"Basketball is the second most exciting indoor sport, and the other one shouldn't have spectators."-Dick Vertleib
Years ago, my buddies and I would get together for the NCAA Tourney and spend 6 hours in a bar watching non-stop basketball. However, now we're all married and have kids so although we'll still get together every once in awhile, most of the time we watch the games in our own homes while speaking to each other on the telephone.
And although we're all aware that fatherhood has changed us in immeasurable ways, we didn't quite realize how much we'd evolved until we started listening to each other during the hoop games. Over the past two weeks, we were shocked to hear the following phrases come out of our mouths:
"Do the hokey pokey, UNC is on fucking fire!"
"D is for Defense, baby!"
"Man, the wheels on the bus go round and round! The Hoyas can't miss!"
"Ring around the rosie! I can't believe that shot didn't drop in!"
Are my buddies and I the only ones who speak like this? Or do any of you other dads out there find yourselves doing the same thing? And what about women? Do any of you pick up stupid things from your kids and use them in everyday conversation? Like, if you find a great pair of shoes, do you tell your girlfriends that they're "totally fragglicious?" Or would you call your sister up excitedly and yell, "W is for Warehouse Sale!"
It is just a guy thing, isn't it? That's what I thought.
"There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem is that once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit."-Al Gallagher
Opening Day for MLB baseball is in 5 days.
For us die-hard fans, there's an old saying that "baseball is like a church---many attend but few understand." And if baseball truly is a church, then Opening Day is our Easter. It's a time of renewal and resurrection. It represents a newness in which every team starts with a clean slate and every fan can begin hoping for the glory of seeing their team in the World Series. Tabula rasa, baby!
Now, don't get me wrong. I enjoy most sports. However, the other sports are just sports. Baseball is a love. And as George Will once wrote, "Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona."
I like to think that my love of baseball has imparted lessons that I have carried over into life. If you look at the sport philosophically, almost every facet of baseball can be seen as an allegory for life. It's a game where sacrifice is truly appreciated. Subtlety is rewarded. Patience is a virtue. Fear is your ally. And, most importantly, it teaches you that success really can be defined in decimal points.
This season will be the first one where I think I'll start taking the Peanut to Met games with me. I know she's too young to understand the finer nuances of the game. However, I figure after a couple of potato knishes, some old-school Shea Stadium hot dogs, and a few giant balls of cotton candy, she's gonna be hooked for life.
Like most Asian baseball players, the Peanut dislikes chewing tobacco. Pacifiers are the new chaw, y'all!