I’m just going to be honest with you – I’m not really a big fan of heights.
I mean, now that I’m more or less considered a “grown-up,” I’ll force myself to endure certain activities involving high altitudes for the sake of the experience, like climbing up to the top of a light house for the view or riding roller coasters with my wife that are taller than any sane man really ever needs to travel upside-down at 60 mph, but it’s certainly not something that I just came to terms with overnight. No Sir-ee, many a long and sleepless night during my childhood was spent worrying myself silly about climbing that stupid rope to the top of the gym in Phys. Ed. class or contemplating whether the title of King of the Mountain was really something worth getting my little, fourth grade self all in a huff about, but of course, those are awkwardly embarrassing childhood stories for another day…
Instead, today’s story is a modern tale of fear that takes place in a completely different location that one normally wouldn’t expect to find yours truly – the local baseball stadium. And already I know what you’re thinking – aside from the fear of absolute and utter boredom, what’s there really to be afraid of at your average friendly, neighborhood baseball game?! Having spent far more Saturday afternoons than I would’ve preferred during my childhood watching the Detroit Tigers suck inning after inning of life out of the game with no more ability than the sleazy t-shirt vendors lurking just outside the stadium, I would’ve shared that same carefree sentiment. Of course, that was all before I made the climb at our very own Tropicana Field.
To say that our seats were up in the nosebleed section would be considered an affront to Sherpas the world around, and that’s certainly not to say that the view itself wasn’t great – as you would imagine, it’s pretty amazing what you can see from the top of the world and all – but at the same time, getting there was more than half the battle in this case and let’s just say that we three didn’t exactly come equipped with the necessary mountain climbing gear necessary for such a journey! For two women who weren’t exactly thrilled with heights and one guy who can go from calm to beyond petrified when faced with an elevation change of maybe twenty feet … yeah, good times…
Of course, once we finally did reach our seats … after taking two escalators and about fourteen cases of Twinkies worth of stairs … it was all about enjoying the game. Well, let me correct – for them, it was all about enjoying the game; for me, it was more about enjoying the atmosphere, which probably makes it sound like I don’t exactly get out of the house much, and is actually pretty accurate! But before I knew it, my mind started wandering – as it’s known to do from time to time – and maybe it was just the lack of oxygen at our altitude, but I began to notice certain things about the old ballgame that had failed to catch my attention at previous events and elevations:
A Suggestion for Fan Participation
Sure, a healthy competitive spirit is what drives any crowd, but is the wave really a great idea when a simple lost footing could easily result in a fan plummeting thousands of feet to their death on the field below? For this I would propose an alternative form of support that I like to call passive cheering where we all remain safely in our seats and nod empathetically to show our teams we’re there for them. The players can still get pumped, but nobody in the stands has to plummet to their death – it’s really a win-win situation.
A Concern About Stray Balls
Oddly enough, it’s most baseball fans’ dreams to catch a ball at a Major League game, but as you may have deduced from previous incantations about my sincere lack of athleticism, I probably couldn’t catch a baseball if it were handed to me across the concession stand after paying $34.99 for it and a limited edition program. So needless to say, I was a bit concerned that if a stray ball flew my way especially at this altitude, only bad things could come of it.
Fortunately, we were so high up that I’m not sure if Hercules himself could’ve clipped one up to our height, but I’ll be honest that it still kept me on my guard throughout the evening just in case…
A Non-Concern About Televised Appearances
On the other hand, one thing that I absolutely didn’t have to be concerned with during this exciting baseball adventure was inadvertently showing up on the Jumbotron when I wasn’t paying attention. You know darn well that normal sports fans still manage to look all weird and crazy when caught by surprise on camera, so can you imagine what ‘Fraidy Cat Scott would look like with his pale, ghost-like mug plastered up there across that 30-foot screen for all to see?!
Fortunately, they just don’t make a super-duper, telephoto lens capable of capturing awkward moments all the way up in the rafters just yet, so I was safe … for now!
A Jealous Lack of Blimp Activity
Now I’ve got to say that last time we attended a game at Tropicana Field, I was completely enthralled by the little, motorized blimp that flew over our section, randomly dropping coupons that were most likely for products that I would’ve had absolutely no interest in purchasing anyways, but still – the blimp was cool! And it occurred to me that our seats for this game were likely at a blimp advantage because we were so much closer to its own altitude than those peons two sections down … so imagine my despair when it became clear that, in fact, our new seats were actually higher than said blimp has a tendency to fly…
My best attempt would’ve been to dive down on top of the blimp, but I think it goes without saying that such acrobatic feats weren’t exactly an option here!
A Business Opportunity in the Form of Concession Stand Delivery
And lastly, it probably goes without saying that one might find themselves a wee bit hungry during a several hour-long event of pretty much any kind, but then again, most events don’t offer seating options at such a variety of elevations! Needless to say, no matter how loudly my stomach grumbled, it certainly took a bit of persuasion to venture back down in search of sustinence! It’s for this exact reason why I think delivery would be a great thing for those perked up next to the ceiling fans, and I’m not just talking about those wandering cotton candy and beer guys.
At the very least, perhaps as an alternative to those cup holders that you can get at fast food joints for carrying multiple sodas, instead they could offer some sort of snacking backpack to make returning to the summit with munchies actually a fathomable feat without fear of dropping nachos down some dude’s back … think about it!
Bonus: I’ve even already got the slogan in the bag – “Pick up the new Snack Back Pack today at any concession stand for all of your high-altitude munching needs! Snack Back Pack!!!”
So as you can see, it was certainly a pretty eventful evening, and the rumor on the street is that apparently some sort of baseball game also took place that night during my mind’s incessant wandering – who knew?! In the end, I got to spend a night out with my wife, I came one babystep closer to taming my fear of heights, and some team allegedly beat some other team at an arguably primitive game centered around hitting a ball around with a stick.
Funny, a lot of sports center around that concept, and a surprising number of them can even be witnessed from ground level! Of course, we’ll save those adventures for another day…