Watching the trailers for this film last year, I wasn’t too optimistic. Even when my friend Stephen said he liked it, I was a bit surprised. I’m not sure how many times I’ve heard it, but during the past few months several people have mentioned how much they liked this movie. All of that combined, and the fact that it’s been playing on HBO recently, I finally gave in and watched “Fever Pitch.”
It couldn’t be that bad, right? Hell, even Rotten Tomatoes gave it a fresh rating.
I was pleasantly surprised with the movie. Not that I need to give you a review of the movie, because I’m not, but I think it’s worth two hours of your hectic lives.
What I want to talk about is this horrid feeling I got while watching the film (don’t worry, it’s not gallbladder-less related). There were many scenes during the movie where Fallon and Barrymore are either at a Red Sox game, going to a Red Sox game or leaving a Red Sox game. All I can say is that I was jealous.
Yes, jealous. Jealous of the stadium and it’s location. Jealous of the culture. Jealous of the product. Jealous.
I’ve been here in Kansas City for the past six years now and our Major League Baseball experience is nothing compared to the Red Sox. Or the Yankees. Or the Cubs. I’m not talking about the small market vs big market crap, because KC will never be in a position to challenge the budgets of those big market teams. What I’m talking about is how we’ve taken baseball, the great american past time, and shoved it into a midwest shoe.
I’ve been to several games in Chicago and it’s by far the coolest baseball experience I’ve ever had. You can take the L down to Wrigleyville and when you get off of the train, you’re literally two blocks away from Wrigley Field. There are tons of restaurants and bars around the stadium, and the field itself, it feels like you’re walking into history when you enter it. Leaving the game is just as cool, you can hop back on the L if you’d like, or visit any of the nearby bars.
In Kansas City, you drive for at least 10 minutes (that’s just from downtown) to pay $9 to park in the stadium parking lot. Then, if you planned ahead, you sit in the parking lot and drink beers (or soda) and maybe eat food... we call it tailgating. Walking into Kauffman Stadium is stunning, once you get past the 19,000+ capacity parking lot and the giant concrete donuts. After the game, what do you do? Well, you get back in your car and drive whatever distance it is to your house (which is at least 10 minutes away, that’s WITHOUT traffic) or to a bar, because there’s zero things to do near the stadium.
It’s no wonder the stadium votes passed and essentially killed the idea of building a stadium downtown, we’re in the damn midwest, where we like to drive cars everywhere and eat food. Why would anyone want to walk to a baseball game on a nice day? Why would anyone want to have dinner and/or a drink after the game at a local bar? And most importantly, why would we want to create a unique culture to experience baseball in?
Oh wait, we have. Looks fun, doesn’t it?