A Jealous Fever

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?

+ original post date: April 9, 2006 10:27 PM
+ categories: KC, Movies, Sports


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couldnt agree more. growing up in cleveland with the downtown ballpark its awesome. sure that area wasnt all that until a couple years later, but the atmosphere is second to none. most people voting on this stuff dont understand that and/or arent baseball fans anyway. cleveland had to find an economic way to sell the downtown development plan. that is what it will take here. showing that the expense of Truman is more than the cost and benefit of a new downtown stadium.

+ author: worstweatherever
+ posted: April 9, 2006 11:32 PM

Funny you mention "Fever Pitch"... I started watching it this weekend as well. Got about 2/3 through but haven't finished it yet.

When I was out on my walk this weekend I passed by both of the favored sites for a downtown stadium -- 19th & Oak and 7th & Wyandotte -- and it made me sick to my stomach that both of those massive, empty sites are now pretty much assured to site idle for at least another few decades.

+ author: ScooterJ
+ posted: April 10, 2006 12:33 PM

Hey Seth, wanna get REALLY pissed off? None other than The Star has today run an article praising the benefits of downtown baseball... in St. Louis!

See the backstabbing.

+ author: ScooterJ
+ posted: April 10, 2006 05:23 PM

Thanks for the link, Scoot. This doesn't enrage me for a few reasons.

  1. The Star, from what I remember, never said a downtown ballpark wouldn't benefit downtown, they just said it wasn't economically feasible (funny though, the new Busch Stadium cost only $375M)
  2. It's an Associated Press article, not someone from the Star

+ author: Seth
+ posted: April 10, 2006 06:42 PM

Yeah its pretty sad. Its easy to mention the Bostons, Chicagos and New Yorks of the world...but look at St. Louis. Theyve had a downtown stadium for years and it worked wonders for them. Both old Busch and new Busch are always full...thus allowing the Cardinals to usually compete. Its sad that KC wont embrace the Royals like St. Louis embraces the Cards or ALL of New England embraces the Sox. Red Sox baseball is in fact the religion of New England. But as you said...the grouping of suburbs in KC has isolated everyone from each other and most of the suburbanites here wont go downtown for fear of "getting shot" Ive actually heard that. Ignorant yes. But it means a downtown stadium probably wouldnt work.

+ author: Stephen
+ posted: April 14, 2006 01:53 PM

This comment is only semi-kinda related. Does it bother anybody else when at a ROYALS game the crowd at the end of the national anthem screams "CHIEFS" at the very end. "...and the home of the CHIEFS". First of all this is retarded even at an actual Chiefs game....but must it be done at the baseball games? Ok losers we get it, youve been to a Chiefs game, the Chiefs are in fact better than the Royals, Royals is two syllables and wouldnt work. Still, how about just singing the song as written. Maybe Im alone and this doesnt bother others. I dont know.

+ author: stephen
+ posted: April 24, 2006 01:22 AM

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