Ah Spring. That wonderful time of year when a young fan’s fancy turns to thoughts of love. And baseball. In no particular order of importance.
Seems like a good time to discuss a love-related issue that can gnaw at my patience during baseball season:
First Dates at the Baseball Game
What could possibly go wrong? Watching baseball is your favorite thing to do, right? You just met this great new person. Wouldn’t it be great to share your favorite thing on your first date? Wouldn’t this be such a great memorable and unique experience?
Sure. On paper, this SEEMS like a really great idea. But allow me to help you rethink this plan a little.
First off, let me assure you that this is not, in fact, a very unique idea. I know this because:
A) I have tried it. (Shame on me.)
B) At roughly 95% of baseball games I attend, I am stuck sitting next to First Date Couple.
There are a number of pitfalls First Date Couple can run into at a baseball game.
- One person is really into the game, the other is not. Things generally do not go well from there.
- Neither person is into the game, and instead are sharing an intimate get-to-know-everything-about-each-other conversation, which is overheard by about 12 random people who happen to be jammed into the seats around them. Being universally despised by a large group of total strangers is not the most karma-friendly way to start a new relationship.
- If the date/relationship goes poorly, the ballpark, your very favorite place in the whole world, is suddenly tainted with a bad memory. You do not want that. Trust me.
- You might find that while your date feels as passionately about baseball as you do, they happen to feel it for your most hated rival team. Sure, love can conquer anything, allegedly….but I believe it’s a safer risk to discover this a tad later, after you’ve built up enough attachment to the person that you are able to suppress your initial reaction of wanting to punch them in the throat.
I’m not saying that first dates and baseball should never mix, though. I have a couple workable alternatives for baseball enthusiasts:
Plan the date for a day when your team is playing out of town. Hit up a local sports bar to watch the game. It’s low-key, more conducive to conversation if it’s not that crowded, and you can still bond over baseball and/or size up your date’s Sports IQ as needed. Bonus: beer is cheaper.
If you really want peanuts and cracker jacks and the whole shebang, skip the MLB and hit up an independent league game. Or a minor league game. Or a collegiate summer league game… you get the picture. These games are generally full of fun and whimsy. And who doesn’t want a little fun and whimsy on a first date? You can usually find some bleacher seat space where you can make awkward first date small talk without the captive audience. And chances are much better that neither of you will feel strongly enough about either team to illicit those throat-punching urges if there is a difference of opinion. Bonus: Beer is usually cheaper here too.
So, to summarize: Dates are good. Baseball is good. Beer is good. Annoyed strangers and throat punching are bad. Make sure you don’t mix these all up in the wrong way, and you’ll be fine.