Guest post, by student blogger: Deividas Latysovic
Here we go, I thought way back in May, what can be more American than watching a good old fashioned game of American football? I was immediately excited as I am a huge lover of sports and had never seen a game of football before.
It’s funny, going to a game of baseball. All I ever heard in life about it was strike one, strike two, strike three, you’re out and the endless jokes, even memes, about how complicated and extremely over the top the game was. So, it is safe to say I didn’t really know what to expect.
I was a bit worried though. I grew up watching football, soccer, basketball, or volleyball and none of those games had as much of a commercial aspect to them. All of the branding, entertaining games during the baseball game (children racing around the baseball plates, frisbee tosses, etc.), and theme songs in my head threatened the atmosphere of the sport itself. I was afraid of not feeling the intense, jaw-dropping pressure, the shock of an incredible feat, the joy of the home team winning just because the commercials would take my mind away from it. But fear is a tricky thing and so it all played out in an interesting way.
When we got to the stadium, boy did my eyes pop out of my head! I’m a huge foodie, a connoisseur if you will, and so I was ready to dive into the "Snack-A-Thon." Having trouble deciding what to eat, I got everything: a cheeseburger, popcorn chicken, fried dough, a pretzel, and the famous sea dogs biscuit. It was moreish, it was overkill, but it was exactly what I needed, a huge serving of fatty foods, to make my stomach full, so I could sit back, with a bit of a guilty conscience and start to watch the game.
Now, did a sit there confused and yell ball at a play that was probably a foul? Absolutely, and probably more than once. But that is on me. Another mistake I made, was comparing baseball to soccer or any other sport. It sounds cheesy, but baseball is truly unique. It doesn’t require constant attention and I can see why it is family friendly. In a way, it is a sport that invites you to be social. With football, you can sit there, analyze the game for 45 minutes, have a quick break and repeat the action, but with baseball, you are far more free to dive into the surroundings, the crowd the food, the game, and the players themselves are only a small part of it.
And how do I feel about the commercial aspect of it all? Well, it still seems foreign, but I am foreign as well. I wasn’t raised with it and still, it kind of seems weird to me, but in a good way. Was I entertained by all of it? I definitely was. Did it take anything away from the actual game itself? Not really. So, to me personally, even though it still seems, let’s say, unique, it is about getting used to it.
So that is baseball for you. Probably one of the most complicated sports, but at the same the one of the most inviting. You can and will be confused, but it is hard to be sad when you have a belly full of grub and a good friend beside you to explain all the rules.