Angeles Angels [“of Anaheim” intentionally omitted] was crazy, with the Angels (a team I like) winning one game and then getting Pierzynskied, and complete games from Mark Buehrle, my boyfriend Jon Garland, Freddy Garcia, and Jose Contreras. Then came the Astros, a team I strongly dislike for no identifiable reason, and the Sox swept them. The playoffs were almost perfect for the White Sox. It was absolutely amazing.

The 2005 playoffs probably were the best experience I will ever have as a baseball fan, and I guess it kind of sucks that I had to use that up so early in my relationship with baseball (although I suppose it sucks a lot less than loving a team that never wins for your entire life). I don’t know whether the White Sox will win another World Series in my lifetime. If they do, I don’t know if it will be as magical as 2005. I mean, seriously, not to repeat myself, but it was really freaking amazing.

So yeah, if I were into cheesy metaphors I might say something about how the White Sox “swept me off my feet” (I really, really hate that phrase) and I fell madly in love with them. Because that’s really what happened. My relationship with the White Sox started out hot and steamy. We didn’t grow up together and become friends first, falling in love only after I spent years wearing their oversized sweatshirts and drinking lemonade or pilfered Old Style in the sunshine at Comiskey. Does that make my love for them less valid? I don’t know, but I’m going to stop writing shit that sounds like Sex and the City for sports fans right now.

Even though I really shouldn’t be, I’m a little ashamed of becoming a White Sox fan the year they won the World Series. Because I want to make up for that, I’ve vowed to be the most loyal and dedicated White Sox fan I can be for the rest of my life. Sure, I’ll follow and cheer for the Rockies because I live in Denver, but the White Sox will always be my #1 team. Always. I’ll always wear White Sox gear, shell out $$$ for MLB Extra Innings, get White Sox text updates, and watch every one of their games I can, which is almost all of them. I hope my kid will be a White Sox fan one day, after he’s born, of course (although believe me, I wish I could get him hooked up with in-womb audio of Sox broadcasts — you’re never too young to listen to Hawk Harrelson, after all).

What inspired this sordid confessional? Well, this afternoon, Mark Buehrle pitched a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. It just so happened that I was at home for lunch when the game was in the sixth inning, and I got a text message saying that Mark Buehrle had a perfect game going. I turned on the TV and watched the rest of that game on the edge of my seat, screaming at the TV, cheering, clapping, Tweeting (I’m addicted to that shit), and, yes, unfortunately, at some points actually jumping up and down. The amazing (there’s that word again, sorry) pitching and the magic (Holy crap, did you see that catch by Dewayne Wise? I will never talk shit about Dewayne Wise again for the rest of my life. That shit was bananas!) brought me back to 2005 and those electric days I had with my new love, the Chicago White Sox. This is what baseball is all about. This is why I love baseball.

You’ll notice that, way back at the beginning of this post, I didn’t admit that I “am” a bandwagon White Sox fan — I intentionally used past tense. I hope I’m allowed to move past my questionable beginnings and take my place as a legitimate fan. I’m going to be one for a long, long time.

I mean, holy crap.

P.S. Yes, I do make fun of Cubs fans. I can’t help it.

Blunt honesy on the internet: a case study

‘Sup, internet?

So, Ozzie Guillen’s son Oney is on Twitter. He posts awesome tweets:

Get ur own life on track then try and run others. Hater

I hope the dorks aren’t running the organization or else were fucked. 3 geeks who never played baseball a day in there life telling expe …

I love it how people are monitoring my tweets like I’m someone important. Everyone is entitled to there own opinion

@cst_sox and a pic of u in vegas. Would be u and jay m canoddling behind a craps table. Both with ur pasty white culos

I love how cubs fans get excited about beating us in march there so lame it hurts

@cst_sox I disagree I’m not Ben whatever his name is. I act like I have been out before unlikes him

@cst_sox well I’m glad to be a proud member of the cowley fam. But I refuse to watch steelers game and be naked

@cst_sox as long as I’m not from minnesota or steel city I’m fine talk about shitholes

@oguillenjr we run the bases like ass that’s why.

The Guillen family just got screwed over or fucked… but dont worry we have our own way of handling this

My dad just said I belong on sesame street

Dinner for the anniversary time to get drunk and talk about everyone that’s doing Guillens wrong lookout

I just farted and I cleared the house

What’s worst the mexican mariachis? How fucking annoying wow

Great workout today everything was really smooth….why does joey cora insist on working out while wearing what seems to be a latex body sut

I m not only going to kick your ass, but I will give you a hug after

He’s honest, blunt, and hilarious. These are the kinds of tweets I like to read. I like to hear what people really think, rather some over-sanitized PR shit masquerading as substance. In a world where, more and more often, people are afraid to say anything that matters, the kind of stuff Oney posts is refreshing and just plain awesome.

Oney used to work for the White Sox doing video/scouting stuff. Until yesterday when, as Joe Cowley put it, he got “called into the principal’s office because of his Twitter account.” Sox GM Ken Williams, who has been less than thrilled about anyone associated with the team using Twitter, wanted Oney to stop tweeting or tone it down. Oney said (well, I don’t know what he said because I wasn’t there, so I’m just guessing) something like, fuck no, bitches, and resigned. He continues to tweet.

I like face to face conversation or man to man way better than behind your back.

What I hate is people talking about me. Making a big deal. Taking away from how good the Sox can be

Bruce levine is wrong again. About what he wrote on Get ur fact straigh buddy I like u. All false his comments

Why do people give a shit about me. I’m not famous at all. Its not important or relevant

Well, people give a shit about you now because you just showed your cojones to the entire internet. You’ve become important and relevant because, when your bosses told you to shut up, you said “no.” That’s pretty bad ass, if you ask me. Talking shit on Twitter isn’t the most important work in the world or anything, but I appreciate someone standing up for himself like this. As someone who likes to talk shit on Twitter and the internet in general, I appreciate you fighting the good fight like this. (Seriously.)

I’m starting to realize that there are two types of people on the internet: (1) those who want to say what they want to say, everybody else’s opinions be damned; and (2) those who want nothing but safe, complimentary asskissery.

I’ve always believed in saying what I think (on the internet and in life) and I like other people who feel the same way and act accordingly. I believe in people saying what they think about me, too — I’d rather have 100 people call me an asshole than 10 people compliment me and suck up when I don’t deserve it or because they want something from me or from being associated with me. And I strongly believe that, if you can’t handle other people’s real, honest thoughts and opinions, you shouldn’t even be on the internet, because the internet doesn’t exist to feed your ego or your agenda.

One of Oney’s most recent tweets:

I appreciate stones

So do I, Oney. So do I.