Matt and I are going to the Phillies game tonight.
We have gone to many a Phillies game together, and have the pictorial evidence to prove it.
This picture is from the first one we ever went to. My apologies to Matt's upper left forehead. It didn't seem to make it into any of the pictures.
But look! It appears that Matt always sits on the right side of me which makes sense because he is, after all, my right hand man.
Anyway, there are two games that stand out to me as the most memorable.
One of those games is the first we went to together, and it was way back in ye olden days of 2007. It was the Phillies’ 10,000th loss, and made them the losingest team baseball. And for that matter, all professional sports. Ever. Everywhere. Goooo Phillies!
I feel the need to preface the rest of this story by saying that I grew up in a college football home. Saturday afternoons were filled with FUMBLEEEE and INNNN-TER-CEPPPPTION and occasionally, PICKED OFFFFF. Baseball was on our TV approximately NEVER. On the other hand, Matt is the Phillies’ number one fan.
So, my roommate from college was visiting and the three of us went to a Phillies game. Our seats happened to be in the very top row, a tidbit which has nothing to do with the narrative progress of this story, but sticks out in my memory because we could not have been further from the action. It was about the middle of the second inning when I asked Matt who our batter was. He seemed a bit confused by my inquiry, so I told him that I knew who our pitcher was, and our catcher, but I would like to know the name of the batter for the Phillies.
I had NO IDEA that everyone took turns batting. I just figured there was one assigned batter. Like in football. A quarterback doesn’t complete a pass in one play and then switch to playing linebacker in the next. He has one job. Apparently, ‘tis not the case in baseball.
The funny thing is that Matt and I weren’t technically dating at this point in time. We were actually, as my parents referred to it, “non-dating.” So, the fact that he still chose to go down that relationship road after he knew my baseball knowledge was basically nonexistent is especially meaningful. Clearly I must have won him over with my sense of humor and sweet rapping skillz.
The other memorable game is one that we went to was last season. Smack dab in the middle of July, on the hottest day in the history of Philadelphia. It was 106 degrees. Fahrenheit. Obviously the perfect day to sit under the blazing sun in the ballpark packed with 43,999 of your closest friends with NARY A BREEZE TO SPEAK OF. I have never been so hot in my entire life. And probably never will be again. It was disgusting. I can’t tell you if the Phillies won or lost, or even who they played. But I can tell you that by inning numero two I had pretty much HAD. IT. with all the heat and went to stand by the pizza ovens and grills to cool off a little bit. However, we stayed until the bitter, hot end because, despite the temperatures, Matt was determined to remain the Phillies’ number one fan, heat stroke or not.
To add insult to injury, or flame to the proverbial fire, as it were, Matt insisted on the drive to the stadium that he knew of a great, secret parking spot, and the best part about it was that it was free and we wouldn’t have to pay twenty American dollars to park in the stadium lots because that is just HIGHWAY ROBBERY. Not to mention that twenty dollars could buy you a soda and half a soft pretzel inside the ballpark. It amazes me that people are UP IN ARMS at $20 parking, but they will walk inside and gladly pay $13 for a lukewarm hot dog made from questionable meat product.
Anyway, it turns out that Matt’s top secret parking spot was on the main road in front of the ballpark directly underneath a giant NO STOPPING sign. I learned early on in our relationship that when Matt is behind the wheel, he doesn’t especially enjoy my continuous advice and/or suggestions regarding all things driving. I can’t imagine why. However, when I realized he was planning to park under that NO STOPPING sign, I just had to throw in my two cents and advise that perhaps we should cough up the twenty bucks, because a ticket and/or towing fee was sure to be more than twenty dollars. What ensued was Matt parking beneath the sign and a somewhat lengthy debate about whether or not parking was considered stopping in the eyes of the Philadelphia Parking Authority. I’m sure you can guess who was on what side. Turns out the Parking Authority does categorize parking as stopping, and punishes those who disagree with a hefty fine!
Matt considered fighting it, but as rock and roll tells us, “Matt fought the parking authority, and the parking authority won.”
So, in a few hours Matt and I will be headed down to the stadium. I don’t know if the Phillies will win or lose, but I do know for certain that we will be parking in the assigned lots.
And that I will ask Matt what time kickoff and/or halftime is. It's not a baseball game until I throw in a few football terms.