You want to know what “Grinds My Gears” in the world of sports nowadays? You don’t? Then click off this page because I am going to tell you anyway.
The typical “diehard” fan is fading away. You have people jumping on bandwagon’s left and right in every sport, to where there are close to ZERO true fanbases. You can say places like Philly, Chicago, or even Seattle have the closest thing to “real fans,” yet the numbers still have dwindled. I mention those places because either there is nothing else to do in their town but go to games, they have held on to legacies like “Wrigley Field,” “Michael Jordan,” “We love Rocky! (even though he’s a fictional character),” and/or they want a team so bad they pack Seattle Sounder games with fans to show they’re interest. But sports are now used first and foremost as a social event rather than a rooting interest.
You see people go to games only to post how “cool” they are going to the game! As you can tell by the example above, no one cares about the game. No one cares about Juan Soto’s triple down the line, or Strasburg’s knee-buckling filth. They only care about eating their churro and Cold Stone waffle cone. Now I love me some ballpark food, but I won’t be posing with a footlong in my picture or doing the “duck face” to post on Instagram.
Now don’t get me wrong. Not everyone has to be sitting down with their lunch pail the following day talking about the box score from last night’s win. But it seems to me that when you look at the spectrum from “diehard” fans who know the players, the game, the rules and enjoy the atmosphere of the event compared to people who show up in business suits to meet with potential clients, or the people who have enough money to sit court side but spend all night texting their friends “am I on TV!?” is favoring the latter.
It irks me a bit because I have never really experienced the days in the ’90s or early 2000’s when technology wasn’t readily available as it is today. I was born in 1991 and went to many Oriole and Redskin games but at that time I wasn’t old enough to get the full affects of the atmosphere itself. I go to too many games where the chatter is about some random bullsh** and not the ENTERTAINMENT that is right in front of you. The closest game, I attended, where the atmosphere was buzzing mostly about the game was Stephen Strasburg’s debut in 2010. You could just hear the sounds of the crowd from the first inning to his last pitch. (Check the Video Below) Now I may be a lunatic with all of these words but the ballpark to me is a safe haven and I want to go to games with people that are invested or at least want to learn the art of the sport, not to get a slushie and corndog to take pictures with.