I attended my first Phillies game Monday night (April 18, 2011) and I had a few thoughts.
First, I attended this game on the 8th anniversary of Lisa and my first date. Phew, that’s a long time.
Lisa was okay with this because we spent the weekend together (well, most of it) and she had a school function Monday night that went later than the baseball game.
Second, these were free tickets, and there is no reason to ever turn down free tickets (Unless your girlfriend makes you. Earlier this year I had to turn down box seats to the 76ers/Spurs game because we made dinner plans with another couple).
This time, the boyfriend of one of Lisa’s good friends, Kabir, had access to the tickets through work. Kabir, who grew up in Milwaukee, is an avid Brewers fan and the Phils were hosting the Brew Crew. He requested the tickets months ago. His 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice to watch the game with backed out, so I was in.
The game itself was decent, but I will spare you the details of the play-by-play. The Brewers won in extra innings 6-3. Joe Blanton pitched for the Phils and Shawn Marcum was on the mound for the Brewers. They were both mediocre, but
Roy Halladay was supposed to pitch, but the game two days prior was rained out so the pitching rotation was messed up. We got to watch Blanton, the least heralded among Phillies starting 5.
Here are a few observations from the game:
* Citizens Park is a great place to watch a game. Our seats were 20 rows back from first base. We were able to watch follow the action on the mound, at the plate and on the field. The seats were comfortable and plenty of leg room, though elbow room was a little crowded.
* If you know what you are doing, concessions aren’t too bad. I bought a Phillies cap for $22, but I paid through the nose for a cheesesteak, fries and large soda. However, I was unaware it was $1 hot dog night. So while I gnawed at my soggy cheesesteak, I watched other fans walk back from the concession stand with an armload of hot dogs.
* The jumbotron is second only to Cowboys Stadium (though I am pretty sure the TV in Dallas is mythological). The image
was sharp and the instant replays were instantaneous (though I was a little ticked they didn’t show a replay of a phenomenal double play turned by Milwaukee).
* The Phillies Phans weren’t as obnoxious as I anticipated. Kabir said the first time he attended a game at Citizens Park he wore his Brewers attire and nearly got in a fight. This time, he wore his Brewers hat and nobody hassled him. Just the lady sitting behind us asked him if he was from Milwaukee.
* I was actually disappointed by the Phans. They were pretty listless the entire night, but maybe that was because it was a Monday night. In the 8th inning the Phils were down by one and power-hitting first baseman Ryan Howard was up to bat. There wasn’t a peep out of the crowd. They should have been on their feet cheering him on.
* The fans can’t stay in their seats. Maybe it was just our section, but people were constantly getting up in the middle of the
inning, moving around, blocking our view, just being a general nuisance. Nobody in our section really seemed to be watching the game. They were chit chatting, on their phones, or walking up and down the aisle, trying to be seen.
* Many of the fans left in the 7th and 8th inning before the game got good. Once the Phils tied it up in the 9th, only the diehard fans were left, and they showed their support in full colors. Once extra innings started, the fans remained in their seat and cheered for their team. Or they booed. Once relief pitcher Kyle Kendrick gave up the lead, the fans turned on him and booed him off the field. That’s the Phillies fans I came to see.
* Getting to and from the stadium is pretty easy. The subway runs a direct line from downtown to the AT&T Station, where all of the Philadelphia sports teams stadiums are located. Also, you can find free parking if you don’t mind walking a little, and traffic wasn’t too bad.
By the end of the game, try as I might, I just couldn’t jump on the Phillies bandwagon. My Midwest loyalty got the best of me and I found myself jumping out of my seat and cheering when the Brewers won.