What’s a Debbie Downer? If you didn’t watch Saturday Night Live in the early 2000s, it was a character that would always find the negative in something positive. And on social media, look in the comments section and you’ll always find at least one Debbie Downer.
This Rays playoff run has been fun to watch. I sat glued to my TV to every pitch last night. I didn’t channel surf. I even checked several times throughout the day to see if ticket prices would drop so I could be there live. Normally by this time of year, my attention is exlusively on hockey and football. Yes my friends, I am one of those proud BANDWAGON FANS some of you have been complaining about.
I only went to a couple games at The Trop this season. I probably can’t pronounce the name correctly of every player on the team. I can’t even guess the batting average for anyone on the roster. Wanna know why? Because I don’t care that much about baseball. To those of you who are complaining about bandwagon fans like me, please accept my deepest apologies. I actually have interests and hobbies that do not coincide with yours. How dare I enjoy this Rays’ success? The nerve of me!
Whiners who complain about casual fans getting caught up in a team when they do well have always puzzled me. With baseball in particular, I get why fans are tuned out for most of the season. The game isn’t terribly exciting. Sorry. It’s true. There are an absurd number of meaningless games. And those meaningless games are long. When I go to The Trop, I often find myself zoning out and having to look at the scoreboard to remember what inning it is. You don’t get that at Lightning games. Baseball even has a point in the 7th inning where everyone stands up and stretches to wake back up. But October baseball is a whole new sport. Every pitch means something. You don’t need the seventh inning stretch to refocus.
2 questions for those who watched the Rays win last night. Would it have been as fun to watch if only the same usual 10,000 fans showed up? Was it better hearing chants, cowbells and cheers or would you rather have only heard the “Beer beer beer!” guy meandering his way up the aisles hoping to make a sale? Would that have been more entertaining for you?
Let’s enjoy this. Yes we will probably lose this team at some point. They might end up in Montreal. Maybe by some miracle, someone will decide to step up and find some money for a new stadium in Tampa. Regardless, let’s just enjoy this moment for now. The lowest-paid team in baseball with few big stars has become a threat. They’re one game away from eliminating the team that went all the way last year. And that is after going down 2 games to none. Casual or hardcore baseball fan, that’s a great story. So what if some fans at Tropicana Field last night were not in those seats in July. Maybe they spent time time this summer with their kids on summer vacation at the beach or at a movie theater watching Avengers. It’s a whole new sport in October. Appreciate that casual fans are contributing to the bottom line. Higher TV ratings and selling out The Trop might save this team for you.