On a sunny afternoon, I took my 11 year-old daughter to see her favorite baseball team. It was a great day with a full stadium, and we lucked out with some wonderful seats. We both had our gloves, just in case a foul ball ever came even close to us; We wanted to be ready.
We had the aisle seat and the seat next to it, and our line of sight was terrific. The two seats to our left were taken by two mid 20’s guys who seemed to be fans of our hometown team. I thought they each had what must have been the largest beer containers in the world. I was wrong: People behind them had one even larger. By the end of the first inning, they were going for more beer.
Our neighbors were friendly, so I did not give much more thought to their drinking.
My daughter and I were enjoying the game when something fantastic happened: That elusive foul ball was heading directly for our seats! “You get it, daddy!” came her little voice, as she was a little afraid of the ball. I raised my glove, and I was in total disbelief that a ball would be hit so hard, as if it had a laser beam to my seat.
Just before the ball landed in my glove, the two “gentlemen” sitting to our left pushed my daughter out of the way (she was not hurt) then went on to push me out of the way so that “they” could drop the ball.
I looked at my daughter to make sure she was alright and she said “I’m fine, daddy. Are you okay?” The two beer-filled fans looked at my daughter, apologized profusely, then apologized to me. Alcohol is a Little Brain Trap, and they left the stadium in shame. Foul balls can make fans act poorly, but add the beer and grown men can lose all control.
As we sat and enjoyed the rest of the game, I could not help but notice how big beer containers have become, and how the beer at the counter was flowing like an open faucet of water for a Slip ‘n Slide. Little Brain activity is already high at any sporting event because of the team rivalry, but when you add truckloads of beer, Little Brain opportunities increase immensely.
I love a good margarita, I love a cold beer (only if it’s cold) and I will forever be grateful to the makers of a great Cabernet, but the idea that being at an event is a license to be an “alcoholic-for-the-day” may need some revisions.
Perhaps it the size of the containers, or the direct line for “BEER ONLY” that is the problem. Or maybe it’s just the lack of responsible behavior at ball parks by those who attend, but these formerly family-friendly places seem to be less and less kid-friendly, less and less attractive.
Live Big – Think Big – Give Big™
© 2011 Kevin T. McCarney. All rights reserved.
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