In honor of Opening day here in Atlanta I’ve put together a list of Opening Day Guidelines, so you can a) enjoy yourself and b) not look like an asshole idiot during the most important day of the season until October. You’re welcome.
- Eat a hotdog
There are only so many days during the year where it’s socially acceptable to savagely eat a hot dog in public, and half of those days are trips to Six Flags. Forget your diet. Grab a hot dog and a beer and be a person again. Who cares if that Kosher frank is unkosher as shit? It’s Opening day!
- Be invested in the game
Again it’s opening day, so what better time to be fully invested into your hometown team? The playoffs are no guarantee. But, do you know what is a guarantee? Hope and optimism for that first day/ week of the season. For that day/week the world starts over, and anything is possible. Also, you don’t want to be that idiot/instant internet sensation that gets smashed in the temple with a foul ball because the only time you paid attention the entire game is when “Everybody Clap Yo Hands” came on over the sound system. Take some Ritalin, pay attention, and stay for 9 full innings of underwhelming action that ends with fireworks. Because that’s what baseball is!
This is pretty much a no brainer. It’s fun and it’s economically efficient. I mean think about it. Once you walk through those gates a draft Bud Light and a game of cornhole is going to cost you a small fraction of your student loan payments. So, stay outside for as long as you can and pound canned beer until it’s time to make that stumble into the stadium. Most importantly make sure you map out the best route into the stadium. And by that I mean find whatever trashcan has the best location for you to chug/shotgun your last roadie while successfully not getting arrested
- Don’t paint your face
I’ll just keep this simple. Don’t paint your face. This isn’t a KISS Concert, a Braveheart reenactment, or a free spa facial you got for Christmas and/or Father’s Day. No matter what the age you shouldn’t paint your face. I don’t care if you’re 7 or 57 you look stupid and effeminate. If you’re a man, the only color that should be on your face at a sporting event is sunburn or leftover condiments from whatever poor decision you chose as dinner in the 3rd inning.
- Leave Sportsmanship at the Door
There’s a fine line between being an adult and being an obnoxious asshole that’s talking shit just to talk shit. My advice? Ride that line. Tiptoe it like a goddam tightrope. Unless someone from the other team is throwing a no hitter or about to complete the cycle there’s no reason to applaud them. Your main job as an opposing fan is to learn as much about him as possible and then ridicule him in public like he’s going to plate with a dunce cap on instead of a helmet.
- Don’t start the wave
I’m not going to get into this. Just don’t do it. There’s a special place in hell for people that start the wave and that place is sandwiched in between people that think the rally cap and the hidden ball trick are a legitimate part of baseball.
- Don’t bring a glove
Again, this should be self explanatory, but it’s amazing to me the amount of adults that apparently just want to look like an asshole in public. Let me be clear, if you’re over the age of 12 you shouldn’t bring a glove to a stadium. You look like a total asshole for one, and two…well, you look like a total asshole. There are certain things that are acceptable at certain ages. Wearing a glove in public falls under the same category as having a nightlight – once you hit the age of self-awareness and pride you should stop doing it. Plus, nobody likes that guy that cheats a child out of a potential souvenir because you wanted to show off your 13” Mizuno you bought for Church League Softball. The only thing people like less than that guy is the guy wearing the glove who still manages to drop a foul ball or home run because he’s less athletic than the entire cast of A League of Their Own.
- Don’t talk to anyone in the Men’s Room
This is another consistent occurrence that is utterly mind blowing to me. Outside of Gitmo, the Men’s room at a sporting venue is one of the most appalling and inhumane places in all of mankind. So, why is anyone trying to hold a conversation in this bastion of callous inhumanity? No fucking clue. Hey stranger, I get that our shoulders are roughly 3 inches from each other and that we’re both cheering for the same team. What I don’t understand is why you think that our synchronized attempt at pissing in a trough is the appropriate time to strike up a conversation with me. I don’t care if you thought we should’ve pinch hit or put on the hit and run sir. My prostate and I are in the middle of a pretty big bout with stage fright, and the last thing I want to hear is your hypothetical managerial moves that would’ve turned this game and/ or franchise around. Also, if you’re the douchebag that enters the bathroom by saying, “If you shake it more than twice you’re playing with it” I hope you get IBS and are forced to shit in the sink like the ignorant animal that you are.
- Go to batting practice
I know this goes against everything I said in the aforementioned tailgating section. However, in my opinion, watching batting practice is the best part of going to any baseball game. There is no other sport where you can stand in awe of a professional and their muscle memory. The hand eye coordination and effortless fluidity of pregame at a baseball game is an incredible thing to watch. Lightning quick reflexes and tape measure home runs are a sight to see when it’s done before the lights come on. Go to batting practice, and I promise you that you’ll leave with a memory and new found respect for professional baseball players. I once saw Mark McGwire hit 4 balls out of old Tiger Stadium in batting practice, and to this day it’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in sports.
- Shut your fucking mouth during the national anthem
I’ve censored myself pretty well during this article, but this is where I draw the line. Shut your fucking mouth during the national anthem. Why is this a fucking issue? The only thing that should ever be said during the national anthem are: “I’m choking”, “My water just broke”, and “Woooooo!” Baseball is America’s pastime. It’s a tradition that literally dates back to the time where the country was reunited after the Civil War. So, what on earth makes you think that anything you’re saying is more important than taking 45 seconds to silently honor how fortunate you are to enjoy this piece of freedom and Americana? People that talk during the national anthem deserve to be shot in the throat with a t-shirt gun from point blank range.