I grew up just outside of Boston so there wasn’t really an option of whether or not to be a Red Sox fan. Going to Fenway, “the cathedral of Boston”, is full of rowdy but most good natured fans. The ballpark is a bit scruffy, but it gives it more character. You hear Boston accents, stand up and sing “Sweet Caroline” during the seventh inning stretch and hope Big Papi hits a homer. Sometimes you’ll sit in a section with families that have season tickets for years and all know each other. The food is crappy and the bathrooms dirty, but this is a baseball game! I thought that is just how it goes.
That is, until I attended a Giants game. AT&T Stadium is fairly new, incredibly clean and full of entertainment. There are games for kids and raffles behind the bleachers. You can watch the game while drinking wine from Napa and eating sushi. The games I’ve gone to seem to be less about watching the game than about an overall enjoyable experience. I appreciate that everyone talks and turns around and gets up when there is a lull in the game. I like having good food to eat and appreciate not having to do into a dirty bathroom.
But somehow, it seems like a bit…soft. Like many Northeasters, I think I find San Francisco almost too easy. There is no snow, no serious heat, delicious food, amazing nature nearby and the vineyards of Napa and Sonoma an hour away. It is enjoyable! Life is really pleasant! That is why people like San Francisco. However, baseball games feel like they should a bit more work. Clearly this comes from a Sox fan that suffered many years of cheering the underdog, but discomfort in the seats and disappointment after the game just feels right. It makes me miss Boston and the aggressive, in-your-face attitude that comes with it. But for now, I’ll sit in the stands in San Francisco, eating my gluten-free hot dog, and just enjoy an easy, enjoyable experience.