Thursday, August 12, 2010

For Love of the Game, and the Family

We talk a lot about the inner workings of the game and players on this blog, but not a lot about the fans and the emotional aspect of it.

Tonight I look forward to one of what I hope to be the more exciting nights of my life. Tonight I'm taking my seven year old daughter up to Baltimore for her first Ravens game, the first she'll attend any professional sporting event live.

My daughter isn't a huge football fan. She likes the Ravens. She also likes the Steelers, thanks to my brother and his daughter (also seven, the two are inseparable when they get together) living in Pittsburgh. She'll watch football with me for a bit on Sundays, but doesn't really get into the game.

I remember when I was around that age. I was much like her with the Orioles. I liked them. But mostly I liked them cause my dad liked them. I watched a little bit. And I was looking forward to going to my first game with him.

What I got from it was one of the more vivid memories of my childhood. I can't tell you how old I was. I can't remember who the Orioles played. But I remember with remarkable precision the moment I walked out of that tunnel. The bright light hit me, and the stadium seemed huge and bright and colorful. I wouldn't quite call it overwhelming, but it was close to that.

I'm hoping I can give my daughter something like that tonight when she walks out of the tunnel.

Maybe high expectations, but I also know she's extremely excited to go tonight. She's been bouncing off the walls since I told her, and doesn't at all mind missing a really fun field trip that she can't participate in for day care because of the trip we'll take tonight. And me? I'm about ready to jump out of my skin.

It's a perfect setting for which to take her. I don't expect she'd want to stay the whole game - even if it would end before 11 PM by which time she'd be asleep in her seat. This way, I get to take her to a game where I don't mind leaving after only one quarter, but she still gets the experience of it.

It's moments like these that make me love the game.


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