Omaha and the College World Series: it’s a tradition. Just not one that I particularly care for.
Last night, I went to the 2014 College World Series championship game no. 2. Vanderbilt led Virginia in the series, 1-0, and the stadium was packed full of people to see what could very well have been the last game. I hadn’t attended a CWS game yet this year, and was offered a ticket. Couldn’t pass it up–what else was I going to do?
I hurried home from work, changed, and headed to the game. Well, to a parking spot miles away from the stadium. I settled on rooting for Vandy, because Vandy rhymes with candy and I dislike the color orange. The national anthem was sung, the first pitch was thrown out, and the game began.
Then the game began to get boring. Unbearably boring. Then I remembered that I am a live-action baseball hater. Baseball (or should I say baes-ball) is a game that requires immense patience. It’s outside, which means there aren’t as many flashing lights and noises as, say, a basketball or hockey game. Plus, we sat with our backs to the big scoreboard. There is almost no announcer commentary, so if you are a person who doesn’t know the first thing about baseball (like me) you are lost. Food is expensive, and the GA-peasants at the CWS can’t drink beer. Not even a near-collision on third base could make me excited about the game. When I finally got home, around 11 p.m., I had spent four stressed-out hours thinking of everything I had to do and all the time they were wasting between plays. I was exhausted and cranky.
I was confused. Why was I feeling this way? I went to a handful of Omaha Storm Chaser games last summer, and I had a blast! Then I remembered: minor league games are about the experience, not necessarily the play. Minor league games have contests between every inning and $2 beer. They have conversations struck up with strangers. They have a great rotation of walk-up music. These things were all lacking at the CWS last night.
As I write this, I have the game on ESPN. I’m genuinely intrigued by the outcome (I still want Vandy to win.) But I guess being at the game just isn’t for me.
This CWS hasn’t been a total loss for me, though. I got some great advice from an out-of-towner. He said that his friend group has adopted their own version of YOLO: “Shut up and show up.” Applicable to many life situations, really.
So thank you, CWS fans, for visiting the city I love and bringing your good advice with you.