I guess this epiphany isn't really all that new - I had similar revelations about these two worlds colliding after seeing Lombardi. And, yes, baseball fans have as much in common with theatre fans as football fans do. But actually attending a game reminded me so much of going to a Broadway show. There are many similarities!
The pre-game excitement is the same.
- Theatre Fans: We buy tickets in advance for our favorite shows and all of the exciting new ones. We look forward to it for weeks, gobbling up every tidbit of news and gossip we can get our hands on. Sometimes we prep for the show by listening to the cast recording or watching show clips on YouTube.
- Baseball Fans: They buy tickets in advance for their favorite opposing teams. They look forward to it for weeks, gobbling up every tidbit of news and statistics they can get their hands on. Sometimes they prep for the game by studying the box scores or by watching game clips on SportsCenter.
Arriving at the game is the same.
- Theatre Fans: We get to the theatre a little early, checking out the marquee, reminiscing about previous trips to the same place, getting a pre-show drink and checking out the merch booths. There is a buzz in the place as people scurry to their seats.
- Baseball Fans: They get to the stadium a little early, checking out the banners and posters featuring the home team, reminiscing about previous exciting games at the same stadium, getting pre-game beers, hot dogs and sodas, and checking out the merch booths. There is a buzz in the place as people scurry to their seats.
Being shown to your seat is the same.
- Theatre Fans: We hand the tickets to the ticket taker, who then scans the tickets and directs us to the appropriate section. An usher takes our tickets and shows us to our row, hands us our Playbills, and grumbles something about how many seats down the row we have to go. Sometimes we see people selling drinks and snacks in the aisles - over-priced candy and a variety of beverages.
- Baseball Fans: They hand the tickets to the ticket taker, who then scans the tickets and directs them to the appropriate section. An usher takes the tickets and shows them to their row, wipes off the seats and hands back the tickets. All over the stadium, people are selling drinks and snacks in the aisles - over-priced cotton candy, hot dogs and a variety of beverages.
Before the event starts is the same.
- Theatre Fans: We chatter about what we are going to see, including the understudy slips, other shows that are featured in the Playbill, and we eye the show curtain.
- Baseball Fans: They chatter about the line up, including injured players, the game they are going to see, other games that are featured on the Jumbo-Tron, and they play along to games on the screens around the stadium.
During the event, behavior is the same.
- Theatre Fans: We listen intently when it is good, we (rudely) whisper to our companions about things we like and things we don't, we cheer and "woo hoo" our favorite moments and stars, and we stand up when the performance is exceptional. The actors and dancers are in top form.
- Baseball Fans: They stare intently when each batter is up and at each pitch and fielding play, they(sometimes rudely) yell to their companions about things they like and things they don't, they cheer and "woo hoo" their favorite moments and stars, and they stand up when the performance is exceptional. The players are at their peak of performance, executing difficult plays with finesse. (Damn Yankees barely scratches the surface compared to what real ball players do.)
Leaving the event is the same.
- Theatre Fans: We slowly shuffle out, stop to buy a t-shirt, and loudly chatter excitedly as we re-live the entire thing we just saw. Or, if we hate the show, we loudly proclaim our disappointment, and loudly rip it to shreds.
- Baseball Fans: They slowly shuffle out, stop to buy a t-shirt, and loudly chatter excitedly as they re-live the entire game they just saw. Or, if the home team loses, they loudly proclaim their disappointment, and loudly rip the game and the players to shreds, inning by inning.
Sure, I could probably list 50 things that aren't the same about going to a ballgame. But at its root, attending a game or a show is the same thing for the most passionate fans of both. Maybe the gulf between jocks and theatre geeks isn't as wide as we thought it was in high school, after all.
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TRIVIA QUESTION #4
A. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
B. City of Angels
C. Crazy For You
D. The Sound of Music
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