Buy a ticket to Citi Field, and you can do a lot of things. You can sell the ticket on StubHub. Wait in line for three innings at Shake Shack. Buy overpriced ice cream in a helmet cup. Throw a rival fan into a dunk tank. Even run onto the field until security takes you down and drags you away.
But for the love of Oliver Perez, why won’t New York Mets fans stop doing the wave?
Here’s the thing: When 105,000 fans are doing the wave at The Big House — and when it’s 1983 — it’s pretty cool. And when an entire stadium is doing it at the FIFA World Cup — even today — it’s still kind of cool.
But when 30,000 baseball “fans” are doing it while the visiting team has the tying runs on base with no outs in the 8th inning? Or when they’re doing it while there are men on 2nd and 3rd in the 8th inning of a tie game? Not cool. Not cool at all.
That is what I witnessed, horrified, on Tuesday and Wednesday, first on TV and then in person.
Let’s be clear: As a 19-year-old diehard, I have no right to stop anyone from waving his or her arms at a baseball game (nor do I have the physical strength). But I really do hate the wave. I know Met fans are better than this. And I sure as hell have the right to blog about it.
For me, the wave — at least at Met games — lost its charm a long time ago. Now, it’s always some attention-seeking, power-hungry guy who tries to start it up about 15 times before it actually gains some momentum. It’s clear that most people are reluctant to do it, but eventually they get sucked into waving their arms and looking at the crowd instead of watching the greatest game on Earth.
I don’t have so much of a problem with the gesture if the game is a blowout, or if there’s a pitching change, or something of that nature. The reality is that there are lulls in baseball games, and it’s silly to expect fans to commit 100 percent attention to every pitch. If, for some strange reason, doing the wave is the fans’ entertainment method of choice, then so be it.
However, when it happens at crucial moments of the game, it leaves me dumbfounded. The Mets may be a long shot to make the playoffs, but they’re still playing games that matter. And yet, on consecutive days, I saw fans disengage from the action, right when every pitch was likely to change the final outcome.
As hard as it may seem to believe, the real entertainment at the ballpark is on the field (no, not the fan running on it). What happened to just watching the game? What was once a cool-looking, fan bonding ritual has come to represent yet another distraction from what goes on between the white lines.
There’s only one thing better than Shake Shack, helmet cups, dunk tanks, and the wave combined, and that’s baseball.
Because a pitcher battling to hold a lead in the 8th is more beautiful than any wave can be.