The all-important pre-game ritual

Soon—in fact, just as soon as I’m done writing this post—I’ll be on my way to Nationals Park. I’d like to take you through just a little bit of what is involved in going to a game.

First of all, the essential equipment, pictured to the right. I detest the squeaky squawk of pencils on paper, so I work on my scorecards in pen. What do I do if I make a mistake? I pay close attention and try not to make mistakes. I can live with a few things crossed out, but not with the squawking. Actually, today is a particularly exciting day, I get to open that new set of pens that I bought specifically for this trip. I don’t like to give people advertizing, so I won’t type the brand name, but you can see it perfectly well. Given a choice, that’s the only kind of pen I’d use—the ink flows so nicely and the lines are so crisp. It might seem like a minor detail, but it contributes significantly to my own enjoyment of the game, I can assure you. When I’ve left my pens behind, I was definitely not on my game plan.

Next comes my apparel. I do not own any faux jerseys or other clothing with any team’s logos (I used to buy a hat at every game, but at $32 a pop, that got to be a bit much). Instead, I pick an appropriately colored collared polo and the intentionally tacky New Mexico Department of Tourism bolo tie, also pictured (50¢ at a garage sale… I wouldn’t have gotten it any other way). I top it off with my Dodger Blue Isotopes cap.

My final consideration—the ballpark dinner. Most teams don’t make salad a high priority. Fortunately, Major League parks allow spectators to bring food in. I noticed with great joy that the Giant right next to my local Metro station has a… well… giant salad bar. But I gotta get my fountain drink at the game. There’s just something about sodas, they just taste better from a soda fountain. Well, look at the time. I’d better be off. Game summary coming tomorrow.

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