If I added up the time I spend watching football, researching players, and writing weekly fantasy recaps for my league, it would probably be at least a part-time job.
Holy cow, it’s the middle of September already. Around xoJane, that means most editors are in a fashion frenzy attending shows and parties in their chicest outfits. But for this girl, it means the beginning of football and also, sadly, the end of baseball.
With fewer than 10 games left, the SF Giants still have a (very small) chance to clinch a playoff berth, but I’ll be honest: I’m not hopeful. So, with only a few chances left to make it to a game, I decided to do what any girl in my position would do.
Get tickets for a game and call my ass in sick.
Okay, FINE. I’m a liar. I didn’t actually call in sick; rather I said I had an “appointment.” Which I did. WITH THE GIANTS. And I’m not promoting that YOU become a liar either. What I am saying is that you deserve a day off. In the middle of the week. For no reason at all other than to kickback and enjoy some baseball. So quick! Before it’s too late:
DO THIS DON’T: Call in “sick” and go to a game.
Once you’re at the game, you should enjoy your mini-vacation to the fullest. Because this day is about you. This day is about relaxing, indulging, and rooting for your team. This day is about hot dogs and Irish nachos and beer, beer, beer, and more beer.
Or at least it is if your editor isn’t Jane.
If your editor IS Jane, however, be careful. Because this decadent, relaxing day off of yours? It might take a turn for the worstbest TBD.
DO THIS DON’T: Stay sober at the game.
When I mentioned I was headed to the game, Jane, never one to turn down an opportunity for a story, decided to test my commitment to the “Do This Don’t” way of life. How far was I willing to go for this site? When I say I’m down for anything, do I really mean ANYTHING? Even if “anything” is “not drinking at a sporting event?”
Let’s not forget, in order for a “Do This Don’t” to work, it has to actually be something you think people should do. And I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find a way to promote sobriety at a baseball game of all places. But I forced myself to go in with a can-do (or can-DON’T as it were) attitude and commit 100 percent to sobriety. Yes, that’s right. We’re talking about my huge struggle with not drinking between the hours of 12:45 p.m. and 3 p.m. WHAT? IT’S A REALLY BIG DEAL!
And, sure, when I took my seat, I was painfully aware of every single person within a 10-foot vicinity sipping a delicious, mouth-watering, refreshing, did I mention delicious? beer. And yes, I thought about stealing a sip when they weren’t looking. (And obviously, by “a sip,” I mean “the entire beer.” Duh.) And OKAY, I admit it: I saw a puddle of spilled beer cascade gently down the stadium steps like a magical waterfall and I contemplated getting on my hands and knees and lapping it up with my parched tongue.
But there was a game to watch. And so I stopped worrying about beer and started paying attention. And, take a deep breath to mentally prepare for this: it was totally fine and completely entertaining! Turns out that baseball doesn't require beer after all. Who knew? I was so content that I even kept asking Campfriend why he wasn’t drinking and insisted he go get a beer. (He refused out of solidarity; I would NEVER have done the same, just in case someone’s keeping score.)
And the best part? When the game ended at 3 p.m., I was totally sober. And therefore able to run errands and do some work and, ahem, go on a jog (stop judging; it’s a thing people do sometimes!). And I didn’t have a hangover at 8 p.m. from day drinking. Plus, I didn't spend a DIME at the game! Listen, I’m not telling you NOT to day drink; everyone knows day drinking is The Best. But, well, I guess what I’m saying is that it’s okay to pass up the occasional day drinking opportunity now and then.
Now forget you heard that from me. I have a reputation to protect.
Especially considering the last challenge of this “Do This Don’t” trifecta:
3. DO THIS DON’T: Start The Wave at a Game
I may be making this up, but I’ve never seen anyone do The Wave at a baseball game. Can this be real? Probably not. But anyway, I took it upon myself to go to this game and start a The Wave. Why? Because getting people to participate in a communal activity is good for the FINE BECAUSE JANE MADE ME.
That’s right. You think Jane is this super sweet amazingly smart woman, but actually she’s -- OK, she is those things. It’s just hard to remember sometimes when she’s like, “Oh! And while you’re at the game SOBER, you should also start The Wave.” I mean, it’s not like she doesn’t know about my history with The Wave, right?
But the other thing about Jane? She’s really hard to say no to! I have a feeling if she asked me to sleep on the street for a month for an “I’ll Try Anything Once,” I’d be like, “Sure! As long as I can drink 40s!” (Jane: If you are reading this, that was hyperbole. Please do not ask me to be homeless. For that long.)
So there I was, at the end of the third inning, dead sober, trying to figure out a way to get my section to start The Wave. Unfortunately, my section seemed more interested in their BEER and their scorebooks than fun group activities. Which, as the ultimate misanthrope, I totally get. So how does someone who doesn’t even like people convince them to join her in The Wave?
But then Beltran knocked one out of the park (well, barely, but still, it was a homerun) and I knew that was my chance. So I threw my hands in the air and I nudged Campfriend, “DO THE WAVE” and he threw his hands in the air. And then … nothing.
A few innings later, I had a new plan. The guy sitting next to us was clearly at his first baseball game and was more interested in sampling the food from every concession stand and complaining about his friend wouldn't let him go down the Coke bottle slide than watching the game. Who better to coerce into The Wave than a guy who'd rather be at the playground than a baseball game?
So when Beltran hit yet another homerun, I jumped up and threw my hands in the air and then poked the nerd with my index finger. “Do The Wave!” I insisted. “DO THE WAVE!”
The nerd reached for another nacho and washed it down with a sip of beer.
And then I saw, across the stadium, a perfectly executed, amazingly choreographed The Wave. And I knew in my heart I could never pull something like that off. So I quit.
But this isn’t to say that you, cheerful, gregarious, adorable YOU shouldn’t try to get the stadium to do The Wave. Because when you try to motivate thousands of people to stand from their seats and throw their hands in the air, you’ll have something at your disposal I didn’t. Not courage. Not will. Not confidence. No, you, my friend, you will have beer.
So tell me people: what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done at a game? If you leave it in the comments, Jane just make it my next "Do This Don't!"