In honor of Opening Day here in Atlanta I’ve put together a list of dos, don’ts, and serious guidelines so you can A) Enjoy yourself and B) Not look like an asshole during the most important day of baseball season until October. You’re welcome.
1. Eat a hotdog.
Guys, opening day is synonymous with #CheatDay (BETCHES!), so throw out your diet and splurge like a drunk chick at 3 a.m. There are only so many days a year where it’s socially acceptable to go HAM on a hot dog in public, and half of those days are trips to Six Flags. Grab a hot dog (or 5) and a beer (or 17) and feel alive again. Who cares if that Kosher frank is unkosher AF? It’s a holiday!
2. Be invested into the game.
The playoffs are no guarantee. But you know what is? Hope and optimism for that first day/week of the season. For that day/week the world starts over, and anything is possible, so what better time to be (kinda) invested in your hometown team? Plus, you don’t want to be that idiot/instant internet sensation who 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. So take your Ritalin, pay attention, and stay (awake) for 9 full innings of underwhelming action that ends in fireworks. Because that’s what baseball is all about!
This is a no-brainer because fun and saving money. You know once you walk through those gates a Bud Light draft for you and your Tinder date is going to cost you half of your student loan payment, so stay outside 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 (read: locating the trash can with the best location for you to shotgun your last roadie without getting arrested).
4. Don’t paint your face.
I’ll keep this simple. Don’t paint your goddamn face. This isn’t a KISS Concert, a Braveheart reenactment, or a free spa facial you got for Christmas. 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 drunken dinner decision you made in the third inning (see #1).
5. Leave sportsmanship at the door.
There’s a fine line between being an adult and being an obnoxious douchebag supporting the other team just because you want to hear yourself speak. 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 Kangol hat on instead of a helmet.
6. Don’t start the wave
Do I really have to get into this? Just don’t do it. There’s a special place in hell for people who start the wave and that place is sandwiched in between people who think the rally cap and the hidden ball trick are a legitimate part of baseball. You’re dead to me.
7. Don’t bring a glove.
Again, this should be self explanatory, but it’s amazing to me the number of adults who apparently love to look like losers 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. 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 stop doing it. Plus, nobody likes the guy who cheats a child out of a potential souvenir because you wanted to show off your 13” Mizuno you bought for Church League Softball.
8. Don’t talk to anyone in the men’s room.
Behold 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 three inches from each other and we’re both cheering for the same team, but 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 who enters the bathroom with, “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 degenerate animal you are.
9. Go to batting practice.
Well shit. This goes against everything I said in the aforementioned tailgating section, BUT in my opinion, watching batting practice is the best part of going to a baseball game. There is no other sport where you can stand in awe of a professional and his muscle memory. The hand-eye coordination and effortless fluidity of warm-ups at a baseball game is an incredible thing to watch, and I promise you’ll leave with a newfound respect for the game. I once saw Mark McGwire hit four 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.
10. 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 “I wish Clay Aiken was singing.” Kidding about one of those. 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.
Thank you, and God Bless America.