It’s happened to all of us at least once in our academic careers.
You go to class. You forget your homework assignment. The teacher doesn’t collect it. And you almost get away with it until that one person raises his hand as everyone gets up to leave and says, “Professor, aren’t you going to collect our homework?” Busted. You get a zero.
Don’t you just hate that?
I give you this scenario because in sports, just like in the classroom, certain things can just drive you crazy: Sports pet peeves (SPP).
Your SPP can come from a variety of categories, ranging from chatty sorority girls at Michigan football games to something more low key like playing Madden football against a play watcher.
But in honor of the Detroit Tigers’ playoff run, I’ve compiled my top-five baseball SPPs. Please, if you’ve insulted the game in these ways, get some help.
1. Guys who take their mitts to baseball games … and are older than 13 years old.
So it was cool growing up and bringing your mitt to the game. We all did it. But once you pass 13, the mitt should stay home. Don’t get me wrong: A souvenir ball at any age is awesome. But bringing a mitt to the game will only tempt you to topple over that four-year-old in the seat next to you when Pudge Rodriguez fouls one off into your section. And nothing is more despicable than a grown man fighting a kid for a baseball.
Exception: You can bring a mitt if you’re accompanying a small child. That’s fine.
2. The “Guess your pitch speed!” game.
Society loves to tap into the male machismo ideal and what better way to prove your masculinity in front of hundreds of strangers than throwing a baseball as hard as you can? This is what usually happens:
Guy No. 1: Hey man, how fast do you think I can throw?
Guy No. 2: Probably like 50, dude.
Guy No. 1: No way! I can throw at least 70. Watch me.
(Guy No. 1 screams in pain as he tears his rotator cuff. The gauge reads 47.)
Face it guys and gals, nobody cares how fast you throw a baseball unless you’re doing it for a Major League Baseball team. And besides, stepping up and hurling a ball as hard as you can without warming up isn’t ideal for your body. But for those of you out there who love this game, you’re local orthopedic surgeon will thank you.
3. Pink baseball caps
The last time I checked, not one of the 32 MLB ball clubs had pink in their color scheme. And yet some girls insist on wearing a pink Tigers or Red Sox cap. Why? Aside from perpetuating a stereotype that you are clueless about sports, it looks stupid. The same rules goes for pink jersey shirts. Carlos Guillen has never worn a pink Tigers jersey, why should you? Stay true to your team’s colors, even if those colors don’t match well with your Prada bag or Guess jeans. It’s an afternoon at the ballpark, not Saturday night at Necto. Besides, nothing is more attractive than a woman wearing a real baseball jersey and cap. And girls, you can’t tell me guys don’t look good in them either.
4. Upper-deck hecklers
During the good ol’ days at Tiger Stadium, an upper deck ticket meant you could still feel close to the players. Especially in right field, where the upper deck hung over the lower deck. It also meant that a player could hear you if you heckled him, which is the point of heckling a player. But at Comerica Park, if you’re in the upper deck, you might as well be at Tiger Stadium because no player is going to hear you. So please, don’t feel the need to heckle players as if they were just a few rows ahead of you. The occasional sarcastic comment will get a chuckle or two, but screaming at Neifi Perez and calling him a bum for nine-straight innings can get annoying. Shut up, drink your beer and relax.
5. Cell phone conversations
It’s unrealistic to ask for all cell phone conversations to be prohibited at a ball park, but sometimes I wish they could be. No, I don’t care about how your stocks are doing. It’s not important for me to know what you’re doing three weeks from now on Saturday night, and I definitely couldn’t care less about the bunion on grandma’s toe getting better. Private cell phone conversations are supposed to be private, and just because we can hear only one person in the conversation doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to hold it in the middle of the game. It’s ten times worse when people are trying to find each other on opposite sides of the park.
Hey! Yeah, I’m wearing the pink hat. Yeah, can you see me? I’m waving my arms now . I’m next to the throwing game . no? How about now, I’m jumping up and down . Yeah I’m holding up my mitt now, too. Can you see me? You can? Awesome!
Great, now what are you going to do? Hug from across the park? Limit those cell phone conversations to short phrases like “bring milk home after the game” or “meet me at Hockeytown.” Anything more, and you’re being a nuisance.
So before you head off to your next Tigers game, whether it be next season or this Friday (I’ll be there!), remember not to commit one of these five baseball SPPs.
Because if I see you at the game, I may have to make fun of you in my next column.
– Have an SPP of your own, like columnists who write lists? You can e-mail Bosch at firstname.lastname@example.org.