Thursday, April 11, 2013

Baseball & the Dreaded 'Wave'

A friend of mine and I went to the Reds-Nationals game last Friday, which the Reds won 15-0.  I prefer watching close games, and I really wanted to see Bryce Harper hit one out, but Cincinnati's explosion of offense was enjoyable to watch.  Unfortunately, half-way through the game the inevitable happened...the 'Wave'.  I really dislike the 'Wave', particularly at baseball games.  It seems to me that the 'Wave' manifests an inability to understand that there is a contemplative dimension to baseball, that baseball is to be enjoyed patiently and meditatively.  It is not about instant gratification, but about an extended and repetitive narrative of  exile and homecoming, a playing out of The Odyssey before one's very eyes.  But what fans are essentially saying when they participate in the 'Wave' is that they're bored, and thus they withdraw attention from the theo-drama being enacted on the field in order to focus on their own gratification.  Its presence is always disconcerting to me, for it seems to me to be a symptom of a broader societal rejection of the contemplative.

Lest you think I'm a lonely curmudgeon who is out to ruin fun for all, I was pleased to learn today that there are a group of Nationals fans who are campaigning to end the 'Wave' once and for all.  Their flyer says it all, and I thought I'd do my part to spread their message.

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