Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Importance of Being Earnest in Wardrobe Selection

This morning, I was watching a Spring Training contest between the Dodgers and the Brewers. In case you were wondering, Jerry Hairston made several sparkling defensive plays, and Chris Capuano looked pretty good on the hill. Enough about that. I'm not here to provide commentary on teams from LA or Milwaukee, for sobbing out loud. You know as well as I do that I train my myopic eyes on the Detroit Tigers 90% of the time.

Anyhoo, my point is that while watching said game, I noticed a couple fans in the stands. There were two guys sitting next to each other, one with a Detroit Tigers shirt on, and the other wearing a New York Yankees tee. This made me smile, because when I attend a contest that does not feature the Detroit Tigers, I too feel the need to wear Tigers gear to proclaim my allegiance. These blokes felt the same way, and I got quite a kick out of it. At least, I projected my feelings onto them, and assumed they also sport team gear in an effort to shout team loyalty and pride.

Last season, I went to a Brewers game in Milwaukee. They happened to be playing the Dodgers then, too. What a quirkly little coincidence. Not really. Back to my intended anecdote. In the bottom of the fourth, Ryan Braun hit a home run to left-center to break up Ted Lilly's no hitter. My husband and his family were cheering and generally going bonkers (although none of them can be called baseball fans), and a guy in the row in front of us turned around and went down the line giving raucous high fives, until he came to me and my Tigers shirt. He stopped cold and turned around. That's right, buster, I'm not here rooting for the stinking Milwaukee Brewers, the most loathsome team in all of MLB. Matt Kemp, baby! Ha.

An extremely fortuitous event occurred before that game. The Brewers stadium is not right downtown. It lies to the south. Due to this relative abundance of space, the Brewers have always boasted their very own parking lot for games. When they tore down old County Stadium, the site became the parking lot for Miller Park. There is even a metal plate memorializing the former home plate. Quaint. Benefitting from bounteous parking, Brewers fans are known for tailgating with their Polish sausages, Bratwurst, and other greasy, cased meat products. Gross. I am a vegetarian, and avoid such gastronomic pollution like the plague.

We were walking past some of the barbecuing revelers, when a guy stopped me. He had noticed my Tiger shirt, and asked me if whether was a Tigers fan. I answered in the decided affirmative. Apparently doubting my knowledge and devotion, he immediately asked me who won the 1945 World Series. I answered correctly, and he queried me as to who the Tigers faced. I knew that too, so I guess I passed his litmus test. We then fell into easy conversation. He happened to be listening to the Tigers game on his radio at that very moment. I listened and chatted for a few more moments, enjoying the Tiger solidarity before the Brewers/Dodgers tilt.

So you see, as a direct result of my wisdom in apparel choice, I got to chat it up with a fellow fan, hear the score of the REAL game, and remind a Brewers fan that I don't roll with his club. A very successful night in all, even if the Brewers did win. In the interest of full disclosure, the Brewers also turned a triple play that night, which I truly relished as a fan of the game, but lamented because the wrong team turned it.