Consideration: Fan-less baseball
No admission fees
Don’t have to stand in line to get snacks
No need to pay for parking
Opportunity to sell snacks to family and friends watching your television
No lines to use the restroom
No chance of getting caught in a rain delay
Chance to change the channel if your team is getting hammered.
It’s official! July 23, 2020, baseball is back and everything is back to normal. Not so much. No fanfare for opening day mostly because there aren’t any fans. Empty stands. Social distancing in the dugout. No spitting. Elbow touching replacing high fives. Same game, very different feel.
As I watched the first couple of innings I was acutely aware of just how much the announcers talk and the deafening silence associated with the home runs. Since it was mostly a pitcher’s duel I had time wonder. Why aren’t there any fans?
It seemed like a baseball stadium would be the ideal venue for a spectator event while practicing CDC guidelines. With a few exceptions, baseball stadiums are outdoor venues. It would be easy to control the size of the crowd. Social distancing would be a breeze since there are numbered seats and the ticket sellers could spread participants out. The admission gates are controlled to ensure that only those wearing masks could enter. From a rabid fan perspective it is an opportunity for creative mask design. Might even want to show them on the jumbo-Tron between innings.
Question: “So why aren’t fans being allowed to attend baseball games?”
Answer: “We can’t be trusted!”
The possibility exists that someone who attends a game will have the COVID-19 virus, pretend to be willing to follow the rules, deliberately violate CDC guidelines and infect someone else going for a foul ball. The actions of the few must be taken into account when limiting the opportunities of the many. I guess we are to adopt the perspective that we should just be thankful we get to watch baseball on television.
It occurred to me that most people who are interested in baseball were watching the game in their home. On that July 23rd morning I recalled that the news people were saying the primary place for the COVID to be transferred is in the home where there is little or no social distancing or folks wearing masks. It also occurred to me that the second most likely locale for watching a televised game would be at a recreational establishment (bar) which is reported to be one of the primary “hot spots” for COVID contagion. I wondered whether a few fans watching a ballgame in a stadium would create that much more danger than the other locales where fans would be watching the game. Is it possible that something other than health risk was the issue? Perhaps decision makers had reached the conclusion that since some people deviate from compliance with the rules, that none of us can be trusted to use good judgement.
I am sure that we all have a different perspective on fan-less baseball.
People who hate baseball would think it was a good idea. It no one attends maybe they will get rid of the game altogether.
People who don’t care about baseball might not even be aware that there are no fans in the parks. They would be busy being upset over some other inconvenience created by the COVID.
People who love baseball, or at least miss professional sports, I am sure are delighted for any morsel of live competition.
People who consider themselves to be at risk from COVID wouldn’t consider attending a live ballgame, so fan-less would be fine with them.
People who refuse to be controlled by rules or others will find a way to be defiant. They will just have to choose a different venue rather than a stadium. It seems to me that if this group was prohibited from attending the game, others would be able to enjoy the privilege. If that were the case I guess they might get their feelings hurt and we just couldn’t have that.
I want to compliment and thank those whose perspective is to take risks associated with illness seriously, use precautions to prevent becoming ill and who act responsibly regarding the welfare of others. We are the vast majority.
I am a big fan of early Star Trek. In one of the movie versions there is a scene where Spock enters a contaminated room on the Enterprise to save the ship and the crew. While dying, Spock explains to Captain Kirk through the glass barrier that ‘the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the one.” It seems like in recent years that the “concerns of the few” are altering the lives of the many.
We will endure the onslaught from those who claim to know what is best for us so that they can fulfill their personal agendas. In the movie “Field of Dreams,” James Earl Jones, portraying the character Terrence Mann, talks about baseball as the constant that has withstood the turmoil’s through the tests of time. Baseball, in spite of the tweaks to the rules, is still a great time-honored tradition and it will go on. Like baseball, we who believe in the principles of fairness and justice will carry on the traditions that this great country was founded on.
Buy a bag of peanuts and a box of Crackerjacks. Find someone who is willing to join you in singing “Take me out to the ballgame.” Reminisce about the good times in the past and predict the memories you plan to create in the future. Let’s play ball!