I Can’t Fucking Wait To Go To Mariners Games This Year!

I like to think I’m taking the pandemic relatively seriously. I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but I can see there’s a risk that exists for people and I’m doing my part to not make things worse. I’m also not a fucking maniac about it. I’m not going to go around wearing two masks (except I might when I’m flying on a plane next week; being in a smallish tube full of people who WILL be taking their masks off to eat and drink and whatnot seems like a petri dish of infection just waiting to happen), but I’m fine wearing my one mask whenever I need to go inside somewhere. Because I live with my recently-retired father at the moment (who isn’t yet 65 years old) and until he gets his vaccination, I want to at least make sure I’m looking out for him (hence why I’ll be quarantining when I return from my Vegas trip after next week).

But, I also realize it’s pretty easy for me to take the pandemic relatively seriously. I don’t go out a TON. I’m not frequenting a lot of bars or nightclubs, when I do go out it’s usually outside (where it’s safer, virally-speaking). I’m more than happy to work out on my own and wait until we have herd immunity before I get a new gym membership going. And, I work from home permanently now. So, it’s not like I’ve had to really sacrifice all that much in the last year to live my life. Every once in a while, cabin fever strikes. But, I can go for a walk or go for a long drive and usually feel better afterward.

So, I get why people might be apprehensive to return to baseball games, even at 25% capacity. It was announced that the Seattle Mariners are going to have fans for Opening Day on April 1st (and, obviously, going forward, barring a catastrophe); 9,000 people will be allowed inside T-Mobile Park. If the pandemic is something that’s keeping you up at night, if you’re paranoid about what COVID-19 will do to you (in either the short or long term), I can see why you might want to hold off on any large gatherings for the time being. But, I’m fucking ready. Let’s fucking go! Tickets are going on sale in a couple weeks and I am going to be ALL OVER IT.

The worst is behind us, man. Some of our most vulnerable people are being (or already have been) vaccinated. Is it going as smoothly as we’d like? Of course not. What ever does when it comes to the government? But, we’re quickly headed to the tipping point where we can finally exhale and relax. At this point, it’s been a fucking year. I’m willing to risk it – while still being relatively safe and wearing my mask and all that – in an outdoor stadium environment that is going to be as electric as anything I’ve ever witnessed.

For starters, there’s nothing like Opening Day baseball. It’s the best! In non-pandemic circumstances, you’ve got a full stadium, you’ve got happy fans optimistic for the coming season (where anything can happen!), you’ve got your best players out there competing to go 1-0 on the year, you’ve got the player pre-game introductions, you learn about the new stadium food and drink options. It’s a totally joyful experience! A couple of friends and I try to go to them every year, and we ALWAYS have a blast.

Now, 9,000 fans in a 48,000-seat stadium is usually reserved for a Tuesday night in early May. That’s when the Mariners have proven they’re going to suck once again, it’s dark, it’s cold, kids are still in school, it’s the middle of the week, and only the die-hards and the deranged have braved Seattle traffic to show up in person. That’s an experience in its own right, though, because you pretty much have your pick of where to sit, where to walk; concession lines are short; and you feel like you can yell at the umpire and he might actually hear what you say about his mother. You’re down on the team, sure, but that’s also fun too! It’s like you’re all in on the same twisted joke, and gallows humor is some of my favorite comedy.

So, just imagine what it’ll be like to combine the two: the optimism and joy of Opening Day, with a select few fans allowed inside during these crazy, fraught times. We’re probably never going to experience anything like this ever again! So, for that factor alone, you are DAMN RIGHT I’ll do everything in my power to make this happen. When tickets go on sale in a couple weeks, I’ll be right there trying to get some. And, come April 1st, I’ll be in probably some socially-distanced line waiting to get in.

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