Monday, July 13, 2009

Make Sure You're With Fans

My "Where were you?" story:

My wife and I were driving back from Lake Tahoe Friday evening, listening to the early innings as Jonathan Sanchez began what would turn into a masterpiece against the Padres. As a side note, my seats at AT&T Park were empty, since nobody saw fit to buy them, even at my reduced price on StubHub.

By the 5th inning, we were looking for a place to park near our favorite Mexican joint, La Pinata #3 in Alameda. By the 6th, we were sitting with a nice view of a TV showing the game. By the 7th, we'd been joined by our neighbors Ron and Linda (and Linda grabbed the chair next to me, facing the TV). I'd alerted my kids in Phoenix via text message and they'd tuned in via Slingbox.

The 8th was tough for me: a bite of mole enchilada, a sip of margarita, another text message from the kids, try to stay with the conversation at the table. And then the Juan Uribe error ended Sanchez' perfect game. I groaned loudly...and realized nobody else in the place was paying attention to the game!

By the 9th, I had made sure everyone at my table was aware that Sanchez was flirting with history. My wife was a bit blase', having seen Ed Halicki's 1975 no-no in person at Candlestick Park.

After Aaron Rowand's terrific catch for the second out of the 9th (more text messages to/from the kids), I stood up. It's what you do when a guy's about to pitch a no-hitter, right? Neighbor Linda stood up, too.

We shouted and pumped our fists as Sanchez got the final out on a called third strike.

And then we looked around the room at a bunch of people eating, drinking, and chatting, blissfully unaware that a man had just thrown a no-hitter. As I continued to exult, a fellow at the next table finally showed a sign of interest. With a big smile, he said, "Hey! A shutout!"

Uh, yeah.

Lesson to me: there aren't as many sports fans around as you think. When a magic moment happens, make sure you've found a few to share it with.

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