Saturday, April 24, 2010

Avarice and Greed

I'm currently reading Bill Simmons' book "Now I Can Die in Peace." It's his homage to the 2004 Red Sox season. It's pretty good so far. In his introduction, he mentions that after the strike of 1994, he gave up on baseball for a time, figuring "if they don't care about me, why should I care about them. And then during the 1995 season, he "remained bitter until the Red Sox started winning again." That statement reminded me of my own boycott of baseball during the 1995 season.

The 1994 strike fueled feelings of outrage in almost every fan of the game. How dare players and owners allow their differences to cause the cancellation of baseball's fall classic? I was no different than most. I vowed not to attend any games during 1995. Filled with dark, self-seeking motives, my husband told me that if I were truly boycotting, I shouldn't watch any games on TV either (he doesn't like baseball). I did not fall for this thinly veiled ploy, but I didn't have much enjoyment in baseball that year either.

Circumstances conspired against me in the strangest of ways. My younger sister was coming down from the Upper Peninsula for a visit. She was riding with some friends, who were going to attend a game at Tiger Stadium. She asked if we could meet them at the game to pick her up. My first reaction was, ABSOLUTELY NOT. I'm not really sure why we didn't just arrange to pick her up before or after the game. Anyway, somehow we ended up going.

Hold on to your judgement for just one moment! I did not sell out. I did not weakly cave and end the boycott. Listen to what I did at the game.

I made a two-sided sign that read "We Don't Need Any More Greed" on the first side, and on the other "Our Nation's Pastime is a Disgrace." Creative, no? Actually, it's not nearly as impressive as what a friend of a friend did. He and two buddies attended Opening Day at Shea Stadium wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the word "Greed." Each of them took quite a number of one-dollar bills with him. They stormed the field and threw the dollar bills at players. If you don't believe me, click HERE and scroll down to "Post-Strike." I was filled with awe and admiration when my friend related the tale of what they'd done.

My little act of defiance was nothing in comparison. However, I went to the game, sat in the bleachers WITH MY BACK TO THE FIELD THE WHOLE GAME, and held up my sign. An usher came over to me and stated that I could not hold up the sign during game play. No problem. I put it down. In between innings, I put it back up again. The same usher came over, snatched my sign without ceremony or explanation, and snapped it over his knee. I had used a small thin piece of wood in between the two giant pieces of posterboard used to make a "handle" for my sign. I did not know that sticks are prohibited on signs. Anyway, I know the usher was just being vindictive. He could have told me to remove the stick from my sign, but he didn't want me holding up a negative message. I sat staring at him with my mouth wide open in disbelief.

That's ok. I felt vindicated when my husband told me several players in the outfield had looked up and seen my sign before it was confiscated and destroyed. My message was delivered! As I mentioned in a recent post, my resolve lasted only one season, and in 1996, I was back with the Tigers like a person with low-self esteem going back to an abusive partner. I apologize again for being weak-minded.

3 comments:

Greg Eno said...

You seriously spent the whole game with your back to the field?? What did you look at? LOL I admire your resolve!

OldEnglish said...

I'm glad you admire it instead of calling it stupidity! I did chat with curious fans in my area who wondered what in the name of balls and strikes I was doing. :)

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