Dude, You’re At…the Game

(An “Own It” series for dudes)

I’ve been able to get to two Rays games in the last couple of weeks. Both games were a lot of fun-good plays and good company. For me, baseball rarely disappoints.

What, or should I say, who can disappoint more frequently are dudes in the stands. These dudes seem to not understand the difference between watching the game from their recliner versus watching the game amongst strangers. So from one baseball-watching dude to another, here are some manly things to keep in mind:

  • Yes, you paid good money to come, and you want to enjoy the game. So do it already. Relax. Everybody has a better time when you do.
  • Chances are you don’t know anybody on the field, umpires or players. Follow the golden rule. Oh, and they most likely can’t hear you.
  • If you are so great to bring your kids to the game, here’s the best way to get the most out of the experience for you and them. Ready? Make it about your kids more than about you.
  • It’s a game. Somebody is going to lose. Chances are the players want to win more than you want them to. Be a good sport.
  • Yelling is fine, even encouraged. Try this rule though: for every degrading negative you yell you must yell three encouraging positives.
  • People are people. They have to go to the restroom and get food. Stand up and let them out of the row. It’s that golden rule thing again.
  • Excessive cussing and drinking do not make you a man (for what it’s worth, it definitely doesn’t look good on your lady either). The people in front of and behind you are literally inches away. One last time: Golden Rule!

At both of these games, a pair of dudes sat in front of me. They looked retirement age. They also looked like sports-loving dudes. They kept these manly things in mind and more. Thanks, dudes, for modeling how to be a dude at the game.

The Phenomenon (Book Recommendation)

You don’t have to be a Cardinals fan, not even a baseball fan, to enjoy this book. Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. It’s a true story about overcoming obstacles in life
  2. It’s a look at the professional athlete’s world that feels like any other person’s world
  3. It’s a story of perseverance
  4. It’s written well, written to keep your attention, and written emotionally honestly
  5. It contains life lessons for all of us, whether we are the struggler or the one walking with the struggler

“If a tire goes flat, does the reason matter?” @TheeRickAnkiel #thephenomenon

Here’s some people who should read this book:

  • Those directly impacted by anxiety disorders
  • Those working with young adults with high potential
  • Those coaching clients through life-altering seasons and incidents
  • Those addressing family-orientation obstacles
  • Those who are trying to answer the question, “What are you going to do?”

“All I had to do was look up. All I had to do was stop the fear from rising.” @TheeRickAnkiel #thephenomenon

“How Could You Not Be Happy For Them?”

It started yesterday when I got to the office. People who I’d never heard talk about the Cubs were suddenly all about them. It takes just one look into my office to know I root for the other team – the Cardinals. We (they) had fun with it, and we moved on.

Since I’ve been home the last 24 hours, I’ve been soaking in all the post-series bonanza. All the tweets and videos. Rewatching some of the game on mlbnetwork. And then taking in three hours of the parade coverage today. Yeah, you read that right. This Cardinals fan watched three hours of it. Never watched any parade for three hours. It was a wonderful way to spend a portion of a day off (no sarcasm).

I texted a friend, who somewhere in his fanhood deserted the Yankees (excellent move) and became a Cubs fan, to see if he was watching the parade coverage. He was working, and the answer was “no.” I had yet to text him since the game, so I told him I was happy for them – Cubs nation. Here was his reply:

I don’t know how you can’t be. Even if you are a Cards fan. At least for them to get one finally.

Four hours of thought later, here’s my answer. You could not be happy for them if…

  • …you believe the sports world revolves around “your” team
  • …you think people make just way too much on how championships impact a community
  • …you stink at celebrating
  • …you are challenged in the “rejoice with others” category of living
  • …you have little respect for other’s genuine feelings, even when you don’t share them

After taking in all the bonanza, with more to come, here’s why I am happy for them:

  • This victory was not about the team as much as it was about the people of Chicago
  • This franchise was not about themselves as much as they were about the people of Chicago
  • The team leaders love the game, love each other, and love the people of Chicago
  • The fans love the game, love their team, but more importantly love their families
  • All of Chicago seems united from the victory fostered by patience, suffering, and faith

Come Spring, I’ll still be a Cardinals fan. Like the Sox fan who lost a bet and had to don a Cubs jersey on TV, I don’t want to feel dirty. But today, I am happy for Cubs nation. How could I not be?