So to complete the Father’s Day experience, it was the case of the two Papas at the ball game, sitting in the upper deck in the hot sun, trying to stay cool and root for the Angels, which, on this day, was a losing enterprise. Yes, Chandler is missing from this picture, but he is just not a fan of baseball and he has already endured a game this year for my birthday, so I decided not to insist on his presence for the Father’s Day version, especially since we already celebrated with our family the day before.
Unfortunately, the Angels did not cooperate with our celebration by winning. In fact, it was their third loss in four games with the visiting Kansas City Royals. That’s after knocking off the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees in two series wins, two of the best teams in baseball right now. The Angels have a slightly better record than the Royals so far this year, but that doesn’t seem to matter. The Royals just have their number. Out of eight meetings so far this year between the two teams, the Angels have managed only one win. This seems to happen a lot in this sport, when one team owns another but it has nothing to do with their standings.
Making it doubly difficult were three very noisy Kansas City fans two rows behind us. At around the seventh inning, with the Royals enjoying a comfortable 7-3 lead, I turned around and asked the trio their connection with Kansas City. They told me they used to live there. “We grew up there,” they said.
“Well I guess that explains it,” I said, “but how long have you lived here?”
“About a year,” they said.
“And when will you be going back?”
“No time soon,” they answered.
I looked at them quizzically and said, “And how much longer do you plan to live in the past?”
By golly I think I might have shut them up with that comment, or at least got them thinking about it enough to temper their enthusiasm for the visiting team, because they seemed to quiet down some after that.
Which begs the question for all of us: Are we living in the past? Are we camping out at past glories or pulling up stakes and ready to move on to the new frontier even if it means losing?
I got a similar message from the entertainment section of today’s paper which reported on the Moody Blues reincarnation with the Hollywood Bowl orchestra this weekend as a bunch of ‘70s rockers taking their past too seriously, especially when it didn’t hold up well to the present.
Why root for a team when you don’t live there anymore? Why play music that’s dated instead of giving it a fresh new coat of paint? Stake your claim with the local team regardless of whether they are playing well or not. They’re playing for you. It’s all for you — the stadium, the food and drink, the entertainment, the free Father’s Day mug — it’s all to help you root for the local team, not to have you try and reenact an older glory from some other place or time.
We are looking to a new frontier. I still feel much like a pioneer. Forty-five years ago our generation presided over a revolution. Now there’s a new one coming. Our experience can help provide some insight for the new one, but not to try to go back. You can learn from the past; you just can’t go live there.