Friday, July 13, 2007


I like sports, but baseball has never been one of my favourite sports to watch. Tennis, basketball, football – no problem. But baseball? I’m not so sure. So yesterday when we got free tickets to watch the New York Mets play against the Cincinnati Reds, I was in two minds. Should I go for the experience of watching a US Major League Baseball game at the well-known Shea Stadium and give the husband some company, or should I give it a pass, seeing as how it was baseball that was involved? Well, I’m not one to forgo new experiences, even if they happen to be baseball-related, so I said okie-dokie, and there I was.

Half an hour or so into the game, I realized one thing about American baseball – it is highly entertainment-oriented, guaranteed to ensure that even a person who is very disinterested in the game will have some amount of fun. Of course this, as the husband quite rightly pointed out aghast, is against the very principle of sport. His exact words were ‘What a travesty! You would never see this kind of thing at Old Trafford!’, and he is quite right too. Every three minutes, and I mean three minutes, the huge LCD screen began to display advertisements, pre-recorded messages from the players, or music trivia as a song played in the stadium – and they were mostly hip-hop, with one jazz number thrown in for good measure. Playing to the mostly young audience? You bet! Primarily though, there were audience games where they’d show random sections of the audience on screen while a voice said they had to do such-and-such a thing. Such as the Kiss Game, where the couple shown on camera had to, yup, kiss. Or they’d show some audience members holding up T-shirts given by one of the sponsors. Or they would play this karaoke song with the words flashing on screen that everyone would sing along to – one was a version of ‘Sweet Caroline’ with the words modified to the benefit of the Mets, and another was the Mets anthem, ‘Let’s Go Mets’ (!!!). They also interspersed the game with bits of songs which were clap-friendly, such as ‘We will rock you’, ‘Everybody clap their hands’ etc etc etc, every three minutes. And of course there was the mandatory chucking of free T-shirts into the audience every now and then – at least thirty, I would imagine. It was almost as if the game itself was a side show!

So, as I said, more entertainment and less sport. It would have been very difficult to get BORED in a game like this, which is one of the reasons I’m not a big fan of test cricket, for example. That’s probably why there were so many kids around as well. So as much as I hate to admit it, I'm going to be honest and say that I did enjoy myself, while simultaneously being amused to see the consumerist nature of American society.

And if anyone is still interested, the Mets did win!!!

P.S : Does anyone know how to create those photo-mosaic things? Please let me know if you do. Thanks!

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