SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

When Do You Decide to Watch (or Stay for) the Entire Game?

Easy answers are post-season games, there's a no-hitter, or perhaps the world's been designated to come to an end that day. Otherwise, what are your criteria?

Call me a wimp or a Philadelphia-born pessimist, but I'm reluctant to watch after 10 innings for the precise reason that the game could go 19 innings and my team could lose, and then I'm left with being revved up at 1:20 a.m., needing to wind down before perhaps falling asleep at quarter to 2 and then getting up at 6 to go to work, where I'll be groggy, cranky and tired during a day full of (obviously important) meetings. So, to cut my losses (perhaps), I'll stick with my routine, get to bed at a reasonable hour, read something on my Kindle, turn in, have the birds wake me up and then hope that the daily paper bears news of a victory. Is that reasonable? Is that a sign that I'm not a diehard? Or, as a cousin e-mailed this morning, a wimp?

A colleague splurged on Hall of Fame club seats for last night's contest to celebrate her husband's birthday. They stayed for ten innings, bemoaned a lack of (not just timely, but just plain any) hitting, and listened to the game on their way home, but they too turned in before the game was decided. My cousin, on the other hand, elected to watch for the duration, emailed in the 15th that it was painful rooting for/hoping that Denys Baez could hold on to get the win. He went AWOL online after that, on to return to the email universe this morning to render his thoughts on the game.

Perhaps I'm not alone. The Phillies usually sell out, and out of a denominator of 45,000 or so fans, only about 5,000 stayed until the game's end. The Phils said that these men and women energized them through their passion, and I'm sure that it was a fun time. Then again, 40,000 people perhaps opted to do what I did, which goes to show you that even being a diehard has its limits.

And yet, as a caller to the Mike Missanelli Show said today, twenty-five years from now, 40,000 people will say that they were there when Wilson Valdez got the win. In twenty-five years, I'm not sure how many people will remember Wilson Valdez (who apparently drew a huge laugh from Ryan Howard when he shook off catcher Dane Sardinha despite having one and only one pitch).

What would you do?

3 Comments:

Blogger Roy said...

Our family rule: Never leave early. But we're football and basketball fans. I might feel differently after a few 15+ inning marathons.

8:00 AM  
Anonymous Randall said...

Me - I've got a job, family responsibilities, and I'm not as young as I used to be. I can't tell you how many times I watch the first half of a basketball game and then head to bed at half time.

When would I stay for the entire game? When I'm invested in the outcome (a team I really care about) and my next day schedule allows it.

1:03 PM  
OpenID prof said...

It's a delicate balance between team momentum, weather conditions, wife's comments, and a few other categories. If team came back to tie, I more likely will stay. If it is not too cold or too hot, I more likely will stay. If I have stayed through one OT or 3 or 4 innings, I more likely will stay for more.

2:56 PM  

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